In this part of the world I get to enjoy four distinct season and I love that. But as we move towards the end of the year, the days get shorter and it gets dark by 5.00 pm. So why am I bothered about it ? My life doesn't stop. Does it? No. But it affects my Food Photography. I lose the natural light that is quintessential for food photography. Some of you know that I spend my daytime @ work so I usually cook late in the evening. Even in Summer, I don't get to finish my cooking until 8 or so. So what I want to say is I don't have "The Natural Light" even in summer to Click-Click 🙁
The Husband doesn't like me sulking. So he decided to help me set up a Studio for my food photography. Yeah I hear you, he is so sweet. But Vasanth offered this because I helped him to setup his Music Studio in our basement. 😉 Oh boy, we spent more than 1 week to set his studio. It was lots and lots of work. But take it from me, My light box isn't tough to build. 🙂 You don't even need expensive stuffs or any expertise for that. All I would say, Do it Yourself. This light box works like a charm for me and these are some of the food pictures I clicked in my lightbox.
To understand the difference see the pictures below I clicked before I made this LIGHT BOX. Aren't they dull?
Before Light Box:
But still I have a soft corner for these pictures I took in "Day Light". Aren't they beautiful?
What you will need to build your own LIGHTBOX?
Our Expense: $16 + $27 = $43
- Huge Carton [24 x 24 x 24 inch] ( Thank god TH bought a Roland Amplifier. It is huge enough to fit 2 toddlers. Yeah Kids treat it as a play thing and crawl into my Lightbox 🙁 )
- Pairing knife or anything that is sharp enough to cut and easy to handle
- White Cotton fabric or Muslin cloth (I used my brand new white twin sheet/bedspread) - This should cost than less than $6 even if you buy 3 yards from Joann. The cloth that you purchase will decide how the light is going to diffuse through it and create dramatic pictures.
- Measuring Scale or a piece of wood (to draw lines)
- 3 work lamp ( We bought this from Ikea) - $8.99 each . I will definitely recommend this because it is easy to move around and you can change the angles for effective lighting.
- Pen or Pencil
- Cello(phane) tape
- 2 Ikea Lack Side Table (Optional) - $7.99 each or any table in your home where you can fit this lamps and box.
- Daylight bulbs (This is must) - 3 (It will be printed as Daylight on the wrapper, ensure that you buy the right one). We bought ROHS 75 Watt Daylight bulbs which uses only 18 Watt (Update: ROHS 18 Watt bulbs that yields the output of 75 Watt)
- Clips to hold the backdrop
You can always shop for cheaper lamps. TH was happy with these lamps so we bought a little expensive one. Depending on the items you already have the cost will vary and of course it depends where you shop. I personally prefer Ikea for those lamps and table because they are super cheap and reliable. You wouldn't believe I bought a huge wooden chopping board for $10, but that is a different story 🙂
How we Vasanth made it?
- Take a huge carton. Draw a square using the measuring scale or the wooden plank leaving atleast 2-3 inch on each side.
- Using a pairing knife, cut the window ensure that you don't bend the box.
- Repeat the above steps for other sides.
- So now you will have 3 windows, apart from the opening and it will look like this
- Ok, now you might think how to hang the backdrops. We have a solution here 🙂 Do you see a pen in the first pic below (on the left hand side), that is where we will create a small slit (on top) to hang the backdrops. Using a wooden plank or a measuring scale, carefully make a slit using your pairing knife or a bread knife.
- Wrap the box with a piece of cloth. We did not cut it for each window rather we wrapped it like how we wrap a gift to cover 3 windows. Use cello tape stick the fabric to the box. (Glue/stapler didn't work).
- In my case I had to attach the lamps to the table. So place your lamps. Turn on lights, adjust the angles and start clicking pictures.
And here is the slit where you can insert your favorite backdrop, use clips to hold them in place.
Behind the Scene: Vasanth fixing the lights
My cute and sexy Ikea Lack table (Here you can see that these lamps are attached to the table and it can be moved to change the angle of light) . This is set up in a corner of our living room such a way that it doesn't affect our everyday living space.
More pics from my LightBox
Some of you would have guessed that my posts on photography is not gonna end any sooner. Yes, come back and see how you can improvise this light box and take much better pictures. Also we will go through the basics of photography together and make the entire learning experience fun and interesting. Remember If I can do it you can do it too 🙂
Please let me know if you have any questions on this light box or the pictures posted in this blog, Vasanth and I will be happy to answer them.