Saturday, March 28, 2009

DIY - Lightbox - Epic Fail!

*sigh* I am at it again. I am trying to take better pictures of my pieces for the new site. I am not a photographer. i dont 'have an eye for the shot, the setting, the media - anything. BUT... i still have to take pictures. (it takes longer to take the shots than it does to create most of the pieces) I have a good little camera - a Rebel XT by cannon. got it for a song, because the listing price had a typo and they had to honor it. i have tried to learn to use it, honestly - but i fail.

i take my shots, trying to use some light background and some correct lighting ( the lamp over the kitchen table) and then i take the images and work the magic of the Gimp on them, and change the contrast and brightness and sometimes, i get a decent shot.

my camera has a little flip up auto flash. i need a external flash, that would honestly make all the difference in the world, but right now that it low on my list of needs. i will make due with what i have. i get a great deal of satisfaction on being able to produce greatness out of what i have. (i am in denial that i am cheap, ok - denial)

i have heard of light boxes, and have seen a couple, but never really paid much mind to them. i set out the other nite to build one. using 'my lojik' on how the light should work, and should bounce i did this -

I have a cardboard box, tissue paper, foil, and tape

take a box (minus the cat) and line it with white tissue paper

Line the top flaps of the box with the foil

i positioned my desk lamp over the back of the box so i could close the flaps over the top of it. that way the light would 'bounce' on the inside of the box, and reflect on the piece - right???

Wrong - FAIL - every single shot was yellow like this.

My husband the engineer he is steps up to the plate - "what are you doing dear?"
"Making a light box!!!!! can't you tell?!?!!?" I was a bit snippy cuz i was aggrivated at my febel attempts.

he thru out some suggestions - some brilliant ones. dont use floor-es-ant lights - they are too 'harsh'. don't put the light directly over the top of the item - cut the sides out of the box, then put up the paper, and put the light on the outside of the box facing the paper to illuminate it that way .
yes - brilliant.

so - tonite i am redoing the box and we shall see what comes of it.

in the mean time - i am puttin my pieces back out onto the kitchen table on a piece of light fabric and taking pictures.

it works....


  1. There are "daylight" spiral bulbs you can buy (I got mine at Walgreens) to give a better light. I use mine for better lighting for working but they also make better light for pictures. I try to just use natural light, but when I can't the daylight bulbs work pretty well to get natural color.

    You can also use white poster board as a way to reflect the light and diffuse it back at your pieces, it's worked well for me.

  2. the daylight bulbs are what i have in my kitchen, so that explains part of y it seems to work. poster board!!! BRILLIANT!!!! THANKS!

  3. The new description sounds perfect, can't wait to hear how it goes! I too have been in need of a light box and spend WAY too much time on the photos considering they don't come out perfect! Why don't I just buy one, I don't know...

  4. Tish ... maybe you can shoot that stuff outdoors? That is the best light from color balancing standpoint. I really hate shooting with flash ... i guess i am a bit of a klutz in some areas of photography. Keep shooting, never surrender. Nikonsniper.