Thursday, April 24, 2008

'Don't do exactly what I do'

I have been keeping myself busy with some photography stuff. My lightbox project went alright I guess… as in not as well as I hoped it would be. For starters, the box I got wasn’t as big as the example. And without the proper lights and a decent SLR camera, my shots still kinda lack that elusive ‘wow’ factor.

Here’s where I based my little handicraft on. If there’s anyone reading this and wanna do his own lightbox, please follow that example and don't do exactly what I do. Here's another link to an interesting piece on cheap homemade lighting. I was actually watching last week’s American Idol while cutting up the box with a pair of scissors. Use a penknife, it’s way easier on the finger!

I have since replaced the sides with a translucent material (the kind you find when you buy huge electronic products) instead of regular photocopy paper. It lets more light in. Here are the untouched, raw results. As you can tell the lighting isn't as good as it should be.

With only one light source, it's tough getting the right lighting conditions. Using the camera flash leads to overexposure and nasty shadows. Don't use the flash and the pix turns out looking dark and dim. Also the box is a little too small. There's not enough depth to it. I should have taken the A3 box instead of the A4 paper box.
So as you can see, I got my work cut out for me.
Oh, another thing. A week ago, there was a Friday when I was really free in the office and I spent almost the entire day reading up on digital SLR cameras online. Hah, I actually filled up 4 notebook pages worth of stuff on the subject. Was reading guides, forum discussions, etc. And today, I called up one of the recommended shops and they told me the price of the Sony A200 has dropped from S$1,099 to S$960. Better freebies too, instead of $100 voucher on lens, it's now an extra battery.


Anonymous said...

Nice, the time can't be more prefect; I'm about to build a light box as well, gonna use yours as reference thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, didn't read the full article before I comment it ^^; I think I will go with HappySoda method; it seems easier to set up and more flexible. anyway, thanks for the links.

dilutedmagnetics said...

I set up my "lightbox" using my kitchen cooker top with the fluorescent lamps in the cooker hood as the light source! Hahahaha...

Anyway, alot of lighting faults can be fixed by software like Photoshop. In fact, Microsoft Picture Manager does quite a decent job too - just click enhance picture and then pick an area on the picture that you think should be white colour - the programme does the rest. Of course, I'm too cheap to get Photoshop. I'm using the Gimp and that's pretty awesome too. You'll be surprised by the outcomes, trust me.

Cavalock said...

Lsio: Hah, no prob. Thanks for dropping by, can’t wait to see yr lightbox pix!

Lunch: u serious bout the kitchen lighting? That is pretty cool! Nah, I don’t hv Photoshop either. I do hv iPhoto on my macbook but have yet to try it out. I figured once I get all my other stuff (Sony A200!!!! and another table lamp! heh), I’ll start to ‘enhance’ the newer pix.

the arts and crafts experiment said...

that's why you were asking about this! i think i want to make one too! for my jewellery :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey there,
I've recently made a DIY lightbox, similar to yours but with reference from a different tutorial (here). I use tracing paper for the windows, and I am very satisfied with the result!

I have just made a post on this subject, so if you have time, please visit my blog. Cheers!