I live in Washington state. If there’s one thing you should know about my lovely green state, it’s the fact that it’s in the Pacific Northwest in the upper left hand corner of the United States. And if there’s anything you should already know about this geographical location, it’s the fact that we have no daylight from November through February. Or, at least, that there’s a minimal window of daylight to work with; From 5:30 am until 4:30 pm most days we get a glimpse of the sun. From about 11 am until about 3 pm is prime for photography lighting in the winter months.
I just can’t work within that schedule, so I looked up how to make my own light box. Here’s a list of my ingredients…
- 2 Tidy Cats kitty litter boxes
- duct tape
- tin foil
- tracing paper (but you can use wax paper or parchment)
- kraft paper (some people use poster board)
- box knife
- sharpie (for marking where I want the cut outs)
I needed a box that could fit easily on my cutting table, but be easily movable and the Tidy Cat boxes seemed to be the right depth and height, just not the right width. So, my idea was to cut open a side on each one, overlap them and tape it all together. Then I needed openings on the sides with light diffuser panels for the light to come in but not be too harsh. Tracing paper taped over large cut outs worked very well. Then I needed something to reflect light down onto the item being photographed. That’s where the tin foil comes in. I just taped a piece to the inside top of the box, shiny side down. Last thing, a backdrop. My signature colors are kraft paper brown, teal, creamy white and charcoal gray. What better neutral background to use than kraft paper?
Isn’t it awesome!? And doesn’t it take great photos…
I couldn’t have made it without my wonderful 14 year old son, Robert. I put him to the task with some simple instructions and he managed the project like a pro. He did all the cutting and assembling. I just added the backdrop and the tin foil. I’m sure you want to hire him to make yours now, right? lol.
For lighting, I have a sun lamp, a 300 watt flood light and a 75 watt focus clip light. The above pic was taken with the flood light on the right and the clip light on the left. I barely had to touch this photo in Camera Raw. Did I say I love my lightbox? Because I do.
Oh and before I go, I wanted to mention that this project cost $0. Yup, nothing. Everything I already had. BTW the backside of that kraft paper looks like hell, it was just going to be thrown away. So, no money was spent in the making of this box.
Have a great day!