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Topic: My Inexpensive Homemade Light Tent  (Read 7673 times)
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noooitaremybirthday
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« on: January 23, 2012 07:24:14 AM »

I do not have an awesome camera. In fact, I have a pretty basic point-and-shoot digital camera ( Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12, I think it's outdated and they have a newer model a few times over.) But I like to think that my pics are alright! They used to be "meh" but they're better now! I wanted to share my photo set-up in case anybody was wondering how it's done Smiley

I had seen make-your-own-light tent tutorials around the internet, and after looking at several and getting tips from other bloggers, I came up with my current set-up.

1. The light tent is made out of a big clear plastic tote on its side. Many people suggest making it out of a cardboard box with the sides cut out, but this seemed much easier. Any opportunity to avoid using a box cutter, am I right?  Grin The suggestion for using a plastic tote came from Saint Angel.
2. To diffuse the light coming in from the sides, I taped sheer white fabric to the outer sides of the tote. I actually used the lining of a skirt I had ripped apart, so it was pretty sheer.
3. I attached 2 small work lights to the shelf(found them at Walmart) and pointed them at each side. I used the GE Reveal light bulbs that are more similar to natural light. My photos still turn out a little yellow, but not as terribly yellow as with normal bulbs. I just fix that on the computer by hitting "auto-color".
4. The background is white posterboard trimmed down to fit inside the tote. There are 2 pegs that I drilled holes for to keep the posterboard from sliding out. You can use pushpins, too, but it takes some muscle to sink them in the plastic the first time! Also, you can choose other colors of posterboard if you wanted. I have a black sheet of posterboard behind the white one to swap out when I want a dark background.

BEFORE: So I went from pics like this (just on my craft table with the lamp on, lots of shadows, meh colors, hard to get a good focus)


AFTER: To pics like this (In the light tent, minimal shadows, good colors, easy to focus)


So that's that. I always take the photos with the flash off, then once I put them on the computer, I hit "auto-color" and "auto-contrast" in my editing software, and it's good to go. I hope this info is useful! Smiley


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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012 07:37:54 AM »

That is awesome! I have such a horrible time taking good pictures of the things I make. I never would have thought to do anything like this. Thanks so much for posting this! Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012 07:39:07 AM »

You smarty pants! Much better than cardboard box and tissue, what a pain in the BUTT those are! I'll try it your way, thanks Smiley.

ETA to save having to poke holes in the tote you could attach the pegs with sugru. It sticks to everything but you can remove it with a sharp knife.
http://sugru.com/
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012 07:57:47 AM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012 07:57:37 AM »

This is great!  I was looking for a way to take better pictures.  Thanks for posting this!
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012 08:02:53 AM »

Oooh great idea and great implementation.  I might have to try this!
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BlueCherryFaerie
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012 08:20:20 AM »

Thanks so much for posting this.  I take horrible pictures, this will help with my smaller picture items.
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Goomba
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012 08:22:55 AM »

Just finished my 2nd one yesterday. Mine uses a cardboard box as a frame with 3 faces cut from it and white paper in their place. These boxes really do make a great difference.
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012 08:46:55 AM »

Oh I love the plastic container idea!!  Thanks so much for the tip!
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012 09:17:19 AM »

You smarty pants! Much better than cardboard box and tissue, what a pain in the BUTT those are! I'll try it your way, thanks Smiley.


Ditto!!  You are a smarty pants, Nooo   Wink - I have been looking at how to make a lightbox or buy one the past few weeks - you have totally provided me just the instructions I need!  I'm going to Walmart after work today and getting my supplies to make my own - I think I will use drapery sheers, or a white sheet for draping the outside of the plastic tote!  Brilliant!!  Thanks much!   Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012 09:36:00 AM »

Thank you so much for this.  I stink at taking pictures.  Maybe this will help.  I'm bookmarking it to set up in the new house after I move.
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012 11:15:45 AM »

Thank you for sharing this, nooooo!

I've always thought your pictures are so bright and wonderful.
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012 12:11:37 PM »

What a terrific idea to use a tote!  DH keeps asking me to make one of these, and this definitely seems like the way to go.  Thanks for the tutorial!
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012 01:29:33 PM »

I'm gonna make one of these now. I made one before using wooden picture frames that I spray painted white, but it's super-awkward and keeps falling apart. I can make one like this and set it up in the closet to stay! Thanks for the tutorial!
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012 04:11:20 PM »

I do not have an awesome camera.

You may not have an awesome camera, but you have an awesome creative mind!!  You so rock my world, Noooo.
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noooitaremybirthday
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2012 05:23:19 PM »

I'm so glad all you guys are finding this info helpful Cheesy I hope you decide to make one... I can't figure out why I waited so long to actually do it.

I do not have an awesome camera.

You may not have an awesome camera, but you have an awesome creative mind!!  You so rock my world, Noooo.

Tee hee, thank you! That made my night!
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2012 07:12:09 AM »

Love the tote idea! I've been using a white box and only one light, but I see that two is so the way to go! Off to the store later today Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2012 09:57:14 AM »

oooOOOooooo!!!  Thanks so much for sharing!
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2012 01:12:38 PM »

I get so frustrated by bad indoor lighting!  Thanks for the info!!!
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meowari
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012 05:26:21 PM »

I always wondered how people got their stuff to look like it was floating on a cloud of light... Now I know! Thanks for sharing your tute with us!
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012 09:38:37 PM »

I'm so glad that worked so well for you!  I still can't get mine quite as bright as yours, but I can't get my lights quite where I want them, lack of space, so I'm sure that's the problem.  Cheesy
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teaandcraft
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012 06:44:40 PM »

This is so clever! My light box has very little structural integrity ... I will have to give this a go instead! ^_^
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2013 11:56:34 AM »

Oh my gosh!! What a fantastic idea!! I have struggled with getting good pictures for years and just hadn't had a chance to make one of those collapsible ones I've seen tutes for over the years... but this one is actually easy looking!! Thank you so much for the idea!! I can't wait to make one and try it out! Although if it works, it means I just might have to re-take all the pictures of everything in my store!!! haha  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2013 09:12:05 AM »

This is pretty cool. I'm in the process of constructing one using one of those science project display boards and foam core. I need one for medium size objects. It needs some tweaking, but I'm almost done.
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2013 05:36:09 PM »

That's it. I am getting rid of my wonky cardboard getup that the cats go after anyway in favor of this awesome creature!!  THanks, noooo!!
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