DIY Lightbox v1.1

Some changes to the setup of the light box I mentioned in my previous entry.

  1. Found myself a long piece of white paper which I put on top of the fluorescent light tube. This is to reflect any stray light going out from the top of the tube back down into the box.
  2. Used the camera pop up flash with -4/3 EV compensation.
  3. Used my Sigma 18-200mm OS for all the following shots. I know la its not a macro lens but I needed more space to work with.
  4. Found myself a piece of glass!

You can use any flat piece of transparent glass or plastic. The easiest way to obtain one would be to use one from a photo frame. Put it in your box (make sure you wipe it clean of dust first) and place your subject on it and you’re ready to shoot.

To get a clearer reflection of the subject, shoot from a low angle. The lower you get, the stronger the reflection will be. I took my shots with the lens almost parallel to the glass. I believe the physics behind this phenomenon has something to do with the critical angle of the light entering the piece of glass.

However, I’m not too satisfied with the shots. The background is underexposed – it is not completely white but grayish in color. If I were to expose accordingly to the background, the car would be overexposed with harsh reflections from the light. I tried over and over again to emulate the shots of the camera and watch but nothing worked.

I concluded that there was nothing much I can do about it probably due to the high reflective nature of the car as opposed to my camera and watch which was black in color and not very reflective. Hence I can expose the subject correctly while overexposing the background ensuring it is white in color.

I’m still experimenting and finding ways to fix this. At the moment I’m thinking of getting more light sources… but that would cost more money. See how la. Haha.

Update ( 11th July 2008 ): I have been able to achieve a perfectly white background by doing some adjustments on Adobe Photoshop CS3. Refer to a more updated DIY Lightbox entry for results.

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8 thoughts on “DIY Lightbox v1.1

  1. @mindkiller

    Thank you! It would be better if I had some lights to light up the background properly. Then I’ll have a nice complete white background like the photos earlier 🙂

  2. yo bro
    good thing u got urself a glass. i have the same idea too, love some reflections.

    but the glass made the subjects ‘float’
    if u r able to can try on shiny whiteboard (those the use in meetings etc) o not? heheh. me got no resource to try.

    btw i’m petre@lyn

  3. @petre

    Yea, it looks like its floating because of the thickness of the glass. I don’t know if the whiteboard is reflective enough. What I had in mind was either using a piece of tile or those thin pieces of transparency plastic.

  4. @ a@ron

    The car looks like its floating because of the thickness of the glass. The glass is transparent and the reflection is actually from the bottom of the glass. Hence there is an empty space between the car and the reflection creating the floating effect (which is unintentional but I didn’t bother to fix it).

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