February 3, 2009

The light studio

I've referred to it several times now (here and here and here and finally here): my homemade light studio. I'm still all excited about it! Making pictures of small and not so small objects has become a lot easier for me. I still need to work on getting the camera settings right, but being able to work in a controlled environment has made a huge difference already. I can highly recommend it to everyone!

So, this is what it looks like:

See the mess in and around it? That was in the excitement of the first time I put it into use. I grabbed everything within reach and photographed it...

On the internet you can find many different ways to make one of these - all more or less inexpensive.

A first method makes use of a simple cardboard box, where you make cut-outs on the sides and at the top, which you then cover with paper. A very good description of this method can be found here and here.

A second method - and this is the one I eventually chose for - makes use of foam boards. The reason I ended up making this one is because you can take it apart when done and store it away (not that I ever do this - mine has been sitting around in our living room (even) when not in use...). I found the link to the very clear and step-by-step instructions through One Pretty Thing.
The only alteration I've made is that I've made a cut-out in the top as described in the above box-method and next taped white tissue paper over it. I did this as I intended to use a light source coming from above.
This light studio will take you a little longer to assemble and involves precise cutting and measuring. Hence, don't try to make this one if you're not well-rested or with small children running around! But again, the main advantage of this one is that you can store it away, which comes in handy when you live in a (small) apartment as I do.
I might do a few more changes, like making a slit in the back over the entire length to be able to slide through the back-drop, which would be nice when using fabric as a background. Also, I've been considering to cut additional (interchangeable) side-boards with cut-outs like in the top one. This would allow me to use different light sources (from the top or the sides, or both) depending on what I want to photograph. Since this box is made like a puzzle, this is totally feasible. I'll keep you posted!

I'd like to mention a third method also, which makes use of simple household items like a laundry bin, which I'm sure everyone has sitting around, and which is described here. I stumbled on this one through Bricolagelife's blog after I finished mine already. This method is by far the simplest, as there is no cutting or precise measuring involved.

There are probably more ways to make one of these. Feel free to let me know! I'd be happy to add them.
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