Monday, July 28, 2008

Light Boxes

Many people dont know what this very valuable tool is. Light boxes make life easy when it comes to product photography. If you dont already have one you really should look at either making one or picking one up from any of the different retailers out there.

Light boxes work very well for product photography because you can flood your item with lots of light from top or either side. If you have a fancy light box you can even light from underneath if you choose to. I have two different light boxes to choose from depending on the size of the item I want to shoot. One is for smaller items and the other is quite large. The larger of the two I set up for shooting my wife's(more info on her shop as she opens up)bags and other larger items. They are fairly easy to construct and extremely inexpensive to build.

The first on consists of an air conditioner box but any decent size box will do. You can see this set up below. Basically you want cut a window out of three side of the box leaving about a 2" border. To help diffuse the light I put freezer paper over the windows I cut out. I also taped a piece of dry erase poster board that I picked up at Michaels to the top of the inside of the box for my items background. the key here is to let the background curve to the bottom of the box. This provides that seamless look to the photograph. I use work lights that I have lying around for my light sources. One BIG halogen (careful with these they get really hot) light at the top and two smaller clamp lights to the sides. The purpose of this is to provide flooding diffused light on your item. The more light the better.

Total cost of this set up to me was $12 for the two clamp lights. The rest of the stuff I had just lying around the house.

The Setup1

The Setup2

The Results

The second light box is MUCH BIGGER as you can see below. This was made from a bunch of pvc pipe and couplers. To be honest I bet in total it cost me about $15 in parts. The frame is 1/2"pvc pipe that you can get at almost any hardware store. The backdrop is a roller shade that I removed from the roller. Fabric could be substituted as well. Really anything that can drape enough will work just fine. I used the clamp lights as you can see here. I need one or two more though to get rid of the shadow you can see on either side of the bag.

The Setup

The Results

The results after my simple one click fix in gimp as seen here

Both of these light boxes were super easy to make if you would like futher instructions or detailed parts lists feel free to email me at


kristina said...

someone linked you in an etsy chat room because they said you had some good photo tips for etsy.
so i decided to visit, and i'm glad i did.
your blog is great, it's very helpful and informative

pop display said...

Great blog, very good blog no doubt, Really I like your blog so much. it's a interesting and informative blog. Good Job Keep it up.......

Further, If you need more help regarding Light boxes just logged on to the below link:

Lightbox Display

Keep up the fantastic work!