One of my hobbies is photography, and my big Christmas gift last year was a digital SLR camera. I LOVE it, and I'm continuing to learn how to use it. One thing that has frustrated me is the poor lighting in my kitchen- and I have prolifically been taking pictures of various meals I cook, as I try new recipes, and they too-often turn out yellow, dim, or out of focus thanks to my refusal to use flash to wash out the picture.
That said, I've seen instructions online to make a "light box" out of cardboard and paper. The idea is to make a mini-studio to evenly light the small object in question and give a nice even light and background. I finally decided to give it a try- especially since I launched a new food blog this week, and I really want to improve my food photography on the dedicated blog.
I started with a box. This is the box incidentally, our new laptop came in this week. I was told I was allowed to use it provided I cut off the UPC so my husband could send the rebate in. Once I had the box, I had to cut holes in the sides for the light to come in. I really should have used a utility knife, but the scissors were handier, so I started (and finished) with those, but it wasn't easy. I really should have went to find the utility knife.
Anyway, Then I was left with a box-with-holes. I went to find some appropriate paper to cover the holes, to evenly diffuse the light on the way into the box, making for a nice, even light on the object in the center of the box. A posterboard provides the background for the picture, curved along the back, to avoid a harsh corner or shadow. The posterboard also reflects light up, helping with the even lighting.
I'll admit, what resulted wasn't pretty. I didn't really have the right materials, but I wanted to give it a first-try, and I did. I wasn't really going for 'pretty' I was going for 'utilitarian'. And, when I stuck the first thing I saw in the box to see if it worked, I was pleased.
This is a snowglobe/musicbox from Josh, given to me early on when we were dating.
This is my "Make It From Scratch" carnival picture :) and the next picture gives you an idea of how the box works:
It really should have more light around it. I could probably go find another spotlight/desklamp to make it even brighter. Ideally, it woudl have an external flash next to the side, but I haven't invested in one of those yet. I'm still learning.
In the end, I started taking pictures for my new blog's banner. The new blog is called Sunflowers in my Kitchen (Did I mention I love sunflowers?) Which of these do you like best? Or do you have other ideas?
I look forward to doing cool food and other photography in the future in this box, and maybe making it a bit sturdier as well. Other variations include using different colored posterboard for backgrounds, or covering up a side of the box to get light to come from only one direction. All in all, a pretty cool project. I'm pleased. I was determined to not cook something for this week's Make It From Scratch, and I succeeded!