Light boxes and Photo booths

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by wickiup, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. wickiup

    wickiup Guest


    I'm not sure where to ask this to get started on a dialog of sorts.
    I have a project requiring some good lighting for photographing
    valuables and of various types but none larger than a large platter.
    The other item is a portrate booth of sorts.

    Had hoped to fabricate something using movable lighting to bet serive
    each situation. Have tinkered with various flourescent lights in
    different ranges but not sure if they will be suitable in the finished

    Any ideas, advice, info sources and/or experiences you wish to share
    will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you

    wickiup, Jan 27, 2006
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  2. wickiup

    Mike Russell Guest

    Here is Collins's excellent reference on homemade lighting equipment.
    Mike Russell, Jan 27, 2006
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  3. wickiup

    Hunt Guest


    You might get some good ideas from the photo NG's.

    I'll start you off, however with a few. First, I'd go with "hot" lights, i.e.
    tungsten. You can do it as simply as getting a small handful of "work" lights
    from a hardware store. These will be around 3200K, which is easy to adjust for
    with either film, or WB in digital. These will not be photo floods, quite, and
    might be slightly off in color, but close. Also, they are not anywhere near as
    expensive. US$100 should get you about 3 with simple stands.

    Go to a drafting supply/blueprint house, or art store, and get a roll of
    Herculene, or other drafting medium - translucent white with a "frost." on one
    side. Build some simple wooden frames, sized to the drafting medium and paint
    them white. Cover with the medium. Use these as diffusers and adjust their
    distance from both the subject and the lights.

    A sheet of white Formica, or similar laminate, will do nicely as a background,
    or you could use seamless paper.

    Pretty much an instant studio. For a bit more portability, Calumet Photo (www has several different sets of PVC pipe frames, with
    diffusion/reflection cloth, that clips onto them. These fold up neatly, for
    transport. They also offer hot lights from mfgrs such as Lowell, but the price
    adds up quickly.

    There are also several "instant" studios sold, but I have not used any. One
    such is:

    Hunt, Jan 27, 2006
  4. wickiup

    hoffmann Guest

    hoffmann, Jan 27, 2006
  5. wickiup

    KatWoman Guest

    1. hire a photographer
    2. do not use fluorescent for shooting anything! do not use built in flash
    3. buy a ready made tent for products on eBay*, try and use daylight, it's
    cheap and free, or try the fixed quartz lights, (easier to see what's going
    on, cheaper than buying a strobe.)
    4. read the tutorials you have been recommended and ask in a photo/camera

    *if you are the handy type you can make one yourself with white shower
    curtains, for more upscale and portable, try pop-out scrims, a few clamps
    and stands
    for very small items make sure you have a camera with macro capabilities
    KatWoman, Jan 28, 2006
  6. wickiup

    Jon Danniken Guest

    Here is a page showing a simple light box made from readily available parts:

    Jon Danniken, Jan 29, 2006
  7. wickiup

    Hunt Guest

    [SNIP other good thoughts]

    I *SOMETIMES* find that allowing a client to attempt a project first, helps in
    the education process. So long as they don't end up expecting the hired
    photographer to try and use their results as part of the project. Usually,
    when confronted with the prospect of building/buying all of the "stuff"
    needed, they relent and just hire someone, who already has it all, rather than
    re-invent the wheel - BUT not always :) Anyway, #1 is a very, very good
    starting point on a product-photo.

    Hunt, Jan 29, 2006
  8. wickiup

    wickiup Guest

    A very hearty thank you to all who chipped in here!

    I have chased down some of the hardware and arrived at some costs and
    practicle solutions.
    Building the equipment is an integral part of the project for me and is
    hopefully within my capabilities.

    The 3200 K number seems to be one of the constants whether in an 8
    dollar bulb or a 27 dollare bulb.

    Again, Thanks All

    wickiup, Feb 4, 2006
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