Friday, March 15, 2013

Light Box

I have been working on several things this past week and a half or so!  The art room is now just looking like a disaster instead of a major disaster, so that's taking shape! haha  And I have been working on creating a light box in which to take more professional looking photos for things I want to post on, 
my shop to sell my creations!  And no, I don't have any items listed right now, so wait until I get some pictures taken and items listed before you go there :)  BUT, when I tell you items are there, GO THERE and buy something!!! hehehe  So the light box is what I'd like to talk of today!

I have tried to take pictures over and over and over again with multitudes of different types of cameras and the pictures turn out to be distant and not clear as to what is painted on them.  I listed things on etsy and did not have great success but did try to blame it on the recession instead of my lack of picture taking skills and salesmanship! I am an avid online reader!  If I have a problem, I will search out help and look through hundreds of webpages before I find something that actually works.  I'm like a blood hound who won't give up!  This time, I didn't find one particular thing that worked for me, so I kind of made up my own!  :) hehe  So, if you are one who loves to do DIY projects, this will definitely be exciting for you!  It was very exciting for me to create! 

Step 1:  Find a box that is big enough for most of the things you need to take pictures of.  We can create a larger box later for the larger things we need to take pictures of, but I haven't yet worked those steps out yet, so that will come in the future!

The box I found was my kitty litter box!  No, not the box that actually had kitty litter in it, although I would imagine if you cleaned it out so no dust existed in it, you could use that if it were big enough! haha!  We buy Fresh Step clumping kitty litter that has two boxes contained in one big box!  So that's what I chose to make the light box out of.

Step 2:  Open the box so it lays flat. And Step 3:  Paint inside of the box with white paint.  This paint must be a flat paint, not gloss, and can be either indoor house paint or art paints of some kind. I used acrylic paint.

 Step 4:  The box has to have an open end on it which is how you will take the pictures.  This means you are going to have to cut off one of the flaps.  Save it though, because we're going to use it later!

Step 5:  Now we're going to cut the little flap on the other end off to get it out of the way!

Step 6:  It is time to tape this puppy up!  I'm using painter's masking tape because it is all I have in the house!  You could use a white duct tape which would most likely work better, but since I have to travel about 30 miles round trip to get some, I'm just going to use the blue tape!  Yes, I live in Hicksville, USA and have to drive far to get to a store!  Just make sure no tape goes onto the white paint.

Step 7:  Now slide the extra large flap you cut off over the the folded flaps that was the bottom of the box which looks yucky instead of smooth.  If you lay your box down, it will be the bottom of the box where your camera may sit if you're talented (I'm not, so I have to set it on the table hehe), or it can be the backdrop of your box if you set it up in a different direction, which I did here.

Step 8:  Now, the inside can be used as is, but there may be a couple of slits that you can see through because of the way the box is made and the holes for carrying the box when it was a cat litter carrier, so we want to cover those up.  So here is a couple of ideas:

a.  You can either get white poster board and cut it to shape and have it a solid piece that goes around the box on the inside (you don't want the lines of different sheets of paper showing in your pictures. Sorry, no pictures of this because, again, I would have to drive to get poster board and I'm too lazy!).

b.  You could also get some cheese cloth and cut it so it drapes from the top of the box down to the bottom of the box (you probably would need six sheets cut if it is the thinner stuff I have and I kept it doubled so the slits wouldn't show through, and I put a couple of sheets on the bottom of the box as well.  You will want to take a few pictures of items to sell with this treatment on to make sure it doesn't wash out your item.  It gives a wispy or vapory look.  Check out the picture below.

c.  Keep the cheese cloth in place and use a scarf or a runner to change the look or bring out certain colors in the piece.

Step 9:  You have to come up with a way to light the box.  What I did was take an old lamp, broke the bottom off of it to use the cord and bulb socket.  Again, I did this because I had a lamp laying around that was so ugly that I knew I'd never use it again, but also, you guessed it, I didn't feel like driving to get an auto fixing light or something! haha!

I then had a wreath holder for when I sold wreaths at art fairs.  So I hooked the light on the wreath holder and put it above the box.  The light caused a bit of a shadow on the bottom, so I put a couple of layers of wax paper over the top of the box (don't have a picture of this, sorry, but do have one without the wax paper) and that seemed to calm the shadows down.

Ok, so this is a really sucky picture, but you get the point!  I read that you could put the wax paper around the light bulb, but it seemed a bit hot to me, so I chose not to do that and instead lay the layers of wax paper on top of the box instead. 

 So there you have it, my photo box!  I have a lot of pictures to take now, each may have a different background type!  It will be nice to have some pictures that look more professional and not like my cat was standing next to the item waiting to walk in front of the camera!  haha!  I hope this will inspire you to get creative and DIY some projects you thought you couldn't do!  :)

LuAnn Marie
(ignore the piles behind me!  Ok, so now you know, I'm a pile person! haha)

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