Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Very Useful Present

I'm happy to introduce you to my brand new photo lightbox. I just got it from my dear sister who is a photographer and it seems also an electrician when in need.
I’ve always had troubles photographing my books such as lack of skills and lack of light. There were rainy days when my poor books were waiting for the sun to come out so they can get into my shop. I hope the suffering is now over.

She gave me a few tips so I can share them with you, in case you wish to construct one for yourself. She says it is quite easy and not expensive. What is needed:

- A cardboard box (this one is from Ikea) as big as you need to accommodate the objects you want to photograph;
- 8 neon lamps (8 watts, type T5, 4 warm white and 4 cold white), series-connected, placed two by two on left, right and top sides. These lamps are normally used for kitchen furniture to illuminate drawers, etc… there are other more sophisticated types for larger color spectra (suck as Aquasky from Phillips) but these ones were a good compromise;
- connecting cables (they usually come together with the lamps) and plastic clamps (to fix the lamps onto the box);
- paper for the background. She used white but I want to experiment with different colors and even with fabrics.

Here is a test I made today. The photo on the left is made with the lightbox and the one on the right is taken in my balcony. But today I was lucky because it was a sunny day. The photo in the lightbox shows the colors much more realistic and much better details in the white region, because the pages of the book are actually light yellow. Also, it provides light diffusion which is hard to achieve otherwise.

The cost for my box was ~70 usd. Good luck in case you want to make one for yourself :)


Enrouge {karan karla} said...

Great project and info Teo! I knew exactly what you were talking about . . . my little birds some days are waiting for the sun to come out, too, so they can have a photo shoot! Your results are very professional -- looks terrific!

Carol said...

This is a brilliant piece of information. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Jennifer K said...

This is really great! I live in a super rainy, cloudy part of the world (Seattle, WA, USA) and I built a much more low-budget light box a while back, but it is not large enough... and I didn't think to attach the lights to the box itself. This is wonderful, thank you so much for sharing!