Free Light Box!

The title might be false advertising, but I bet anyone can make this for free. Yep, this is yet another post about making a light box, those simple contraptions that make our pics look so much better. 

I've read several articles from other hobby bloggers about their pic taking setups, and I bet you have too. I'm not going to rehash why lightboxes are wonderful or how they work, I'm just going to jump into my version. However, if you have questions, just drop a comment and I'll do my best to point you to the answer. Check out my box:

The articles covered everything from homemade to high-dollar, but the results were pretty good regardless of money invested. Actually, the light sources seemed to be the most important things, and I already had good ones for painting.  So, I set out to make the box from other things already I had. After all, if I made it for free and it was lousy...well, nothing lost but time.

1.  wire clothes hangers (probably began their life at a dry cleaners and are now growing old in your closet)

2. white trace paper
Or wax paper, which you probably
have in your kitchen right now
Trace paper, found at any big box hobby store
with the sketch/art supplies.
This is what I used, white obviously 

3.  clear tape

1.  wire cutters
2.  needle nosed pliers (not essential, but makes working with the wire easier)

No doubt the pictures have already explained the rest:  I decided how long I wanted a side of the box to be and bent the hanger form the edges. I then cut some more wire and used the pliers to complete the frame.

After the box skeleton was done, just cut the paper to size and 'wrapped' the box. It works best if the light is passing through only one layer of paper. I also taped in a trace paper backdrop.

As I mentioned, the lights are probably the most important thing. I position a couple OttLites at the sides and a halogen over the top (perfectly okay to use lamps you have, but incandescents can skew your colors). As long as the light is passing through the paper, you shouldn't get any harsh hot spots.

What do you guys think? I've been using this free light box for a while now, and my pics come out much better than they used to. If you have a unique pic setup, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy shooting!


Muninn said...

I've always wanted a light box, but never have gotten around to building one.

My photo setup is a little eclectic. I have access to a newspaper photo studio, so I just set it up for minis.

I use a pair of studio lights, one with a soft box, and another with an umbrella, and use a black construction paper backdrop. It kinda feels like I'm using upper-level gear in a silly way, but it gets the job done.


40K Giveaway said...

Muninn: Looks like a good setup to me, and your pics are great! Besides, feeling silly at times is just a part of this hobby