How to Make a Light Box

Michelle here with a cool tutorial from Gauche girl Chrissy and a bonus video tutorial from Gauche girl Elina!

Did you check the morning weather report and start cursing in front of the youngins?
Perhaps you’ve shot 100 photos of your latest project and have found that NOT A SINGLE ONE WILL DO?
Wait- don’t Hulk out yet! I HAVE A SOLUTION FOR YOU!!!!
A lightbox.
All the cool kids have ‘em.
Check it:

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

-5 sheets of foam board (20in x 30in)
-Masking tape (do not use duct tape as the heat from the lamp(s) will
melt the adhesive)
-1 Clip on lamp (make sure it can handle 100W light bulbs)
-1 100W light bulb (daylight bulbs work the best)
-Straight edge or ruler
-VERY sharp box cutter (You’ll see in mine that I used a sharp knife
and it still is kind of ragged looking. Hey! Don’t judge me! It has
character!)

And now we’re off! This is really simple in its structure but it does take some fiddling around to attach the pieces to one another.

Step 1:

Attach the top and bottom sides of the box.

When you have the top and bottom sides attached, your box will look like the picture below.

Step 2:

Attack the left and right sides of the box.

When you have both sides attached, your box will look like the picture below.

Step 3:

Now it’s time to trim off the excess foam board from your sides. Using a straight edge or a ruler, draw a guideline from one side to the other.

Next, using your nifty and VERY sharp box cutter, cut along the line. Your box will look all nice and neat like mine below.

Step 4:

I cut notches a few inches deep and several inches long so that I can have my lamp place a bit closer to my project that I am taking pictures of. My notches are 3 inches from the edges and 3 inches deep.

If you do them on both sides, which I do recommend, your box should look similar to mine below.

Step 5:

We are almost done! The final step is to place your lamp. Mine is just slapped on there for the sake of pretty pictures. Wherever you choose to place your lamp is up to you.

Turn on your lamp and VOILA! Your very own professional light box to photograph your Gauche Alchemy creations! Total two-fer!

NOTE: Now if your light gives them a yellow color cast, you will have to color correct your images- this is very easy to do in Photoshop.
But I don’t HAVE Photoshop!!!- you scream- you are turning an alarming shade of green….
Stop!

Do this:
1. Go to http://pixlr.com/editor/ You will need to sign up but it’s TOTALLY FREEEEEEE
2. You can just use some of their instant filters for cool retro photo looks or open up their full scale image editor (which looks JUST LIKE PHOTOSHOP!!!) and use images from your computer or from the web. This thing is freaking amazing!!! Nerd alert! Nerd alert!

As an added bonus, we also have a video tutorial on how to create a lightbox from our own Elina!

Ok GET’S to steppin’!!! NO excuses!!!
Michelle

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6 Responses

  1. OK – I totally love this. I have tried something similar before but I got a very yellow cast – I put this down to not having strong enough lightbulbs? Also – would this work if you used it outside and if so – where would you have to position it in relation to the sun coming in?

    Thanks for any light that can be shed 🙂

  2. Lowri,

    I use my light box in natural sunlight all the time and only use the bulbs on rainy days or at night. It really is up to personal preference as far as sunlight and shadows. I usually try to position my project and box in a position that allows for the least amount of shadows. It does take some trial and error and some experimenting. I will say that I am soooooooo glad I made one though. I have already lost count how many times it’s been a “life saver” when it comes to those last minute photos of a project or something.

  3. The color cast comes from the lightbulb itself even “daylight” ones will look yellow to your camera – using the lightbox in daylight is the solution but if you need to shoot inside try using your camera flash- the light will bounce around in the box and give you a more even exposure- experiment with tissue paper in front of the flash unit to diffuse it a bit more .

  4. it will make such a huge difference to the photos you will take you will be amazed!!! you have to try it out

  5. Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It really helpful & it helped me out much.

    I’m hoping to present one thing again and aid others like you helped me.

  6. […] the Gauche Alchemy blog and written by […]

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