Monday, June 29, 2009

Light Box for Photos

So I've been wanting to get one for the longest time, but the ones that I want are pretty expensive. Plus that fact that I needed and wanted one at this moment didn't help either. So I decided to google a little bit and found some do it yourself constructions and improvised some of the ideas to make my own. See the one that I've made below.

Materials needed:

1. Shoe box or some sort of cardboard box. Needs to be sturdy.

2. Bright white paper or white cloth.

3. Sharp knife.

4. Ruler

5. Pencil or pen

6. packing tape (the clear ones)


  1. To start, I measured about 1 inch from all borders to create sort of a window on the two sides and top of the box.

  2. Once the measurements are done, place the ruler down and draw out the lines and then examine.

  3. Use the knife and ruler to cut out the windows.

  4. Place the bright white paper along the inside of the box. Why the inside you say? Well, if you put the white paper on the outside, the inside will still be brown cardboard and the light will not be effective. The paper inside creates white walls allong the bottom sides and top. With finishing off the bottom and back drop, the white interior will allow the rays of light to bounce around and illuminate the interior of the box more.

  5. Tape all the edges of the exterior of the box to create a sturdier box. This will also help prevent any light leaking out rather than bounce around inside where your object of interest is.

  6. Print out a background image that is white gradually fading into a different color using a gradient tool on illustrator. (can also be found online if you look for it). Experiment with different colors, they all give the model a different look.
That's it, you should be done with the box and all you need now is a camera (hopefully mounted so it won't move), an object of interest you want to photograph, and lighting. Lighting is key here. I usually 1 daylamp above the box so the light comes through the top window, and two smaller ones on either side. Once in awhile I will put only one on the side and a smaller light source in the interior of the photo box but out of camera view. This creates a shot with more depth with high contrast due to light being directly on the source versus being spread by the white back drop. Not the best photo booth that could be made, but it serves its purpose for me.

Hope this helps and have fun taking some photos of your beautifully painted pieces. I hope you can send me some samples or photos taken using a photo box/booth. Cheers.


Elazar The Glorified said...

Awesome tutorial, very simple. Can't wait to give it a go myself. Always wanted to do a lightbox for taking pics of my minis but wasn't sure where to start. Thanks!

Emperors said...
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Daughters of the Emperor said...

Great Tutorial! I had considered making a light box for quite a while instead i just broke down and bought one.
But seriously a light box is the way to go when taking pictures of miniatures.

EmperorsWrath said...

How about posting some pictures taken with the lightbox?

MiCho said...

emperorswrath- the photos of the blood angels squad is taken with the light box. I will post up some more photos soon.

Thanks for the comments, and please do try it. It is a cost effective way for great photos.

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Brent said...

This is a really good idea - I'm going to steal it!

It worked - pictures you posted after came out just fine.