Saturday, July 16, 2011

My version of a homemade light-box

Hello! How has everyone's summer been so far? I hope the sun has been shining where you are. Where I live it's been a rather cool summer so far and there really hasn't been too much sun here. It's too bad because we spend so much of our year under grey skies that everyone looks forward to the sunny days of July and August.

 As artists, my husband and I are really dependent on the sun making it into the studio so that we can see what we're doing. I've tried adding natural light bulbs to my space but that still hasn't been enough really. I really have the hardest time with the lack of light when I try and document my items for Etsy. I do have a couple sunny windows but they cast shadows on my objects thanks to the plants outside or the actual window panes. Over time and with a bunch of experimenting I've been able to get some better shots with my limited light. I know I will have to invest in a tri-pod soon so that I can take photos of my work while holding it. I currently use a 10 second delay shutter and stand the camera on the barbeque but there's still too much vibration and I'm slightly out of focus. If I use boards wrapped in aluminum foil and white foam core as reflectors it seems to help a little. Sometimes.

I've been reading all about how to create light boxes for my 3D objects and there has been some great examples online. I kept running into a problem with storing my light box and not having it look shabby very fast. One day I was in Daiso the Japanese $2 store and I came across some foam floor tiles. You know the ones, they go together like puzzle pieces and there used alot in preschools. When I saw them I thought they would be perfect for constructing an adjustable lightbox. Cheap and easy to store! My kind of light box. Below are some pics. of my box and the resulting photo of a pendant I made. I used a cheap Ikea desk light fitted with a daylight bulb. I cut three of the tiles to hold pieces of parchment paper to create diffused light. What I really like about this box is that I can add more tiles and create an even larger space if I need to as each wall fits into the next. I can't use this set-up for my large monotypes but I just had a thought I might be able to create my own adjustable reflector screens with thin PVC piping and white sheer curtains. All found via Craigslist and the thrift store of course. What do you think? Do you have any DIY tricks for lighting yourself?
$2 ea 12"x12" foam floor tiles

I cut out a 10" square from three of the tiles

The top and two sides are covered with parchment

Hand held shot with my Nikon on macro setting

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