Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Light Up Your Life

By Cyn Gagen

Unfortunately, I’m having a ton of problems with migraines lately, and as such, I wasn’t able to make it to last night’s In the Zone.  I hear it was a wonderful show and I can’t wait to watch the playback of it. http://www.linqto.com/PlaybackRoom.aspx?roomname=creativeedventures&name=SingleExplicit_2011_06_06_20_00_59_739  Below is what I would have shared with all of you if I had been able to be there.

Living in Canada, there are often times particularly in winter where there simply isn’t enough natural daylight coming in to light up photographs of my creations well enough.  This is where a lightbox can come in handy.

The basic supplies you need are:  a cardboard box, a sharp craft knife, tape, plain white tissue paper, and a piece of plain white Bristol board.  I also found it helpful to have a pencil, ruler, and a pair of scissors on hand.


Basically I found a box that was an appropriate size for most of the photography that I do (of my artwork) but also was appropriately sized for storage purposes as well.  The box I used didn’t have top flaps but if yours does, you need to cut those off.  Lay the box on its side so that the opening is facing you.  You need to cut a rectangle out of what is now the top of the lightbox as well as the right and left sides.  I left a bit of a “frame” around the edges of about an inch so that I would have a base to attach the tape to. 

I cut pieces of tissue paper (a single layer) to fit each of the rectangles I had cut out on the top and two sides of the box.  I taped those to the respective sides trying to lay them out as flat as possible.  Then I cut a piece of Bristol board so that it would fit inside the box and gently curve out and extend past the edge of the box to form a surface and backdrop for the item being photographed.  (see the photos)  I secured the top edge of the Bristol board inside the box at the top edge of the box (for obvious reasons you don’t want it to cover the tissue paper opening at the top of the lightbox). 


Taken without the use of the lightbox

That’s it!  I have read that some people have experimented with adding additional layers of tissue paper to the box as needed because they found that one layer was too thin to provide them with the lighting they desired.


Taken with the use of the lightbox

For the lighting, I purchased two clip on lamps – I felt that this would be the most versatile type to buy as then I could attach them to whatever surface I was using for the lightbox.  Then I bought some daylight bulbs for the lamps – the ones that give good clean light such as Ottlites.  Generally, I place these lights on either side of the box so that they are shining through the side panels of tissue paper but you may find that depending on the light already in your room and what you are trying to light that you may wish to add or change the lighting so that some is coming through the top or from the front.

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