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There is a lot of photography that you can do indoors, and product photography is one such example of this. If you’re keen to try this out yourself in order to get the best results, making a DIY lightbox will elevate the quality of your photography. Creating a lightbox is simple, and you only need some basic supplies to do it. In this article, you’ll find out about two possible methods.
A lightbox is a box you place your product in, and fill it with light to photograph that product. A lightbox aims to avoid shadows when you photograph your main subject. If you light the scene from all directions, you’ll not see shadows.
How do you achieve this?
You’ll need light coming into your DIY lightbox to your subject from all directions. You can achieve this by bouncing light around the box, and also from light sources shining through and into the box. In the majority of cases, light sources shine into the box from the outside. However, you’ll also see a box that uses reflected light to achieve the same result.
The light source you use will depend on what you have available. It’s possible to use strong spotlights to create the light for your DIY lightbox.
Using strobes triggered remotely is a better option, however, these emit a strong burst of light that will light up everything in your lightbox. When using a strobe, it’s even more important to soften the light by bouncing it.
This is the classic form for a lightbox. In this method, you’ll be creating windows in a cardboard box and then covering those with paper. In effect, you’re creating softbox-like panels around the outside of your box.
This is an alternative and is arguably even easier to make. The results are similar, but you’ll need to make a larger box. The increased size can be an advantage as it will allow you to photograph those larger objects.
Now that your lightbox is ready, you’ll want to put it to good use. When photographing with it, ensure that your main subject is not too large. There should be a few centimeters clearance around your object, so when you focus on it, the background is your backdrop.
Good objects to photograph are still-life objects like ceramics, or perhaps a homemade quilting product! Lightboxes can also be ideal for food, though you’ll likely need to replace the backdrop paper afterward.
The default color for your backdrop paper is going to be white. White looks clean, and you’ll also be able to post-process your image more easily, potentially cutting it out and putting it in a new image.
The next best backdrop to use is black. The neutrality of black can work well for a minimalist feel. Then beyond that, you can experiment with any color you feel compliments the product you happen to be photographing.
A still-life project is a perfect thing to do when you’re stuck indoors; however, getting the materials may require a trip to the shops for most.
Have you tried your hand at making photography equipment before? If so, what have you made, and how did it benefit your photography? Did you ever try making a DIY lightbox of your own? If you’ve got examples of photographs taken with a lightbox, we’d love to see them! As always, leave your thoughts and photos in the comments section below.