A homemade light tent

I was tempted to buy a AU$200 light tent off the internet a few days ago, but then came across two tutorials (roughly similar) showing how you can make a light tent at home from a cardboard box.

I won’t go into the instructions here, because I’d just be repeating what Jeffrey Bail (on Digital Photography School) and wdrwilson (Instructables) have said about it. These are just pics of the process.

Jeffrey Bail : http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent

wdrwilson: http://www.instructables.com/id/Super-Simple-Light-Tent/

  • Kris found some brand new cardboard boxes in the dumpster next to a construction site. I used two of them, joined together, to make a square-ish box.
cardboard box
cardboard box
  • Cut windows out of three sides plus the top…
cutting windows
cutting windows
windows done
windows done
  • Painted the insides of the box white, so the light bounces around and shiny things don’t have dark reflections…
painting the inside white
painting the inside white
painted + one window covered
painted + one window covered
  • Cover the top and two side windows with white fabric. I used thin polyester lining material…
covering the windows
covering the windows
PVA glue and push-pins
PVA glue and push-pins
  • Pop a flexible piece of bristol into the box as a continuous (or seamless) background. It has to slope from the front-bottom edge up to the back-top edge.
continuous background
continuous background
  • I just bought three clip-on desk lamps, and three Philips Tornado 20w bulbs (one warm white, two cool daylight). Set lights against the left. right, and top windows. I am going to put a piece of white silk, with a hole cut into it, over the front window as well, and stick my camera lens through it, so my hands or face don’t show up in reflections…
using two cool daylight bulbs, one warm white bulb
using two cool daylight bulbs, one warm white bulb
  • Try it out.

a journalmarbled journal

light bulb

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One thought on “A homemade light tent

  1. Hi Nat, I forgot to tell you years ago that I made just such a tent with a box when I worked up in United Graphics. That was 1997 and the boss got one of the first Prosumer Digital Cameras, a fine Olympus that looked very much like the FujiPix you swapped with me. We had a customer (AVON) who would bring in some new last–minute products for their bi–monthly catalog, and no time for the regular photographers to shoot and supply to our prepress workflow, so I dug up my Kodak books on Studio product photography, taught the young guys in the Creative Department to arrange and shoot nice photos which needed almost no selection to drop backgrounds, and looked cool with drop shadows in PhotoShop. It was fun when it got challenging…when we had green shampoo in a clear plastic bottle and they didn’t want the label on the back to show clearly, I remembered what I learned from Eddie Go (R.I.P.) years and years ago…empty the shampoo and put green gulaman in its place. It had just the right effect…we changed the color a bit in Photoshop, and voila! More power to you, love!

    Like

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