Monday, July 25, 2011

Light-box Build For $13.00

I take an unreasonable amount of detail pictures for project instructions. Normally I have to either work in the dining room to capture great lighting, or lug each step upstairs into the dining room from my studio so I can get an acceptable photograph. Both options are a huge inconvenience...... I want to be able to do all the steps to a project right there in my studio, so I decided it was time to build a light-box so I can create shadow-less detail photographs in the dark spooky basement studio.

Thought I'd share what happens here with you.

Things you will need to build a light-box:

Two three by four foot sheets of foam core ($5.00 each)
One pack of tissue paper from the dollar store ($1.00) I used three sheets of the ten pack.
One roll of packing tape ($1.00) I used about an eighth of the roll
One sheet of white Bristol board ($1.00)

Tools you will use:

An art knife or exacto blade or box cutter to cut the foam core
A straight edge long ruler to measure and cut against
A cutting surface

Cut one piece of foam core 20" by 20"
and four pieces 20" by 15"

Three of the 20" by 15" pieces will have the middles cut out.
Measure a 2" border around the edges of these three pieces.
I used a grid ruler for quilting to get really even borders.

I used the grid ruler as a guide and cut out the middles of these three pieces using my box cutter.
Seriously.... don't cut the table or floor or yourself.
It's easy to make a mistake so go slow and take care.

Lay the pieces flat like this. The 20" by 20" piece is in the middle and the non cut out 20" by 15" piece is on the bottom. Tape along the edges that meet.

Fold the sides up and tape them with small pieces of tape just to make sure everything is fitting ok.

Check to make sure everything is pretty square and fitting correctly. Make any adjustments by re-cutting now if you have to.

Flip the box up onto it's base. (The solid 20" by 15" piece is the base.)
Re-tape all the joins so they are solid and permanent.

Cover each opening with a single sheet of tissue paper. Tape along the outside of each sheet to prevent wrinkling. Wrinkles cause shadows later.

Looks pretty good so far!
(Why YES... that IS a Storm Trooper helmet on the living room coffee table!)

Cut a piece of Bristol board to fit from the bottom front edge of the box to the top inside edge and tape it in place temporarily. You may want to change this card later because of wear or damage and don't want to have to pull the box apart to remove it. Small pieces of tape in the corners will do fine. I plan on covering this board up with decorative paper or fabric for most backgrounds. Just need the card there for support.

I'll post next time about lighting the box and let you see how the pictures compare to real daylight shots.

Have any of you had success with a home made light-box?
I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

SJCatlady said...

I just discovered your site. Very cool and generous! Can't wait to try some of your tutorials. Thanks a bunch!