Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shine a little light....

I build a lightbox last weekend. Part of it came from a genuine need for a proper photographic space and part of it came from a true desire to watch light bouncing around. The light around here has been overly October-y. Being of the almost transparent variety of skin tones, I am somewhat fond of overcast and cloudier skies. However, the skies have achieved a truly Dickensian level of "bleak". (Not great for photos but fabulously evocative in a vocabulary sense - when was the last time you pulled out the word "Dickensian"? Do it. Do it today. It's delicious.)

I have high hopes that the lightbox will help improve my photography (of objects smaller than 14inches). I have a willingness to experiment as soon as I can locate enough lamps! The interesting thing is how the artificially generated light reflects most often the truer colours of things in photographs than in those taken under natural light. Some colours have been trickier to nail down....
Purple is one of the most deceptive hue-beasts to photograph. Purple is the colour equivalent of a photoshopped celebrity when they would've looked better untouched. Purple usually defies natural light as well. Purple needs to be seen in person.

The lightbox helps the item to look it's best. Ironically, the box itself is not particularly attractive. It is, though, collapsible. So while I can revel in the resulting pictures, I do not need to suffer the ugly lightbox's company. Strangely enough, it spends most of its time in the dark. And I find that amusing, if not illuminating. :-) (Sorry.)

Lightbox was build by using an amalgam of tutorials: Cardboard box and Foamcore.


  1. I've been struggling with adjusting my photography to the changing light as well. For me, my timing is off. When over the summer I could count on photographing mid-morning when my son was in daycare, I have to now try to get him down for a nap to get the few precious minutes of best lighting in the best room of the house midday. I'm looking forward to the clocks going back for that reason alone!

    I had no idea that purple was such an evasive color to capture. I haven't worked with purple too much, maybe not at all come to think of it!

  2. Carly,
    Google the 30 watt Trumpet Top Bulb from Table Top Studios. They're $15 a pop, but they give great light and no heat AND they fit in regular light bulb sockets (no special lamps needed!). If you have a light on each side and one on the top, you can take photos any time you like. I take many of my pics at night. You can use desk lamps and/or clamp-on lamps. IKEA would be a good place to get some on the cheap. Hope this helps. :)

  3. Thanks - I'll be looking into those for sure!

  4. I've always found white to be my photography nemesis. Can't catch it well in any light. ARG.

  5. I really struggle with photos as well. It's so frustrating not being able to take photos that do justice to what's being photographed. Maybe I'll have to try and make my own light box too and see if that helps.


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