DIY: Make Your Own Lightbox

Take professional-looking photographs with your very own lightbox!
by Cla Ines   |  Oct 18, 2008
photos by Cla Ines
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Materials

  • 4 illustration boards (or any hard, sturdy board)
  • cutter
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • rolls of tracing paper (or any translucent white material)
  • scotch tape
  • thick masking tape
  • 2 desk lamps
  • a roll of cartolina (any color)

Instructions

  1. Make a 1 1/2-2 inch-border on three of the four illustration boards. Following those markings, cut "windows" on the boards.
  2. Place tracing paper over the windows on each of the boards, and tape it with scotch tape.
  3. Take the uncut illustration board and lay it flat. Stick the cut boards on either side of the uncut board using masking tape. Check if you are able fold or make the three boards stand on their own.
  4. Place the last cut board on top of the standing boards to complete your light box.

How to use it

  1. Place desk lamps on either side of your macro studio. Depending on how you want to light your subject, you can move around your lamps, add another lamp, or just use one. The tracing papers are there to soften the light coming from your lamps.
  2. To add a background, fit a cartolina inside the light box and tape its end to the uncut panel. Make sure your cartolina is long enough to provide a continuous background for your subject.
  3. Place your subject inside the light box and snap away.
  4. To get good close-up shots of your subject, set your digital camera to macro mode (that little flower icon on your camera). Make sure you don't move while taking the photo for less blurry shots. (Using a tripod is also very helpful.)

How to store it

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Once you are done taking photos, just fold the three panels together with the loose panel.

(Based on Strobist's DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio)

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Cla Ines
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