And all the pipe cleaner animals stood erect-- a fierce wall of nylon and wire defiance--
with one voice they exclaimed, "We shall not be silenced!"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Made My Own Lightbox!!

I love the outdoor pics that I take of my Fuzzies and post in my shop, but there is a certain time of the day where the sunlight is just right to get good pics. Generally it's between 4-5:30 pm, when the sun is starting to go down. It seems that's the best time to get indirect natural light is as the sun is going down. The next best time is early in the morning, like 7-8 am. Unfortunately, my day job cuts down on my opportunities during the week to take pictures, and the weekends are usually booked. So, how do I work around this? With a lightbox!
I've been meaning to make my own lightbox because I really like the idea of having the flexibility to take pictures whenever I want, plus the pics look professional in a different way. I found some instructions on this site that were really clearcut, with lots of pictures for reference:

You can buy a manufactured lightbox for around $100, or you can make one for a fraction of the cost. Since we're all crafty, creative, DIY types, why would you ever want to BUY one?

So here we go on my journey of making a light box!
Here are the materials I bought for the box. Overall I shelled out about $30 for everything: $10 for the foam board, $12 for the shop lights, $3 for the masking tape, and $5 for the lighbulbs (does that add up to 30?).

(Cute little Maggie's always wondering what I'm up to)

I couldn't find "daylight bulbs" as specified in the instructions, so I got "full spectrum" bulbs instead, hoping they'd have the same effect. Next I cut each of the large foamboard pieces in half. My first try wasn't so good, but it got better:

Then I placed the pieces together just to make sure they would fit together. I'm notorious for mis-mearuring things and screwing projects up:

Like they talked about in the instructions, I cut a flap on the side and on the top so I could peek into the box with my camera from different angles if I needed to. You can see, I've taped four of the sides together already with the masking tape.

Taped the bottom side on, and viola! The box is complete!

(Gasp! Is that a picture of ME? I look so proud of myself, don't I?)

I attached the shoplights to the box and turned them on! Looks beautiful!

I then took some test pictures with all of my Fuzzies. I had to play around with my camera settings a little, but here's what I ended up with:

I had to do a little tweaking in photoshop to get the colors to pop a little more, but you see overall how it looks! I'm thinking of adding one more shoplight to get more lighting power.

I'm really excited with the results! It's definitely a different quality to the photos... they look like they've been taken in a studio, and the colors are certainly more vivid! I'm not sure which style I like more. I still love how my Fuzzies look in an outdoor setting... gives them more character. Someone on Etsy suggested using both types of pics.

It turned out the lightbox was a lot easier to make than I had anticipated! I'm still experimenting to find the optimal combination of camera settings, lighting angles, and photo software to get the optimal pics, I'm already very happy with the results I've gotten so far! Certainly glad to have options in photographing my items now. What do you folks think? Hope this helps anyone thinking about making their own lightbox!


Casanova said...

Wow Sharon!!! You don't mess around!!! That's what I call "Girl Power"!!!!!!!! Excellent job!! Roger

Christine said...

I got a light box this week too! But I was super lazy and when to Target and just got a white box and a desk lamp.

I love the last picture of all your little Fuzzies together. It's like a party. :)

♥ xtine

Fuzzington said...

Aw, Xtine, that's so smart! I should've thought of that! A white box probably would have been cheaper!! =)