DIY Lightbox – Do it Yourself Pop-Up Light Tent
Jewelry that I photographed using my first DIY lightbox.
I just built my first DIY lightbox not too long ago to take some pictures of my Etsy jewelery on a white background. You don’t need a lightbox
to shoot on a white background. But I’ve realized since building my first lightbox that it makes setting up small photo shoots a lot faster, and more consistent.
That lightbox was made out of a cardboard box. I used a combination of instructions from DIYPhotography.net, and Digital-Photography-School.com. The results were pretty good, as you can see from the example at the top of this post.
There’s only one problem with this DIY lightbox design…
Photo of a DIY lightbox by Scott.Paterson on flickr
My only problem with this lightbox design is that it takes up a lot of space when it’s not in use. I’ve seen collapsible light tents online, and it seems like that design would fit in my limited space much more easily. But, I hate to spend $50 or more on something I literally just made myself. The collapsible design would be more convenient versus the cardboard box design, but still not worth $50 to me.
Luckily, I just found another tutorial on DIYPhotography.net for a do it yourself collapsible lightbox! I haven’t tried this design just yet b/c I’m out of town, but I plan on replacing my cardboard lightbox as soon as I get home.
Complete instructions are written up on DIYPhotography.net, but here’s the basic idea:
Materials Needed (*If you purchase from one of the links below, I get some pocket change to help keep this site going) -
- A white pop-up laundry hamper
- A white plastic table cloth
- And white poster board
You’ll also need scissors, a Staple Gun, and small pliers.
How to Build a DIY Pop Up Lightbox
The step by step instructions at DIYPhotography.net are clear, and thorough. So instead of repeating them, I’ll just give you the gist of what’s involved in making your lightbox.
The idea is to use the frame of the pop-up laundry bag as a frame for your lightbox. You don’t need the netting of the laundry bag. So you’ll cut that part off, and replace it with the white plastic table cloth. The table cloth will act as a diffuser, keeping the light that enters your lightbox nice and soft.
The poster board will be the white background in your pictures. The instructions at DIYPhotography.net suggest that you staple the poster board in place, but if you want to fold, and unfold the pop-up light tent easily, I recommend not stapling it.
The end result should be great for jewelry photography, macro photography, and food photography. You can swap out the white poster board with any background you like, which makes this lightbox super versatile. And of course, my favorite part is that it folds flat, so I can store it out of the way in a closet, or drawer.
Stay tuned (IE subscribe to Pare and Focus, or follow me on twitter). My next post will be all about choosing the right settings in your camera to get the best results from your DIY lightbox.
- Beautiful Light for 5 Dollars