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Topic: My Inexpensive Homemade Light Tent  (Read 7429 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 In fact, I have a pretty basic point-and-shoot digital camera ( Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12, I think it's outdated and they have a newer model a few times over.)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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sunshineburning
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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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craftylittlemonkey
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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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sarahj2001
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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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kaz814
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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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fiddlegirl8
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Are you going to throw that away?! Can I have it?!


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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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EnginerdLisa
« 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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