tutorial tuesday with ashley

Ashley at Ramblings & Photos has changed her texture Tuesday to Tutorial Tuesday (in conjunction with Branson @ My Reflection of Something) with the idea of sharing a photographic lesson - either with camera or processing.  This week the 'lesson' was in building your own lightbox and taking photos using it.  Since this is something I've been meaning to do for a year or so (!), this was the perfect challenge.

Directions and execution of the box are simple, figuring out the lighting using just what's around the house, not so much.  The easiest place turned out to be my office desk because it had the most light without having to move every lamp in the house.  Here's the set up I ended up with.

There's tissue paper taped on the outside of both sides and the top and I used the matte side of freezer paper for my "roll".  This seems to work well and it's all stuff I already had on hand.  I moved the heads of the big floor lamp on the right so it pointed in the box but didn't have a balancing light on the right (I later moved in a bedroom lamp, laid on it's side to direct light in from the left).

Here's my SOOC shots:

 Evenly lit but the highlight is the ceiling light & there's even some window reflection in there....note to self, be careful when shooting reflective things.
A very gray background though very even in tone, would be easy to lighten the background.

 The light is too bright on the left so moved a piece of paper in front of the light til the hot spot went away.

 Better - and pretty evenly lit with only slight shadows, plenty of detail.

A pretty shot but again, gray background - I like the seamless look, but I need to figure out how to light the back of the box better to reduce the gray.

Here's the edited version of my teapot closeup - was able to make the background much brighter though I'll be doing more lighting experimentation so I don't have to do so much processing...  Thanks to Ashley for making my try this project that has been on my mental to-do list for ages!

See more lightbox shots at her link party on Tuesday.


  1. I've never had a digital camera good enough to need a light box. I dream of having one sometime soon, but for now, it's still just a dream. I used to have a Nikon SLR and a Konica. Both had several lenses and many filters. I even had a darkroom that was for B & W, but I had a friend who had a color darkroom and all the filters and gels. Now I dream of those days, if for nothing more than a good photo shoot: one that was in focus with various focal points.

    I really like your light box and I love the idea that you have created this from items you found around the house. That's a great skill.

    I also was recently at Julie Fei Fan Balzer's blog and saw your organization tips. I couldn't agree more. I think you have inspired me to do some organizing of my main floor craft space. After all, the basement is in good shape. Now it's time to trim the fat in the smaller room. Thanks for that inspiring post on storing paper.

  2. I love your photographic alterations and experiments! Valerie

  3. Great idea to use freezer paper. I actually have a roll of that in the creative space! You've pushed me to build my own. Thanks! :-)

  4. This is the best lightbox I've seen! I have seen (and tried) ones with solid sides, but the tissue paper makes so much more sense. The ones with solid walls was too dark. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. These turned out great! I learned the same lesson about reflective objects! It is fun to play around and really learn lighting angles with this!


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