About a month ago one of my clients asked me to photograph some of his products for his online store, now I had the right camera at my disposal, however I did not have a lightbox I could use. So I went online and Googled around only to find out that a professional lightbox costs around $200! So I searched for a homemade lightbox and to my amazement, there are tons of ways to create your own lightbox.
One that caught my attention was a post by Bill Huber at www.pbase.com. I actually printed the image he posted and took it with me to the hardware store so it’ll help me find what I’m looking for. On his post he mentioned that you needed to get a 1/2 pvc pipe and 1/2 tees ,street elbows, and caps. When I got to the hardware store I found out that there was a discrepancy on one of his measurements.
I learned that a 1/2 pvc pipe will not insert into a 1/2 tee, street elbow, or cap, simply because they are the same size. You would need to have one size bigger than the other. So I tried the 3/4 tee and low and behold the pvc pipe slid right in! Here is a list of what I bought:
2 – 1/2 @ 23 inches. PVC pipe
2 – 1/2 @ 16 inches. PVC pipe
2 – 1/2 @ 14 inches. PVC pipe
4 – 3/4 PVC Tees
4 – 3/4 PVC Street Elbows
4 – 3/4 PVC Caps
2 – workshop lights
2 – 20 watt fluorescent bulbs
I believe my total came out to about $15.00. After the hardware store I passed by a local hobby store and picked up a poster board that will serve as a backdrop for my lightbox. I bought this glossy-type poster board called Write-on/Wipe-off Poster Board.
On Bill Huber’s post he also mentioned gluing the pvc pipes together, I decided not to glue mine together because I knew I would need to transport the lightbox to my client’s location.
And lastly here are some sample shots I made using the lightbox. Please note that in order to achieve a true white background effect, you will need to change your camera’s apperture / shutter speed / ISO settings. These pictures have a slight blue tint because I didn’t take the time to adjust the settings, but with the right combination you should be able to achieve a white background effect. Or you can be lazy and just edit the images in Photoshop and adjust the levels!
Well I hope you found this post helpful, there are many other ways to make your own lightbox but I found this one fairly simple.