This is going to be a quick little instructable to showcase how you can build a diffused studio for macro / still life photography. The reason I say $2 is even if you have to buy the tissue paper and poster board you should be able to build this for about 2 bucks. All the camera equipment shown is not needed as you can even use this macro studio with desk lamps and a camera phone. The idea is to provide a neutral seamless background and diffused warm light on item being photographed.
- Cardboard Box
- White Tissue Paper
- White Poster Board
- Something to cut cardboard with (Knife, scissors)
Step 1: Step One: Cut a Hole in the Box...
Well not really step 1, step one is getting all your materials and tools together, So I suppose step 2 would technically be cutting the holes in the box.
If you are only planning on illuminating from the sides, Cut your holes on the left and right walls. If you are going to add a top light, the third hole will be in the roof side. As you can see from my example pictures I only lit from the sides and got decent results.
Step 2 tape a single layer of tissue paper over the holes. Try not to overlap as multiple layers may add odd linear shadows that may show up in your pictures. my tissue paper was in a 32 inch width for wrapping packages.
Step 3 cut your poster board so that it is as wide as the back and bottom of your box trying not to crease or fold it as the back corner transition should be smooth to give the illusion that the background is seamless. I put a bit of tape at the top and front edge to hold it in place but the curved part is unsupported.
Step 4 (optional) I found that it was helpful to leave the side box flaps to reduce light from the side flashes going directly into the camera, This may or may not have affected the results.
Step 2: Try It Out, and Admire Your Work.
Camera Setup used.
- YN462-II flash camera left half power 45* to subject with a card bounce at 45* up
- YN462-II flash camera right half power 45* to subject with a card bounce at 45* up
- Triggered with YN603c transceivers (radio flash poppers).
- Canon T3i (body) with YN603c transceiver in the hotshoe ( thingy on top)
- EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II (lens)
- Aperture ƒ/6.3
- Focal range 55.0 mm
- 1/200 shutter speed
- 200 ISO
Like I said earlier if you use desklamps you can adjust how they shine on what you want to take a picture of. The key is to use your imagination, add or subtract shadow. Highlight the aspect you want to showcase take your time and have fun.
I would like to dedicate this instructable to the T3i that played such an integral part. Unfortunately shortly after these pictures were taken it met an untimely demise at the hands of a Toddler. One of these days I will get another DSLR but not untill my 1yr old daughter gets a bit bigger and passes the throwing stage.
In other news the guts of a DSLR and Zoom lens are really cool... The downside is that I have a meh point and shoot that takes grainy pictures.