Thursday, 26 March 2009

Light Box for Peanuts

PeanutHaha I'm funny, err yes well... I really have built a light box for peanuts inspired a while ago by Nick's tent. Although I have used it to take a peanut (right) it's built out of nothing more than stuff I had in the house already.

Aside from making it for next to nothing, I also wanted to allow it collapse so I don't have to store a huge empty box when it's not in use. Here's how I went about it, you'll be needing:

Light Box
Light Box
Light Box

  • For the box:
    • 1 cardboard box (say about 12"x18" but that can vary depending on your use)
    • 3 sheets of light diffuser (I used greaseproof paper, but tracing paper or white material will do nicely).
    • Velcro (just a short length, say 6")
    • A spine bar (long plastic paper binder thing)
    • Sticky tape

  • Tools:
    • Scissors
    • Craft knife

  • Camera Kit:
    • Camera and subject (D'uh)
    • Tripod
    • 2 or 3 lamps

Now it's time to get all Blue Peter...

Cut the box open at both ends. Seal one end back up again with a few little strips of velcro, leaving the other side open. I stuck packing tape onto the box first as the sticky velcro fixes better to that than cardboard. This will allow the finished box to collapse flat for storage. You should now have a box with a single opening so cut off any of the remaining flaps as you see fit, I just removed the top one and left the other three in place.

Cut three large holes, one on each side and one on the top, leaving a small border of about half an inch or so to fix to. Cut three sheets of your light diffuser about half an inch bigger than the holes in the box. Fix these over each hole with sticky tape.

I fixed a spine bar at the top back of the box. This will grip any sheets of paper/material you wish to use as a background to the photos you take in the box. So far though, as in the pictures above, I've found a simple sheet of white paper on the bottom has worked for the small objects I've taken (such as the peanut above). For best results, don't forget to white balance against your sheet of paper first.

Here's the velcro doing its job:

And the spine bar:

1 comment:

Nick O'Leary said...

Nice method of collapsing the box. That's something I need to retro fit to mine as it's currently taking up far too much space in the spare room.