Not your average light box

9:28 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
If any of you have been following me on twitter, you'll know that I've been experimenting with light boxes. I looked at some of the DIY light box tutorials from the etsy forums, and decided I wanted to make something a little sturdier, if for no other reason than the cats would shred a cardboard light box in minutes. I heard someone mention (they didn't link to a tutorial) a PVC pipe light box, which sounded good to me. And I know my dad has experience working with PVC pipe, for his fishtank. (It's a 1000 gallon tank - but that's a story for another time.) So I decided to ask him for his help. He's also an engineer (born problem-solver) and knows a lot about photography.

So we bought some supplies at a hardware store - clamp lights, daylight bulbs, the PVC pipe, and the little PVC fittings (for corners and intersections). Dad showed me to use the PVC cutter, and we got to cutting. Then we started putting the pieces together. At this point it became apparent that we had different concepts in our heads. I was picturing a PVC cube draped with white fabric. He was picturing something close to a cube, but with no fabric. Now, all the tutorials I had seen had fabric or tissue/tracing paper over the sides, in front of the lights. But I actually found (and I shouldn't have been surprised) that my dad was right - it was better without the fabric in front of the lamps. We tried covering the lamps with tissue paper, and that did nothing to diffuse the shadows, it only lost us some light.

Anyway, I ended up with something that worked quite well. Here's a picture of the setup, if you're having trouble imagining it. And a few pictures from the shoot - I'm quite happy with them!


Kate8085 said...

Wow! Those photos look awesome!!
Maybe I need to remove my paper...
So great that your dad helped you with
all of this.