Saturday, February 23, 2008

Homemade Light Box: Refined!

This blog records my process of creating art jewelry,with adventures, examples, and techniques! Not to mention creative inspiration! Click on the images to enlarge.

OK, here's my new improved light box. I designed it specifically to help me take good photos of my pieces with glass that seem dull photographed the ordinary way.

As noted in the previous post, the sides are cut from Wondermat tiles (see Resources on right - you get 4 tiles for $7.00) although in this version in addition to cutting a 9-inch square out of each center, I've also cut the groovies off one edge of each tile. This allows the light box to be bottomless, so it can sit on my rippled glass patio table and I can take advantage of reflected light from below. Note: The diffuser inserts are cut from translucent notebook covers.

This model also has only two sides instead of three, because I've found I don't need a back, really. Especially since my patio table is round. Because of this, it's sensible to have the light box footprint to be in the shape of a pizza slice. If this makes sense!

Sometimes I want a panel on the top of the box, sometimes I don't. (If I shoot a top view, no panel. If a shot from the front, then a panel on top with a light shining in through there.) I want this top panel to just sit on top so it's easy to remove as I'm taking photos. Therefore the little triangle half-frame as a shelf and to give the box added stability.

Voila! Now how do I use this? I've been using two lights but I really need three - one to shine from each side and one to shine through the top. I'm using the natural spectrum lamps I also use to light up my work table. I'll see if I can find another lamp on sale somewhere. You can use any lamps as long as they are all the same kind of bulb (tungsten, fluorescent, halogen or "natural spectrum").

I also use a stool or tray that sits below the patio table 6 or 9 inches below its surface. On top of the stool I can put any kind of pretty paper that complements my jewelry. The light shines through the top of the table and reflects back with a kind of pretty, watery, colorful effect, and shines through my glass beads a bit from underneath. If you try this, practice with the lights so you don't get glare shining off the surface of the glass. Just move them around until you get the jewelry and the reflections just right.

Go ahead, give this kind of thing a try! It works the best with all silver jewelry and with glass that needs a bit of a light boost or looks dull on regular white paper.

1 comment:

Brandi said...

THIS is fabulous!! Again, would you be interested in sharing this on the Team Blog? I think it would be so helpful, and so many people would love to make their own lightboxes (we're DIYers, after all!). How about turning it into a tutorial? What do you say? :D