Friday, November 9, 2012

My Homemade Light box!

Hey, guys! So for the past few months, my photos have all been taken the same way. I open the blinds to let natural light in, hold my hand up in front of a wall, and snap a picture with my trusty camera. Now that's all fine and dandy in the summer, when there's plenty of natural light for me to take advantage of, but now that it gets dark out at who-knows-how-early, I'm finding it harder and harder to get my photos in before the sun is gone and I have to rely on flash (eek).

So I needed a solution, fast. My camera is extremely touchy and if it doesn't have PERFECT lighting, the shutter speed slows down and my pictures come out blurry. I found the perfect way to fix my problem:
this light box tutorial by Chalkboard Nails.

For all of you out there that don't know what a light box is (AKA me until I stumbled upon this tutorial), it's basically a simple box that allows light in for nice clean pictures. I looked up some actual light boxes online, and they are by no means cheap, so I knew that I'd actually have to get off my lazy butt and make something myself if I wanted a nice light box. I gathered my supplies and went to work.

The building of the box was pretty easy- by far, the hardest part for me was finding the right sized cardboard box. I'm not going to go through all the steps (Sarah at Chalkboard Nails explains it way better than I'll ever be able to), but I think you can see the basic idea from the picture below.

Here's my finished box! I was a bit lazy and never cut off two of the side flaps, but I figure that I'll get to it eventually. I also need to cut off the sides of the actual box and put tissue paper over them as well, but I was really hurrying to get this done and skipped that step.

What do you think of my picture quality? I'm really shocked with the difference between this and the photos I took just a couple weeks ago.

I definitely need to work on hand positions and angles. I usually stick my arm through the legs of my tripod to make sure my hand is straight up in my pictures (if that makes any sense) but my tripod's too tall to use with the light box so I had to improvise. I propped the camera up on some books and had to put my hand in from the side and tilt it. I also had some funky shadows (in the lower right corner) and I need to learn to angle my hand so that it doesn't happen.

I was having so much fun that I couldn't just take one picture. So I took out some pretty polishes and took pictures of them in the light box too.

And I'm guessing I should explain the nail design, too. So I'm a pretty big geek, and I love Roman related stuff. The mythology is so fascinating and the Latin language is really amazing. I created these for a Roman-themed art contest.

The first nail is based off of Jupiter (Zeus), who I represented with his symbol, lightning.

The second nail is Neptune's (Poseidon's) trident. It looks a bit like a cactus, but hopefully no one cares too much.

The third one is my accent nail, which is supposed to be a Roman-style column. I tried this one three or four times and kept messing up, so I know it could be better, but this is really all I had the time (and patience) to do.

The last nail was the one I had trouble coming up with a concept for. I wanted it to be based off of Pluto (Hades), but I couldn't think of a simple, easily recognizable symbol for him. I eventually settled on fire and bones, but I'm not too happy with how they came out.

What do you all think about the light box idea? Would you try it out yourself? Post your opinions in the comments! If you want to see more of my posts in the future, don't forget to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter.


  1. The light box is the greatest invention ever.. LOL :D I love your nails!! <3

    1. It IS the greatest invention, haha! Thanks, Patricia! :)

  2. I tried to make my own light box and also tried to order a cheap one too but I haven't really had much luck with ether :( I think I probably need to get a new lamp / experiment with where it's placed? I'm getting weird shadows. Yours looks great though! Nice even white light

    1. I definitely had to expiriment with the lighting and angles a bit. I'm getting some odd shadows too- it's not just you! :) Thanks for reading.


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