Since acquiring my Nikon D80 Digital SLR, I’ve been spending more and more time reading and researching about how to best exploit it’s capabilities and improve my shooting skills. As a result of this effort I’ve found a wonderful resource on lighting with small off camera flashes over at Strobist. I stumbled across them when I was searching for a cheap way to build my own “light box” for shooting small(ish) objects with great studio lighting. That’s how I found this article on creating a $10 macro photo studio.
Even as cheap as it was, I wasn’t sufficiently motivated to get the parts together to build it as it would require a couple trips to crafts stores etc. Then it occurred to me, I already have most, if not all of the materials to build this just sitting around the apartment!
My base was a cardboard box originally used to carry two 2.5 gallon Arrowhead water bottles, it’s almost EXACTLY a 12” cube. Then, lacking tissue paper, I needed some sort of diffuser. I then realized I have plenty of white kitchen trash bags which are sufficiently translucent. After hacking up the box, and putting in the plastic windows all I needed was a backdrop. An old poster that had been rolled up and forgotten about in a closet for years was a perfect candidate after some cutting. So here, in all it’s glory is my free light box!
The poster I used for a backdrop was a teensy bit wrinkled, and was a bit more reflective than I’d like but it’ll do for free!
I’d actually like to build something similar to this, but a bit (maybe a lot) larger to accommodate bigger items and allow more flexibility as far as the angle of the shot. Right now I feel like I’m pretty much required to have the camera pointing straight into the box and I can’t shoot anything that fills more than 1/3 or so of the box.
You can take a look at a few of the shots I took with it over here.