Okay, so if you're like me and not a photographer, you're probably asking, "what is a light box". It is built to diffuse light so you get a much clearer picture without glare. You can purchase one but I was so inspired by this great tutorial to make my own. However, I just had one challenge.
Where to store the box when I'm not using it.
My crafting area is small with no place to keep a box like this. Also, I live in an old Victorian home which means I have very little closet space and my basement is not conducive to storing boxes (very damp). So, I looked at the tutorial and decided to create a folding light box. Here's how I made mine.
DIY Folding Light Box
4 pieces of foam board
Packing Tape or Duct Tape
Utility Knife (with sharp razor blade)
Here are the 4 pieces of foam board. Watch for them to go on sale. They were $1.50 each last week at Michael's...total Cost $6.00. I used foam board because it is sturdy and already white so I would not need to paint anything...just cut and assemble.
I don't know if you can read this but these boards have a grid on one side to aid in cutting. Also this side of the board is glossier so I decided to make this the "wrong side"...it would be on the outside of my light box.
Place your cutting mat on a sturdy surface. (You can see mine has been used a lot!)
Using a straight edge (I used a quilting ruler) and your utility knife cut the following pieces.
First: Cut each of your foam boards into squares 22" x 22". (You will have 4 total)
Second: Set one of these foam squares aside....it will be the back of your box and you want it to be solid.
Third: With the remaining 3 squares, you want to cut out an inner 20" x 20" square so that you create a frame (see picture). Now, if your inner square is not perfect, do not fret. What is important is that you are creating the "frame".
You now need to cover your "frames" with tissue paper. (The tissue paper will diffuse the light as it enters your light box). Attach the tissue paper with scotch tape around ALL the edges.
Now it is time to assemble your box.
What you are going to do is first assemble the equivalent of a tri-fold display like this...
Frame Square -- Solid Square -- Frame Square.
Using your packing tape or duct tape you are going to create hinges for this tri-fold portion of your light box between the fame squares and the solid square.
Then set up your light box by setting up your newly created tri-fold and place the 4th frame on top. I tried out the box by putting a light that shines through the top.
Look at how the pictures turned out.
Here is a picture that I took last December without a light box. Although the picture is clear it is awfully harsh.
Now here is a picture of my anthro knock-off vase in the light box. See how clear yet soft it looks?
And, when I'm done taking pictures, I just fold this up and I can easily store it in many places: under the bed, in a closet, on top of a bookcase. Much nicer storage than an actual box.
Also, I want to share that looking around on the internet, it looks as though the best pictures are done with 2-3 lights (one shining in from each side of the box and one from the top). These additional lights create beautiful pictures without shadows.
So make your own light box today. You'll be so glad you did!