February 19, 2009

Want to get rid of unwanted shadows on your pix ?

To take care of this annoying problem of these unwanted shadows on your pix, build yourself a light box.

Materials Needed:
1.) A Box - It should be as square as possible about 16 x 16 inches. I use mine for beaded jewelry so for that purpose it should be that size to be able to fit in a bust.

2.) Fabric- For my box top I used white muslin fabric that is found at Joanns or any other fabric store. Buy enough to cover the entire box $1.99-$4.00 yard in case you don't want bristol paper to cover the sides later on.

3.) Tape - I used 1 inch masking tape

4.) Glue - You will save yourself a lot of trouble if you use a couple of large glue sticks. Bottled glue is not advisable ( wavy paper )

5.) White Bristol board - Buy 4 sheets or more if it is a bigger box of it at Michaels

6.) Lights - This could be the most expensive part of the box unless you already have the lights. The right lighting is the most important part of this box. Without it you will not get the picture you desire. I went to Lowes store and picked up some “white curly cues. Regular light bulbs will cast a yellow light and should be avoided.
Also suggest a lighting fixture. If you have a one of those desk work lamps, It will work fine. If you don’t I suggest getting a “Clamp On Work Light”.

7.) Miscellaneous Tools - Tape ruler, Ruler or any straight edge,razor, sewing pins

Now I will show you how to make a light tent step by step. When your done you can take nice clean and crisp shots.

Step By Step Process:
A) Take your box with a tape ruler and marker and measure in 2″ from the side of the box marking multiple points with your marker. When your done you will see your border, connect the points using your straight edge to where you should have a nice looking square/rectangle in the middle of the box with a 2″ border around it. Leave the top and bottom of the box alone as you will not need to mark it

B) Cut out the boxes you’ve drawn. Repeat that to the sides of the box where you have drawn the boxes. When you’re done, cut off the top of the box and leave the flaps on the top of the box ( it makes the box more stable). LEAVE THE BOTTOM INTACT!

C) Now you measure each side of the inside of the box and draw these measurements on the Bristol paper. Than you cut out the four squares. Glue each square in each side of the box. Use enough glue stick. Let dry overnight.

D) If you do not want to cover the sides with Bristol paper, just cut cut them out with the razor. The box is now completely white on the inside. I found out that the bristol paper lets in enough light and the sides become more stable. I did not cut out the four sides, just the front.

E) Take another piece of Bristol board and cut is so the width is the same as the inside of the box and the length is much longer then the box.

F) Place the long piece of Bristol board into the box to where the piece curves to the bottom. Avoid creasing as it will show up in your photo. Cut off excess paper that is sticking out the top.

G)Now fold over the flaps on the top of the box to the outside and glue it down with glue sticks. You might need to clamp it, but usually if you hold the flaps down for a couple of minutes, they will adhire to the box. Let the glue cure for two hours, for maximum stabillity. Cover the top of the box with muslin, stretch till it is taught, and pin it to the bottom of the flaps.


Now all you got to do is light the top of the box and start snapping away!

There are many variations you can do to get the photo you want. If you’re having a shadow problem I suggest lighting the other sides of the box. If you have a tripod thats fine, but if you have calm hands than you can do without the tripod.

Stick camera into the box

The Light box in action

To see more results of an inexpensive light box visit http://www.beadedjewels.biz/ and notice the clarity of detail even in the thumbnails

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