Introduction: Improvised Lighting "Tent" From a White Drawer
This instructable will show you how to turn your drawer into a combination of a miniature studio and a lighting tent for macro/product photography.
So... What will I get when I place my studio in a drawer? The most you'll get is control over the environment. You can put a blanket over a part of the drawer opening to block some light. You can set up a shot, close the drawer in the evening and return to it in the morning. You can use the space for storage of your photo equipment. And if you're wiling to experiment even more, you can setup the shot with the camera inside, use the self-timer, close the drawer and then the camera will take the shot without any off-setup light.
What will you need:
-a drawer; the best would be a one with white insides, but any other color could do,
-3-4 sheets of paper or white cardboard or any cardboard AND paper sheets,
-remote-triggered flash of your choice,
-a camera of course.
-boxes with something heavy or anything that could hold the paper sheets,
-double sided sticky tape,
Step 1: Clean the Mess
...just like your mom tells you :P
Step 2: Place the Paper
How much and where you're need to place he paper sheets depends on the type of shot you want to perform. I'm not going to force one design, because it could not fit your needs.
So if you have some strobist experience you'll know what to do. Otherwise you'll need to get some.
Of course, paper can be tricky and not playing nice with all the "stand where I want" approach. So here comes in handy the cardboard, sticky tape or anything else what might hold the paper in it's place.
I've used A4 sheets, but you'll probably get fast to the point where I've got: they're to small.
Step 3: Photograph!
Now I'm going to explain the setup used here (referring to the second picture).
The first shot was made with the lamp being in the shown place, but facing the light meter.
The result was an totally overexposed photo. Even dialing the exposure to -5 EV didn't helped.
Of course you can fix this by selecting an appropriate measuring point/mode. I've skipped this as those were only shots to show and test this setup.
After trying to move away the flash (lower overexposure but longer shadows) I've came to the setup pictured. I've used the light bounced of the right "wall" of the drawer, and then the lower.
But, as you see this setup still produced shadows. I could place the sheet left of the lamp lover, but still it would produce shadows. So second lamp is a necessity.
Step 4: Alternatives/Notes
You can try to place glass on some "legs" so the object will be higher on a transparent surface. This will eliminate shadows on the surface.
If you have a black drawer (also want one!) then you must place the paper on a cardboard, so the light won't be lost by the walls of the drawer. Of course, you can use this to your advantage, by choosing which walls should reflect the most (white cardboard/cardboard+paper), which should reflect some (only paper), and which should not reflect the light and act as a gobo (this also depends if the paint is finished matt or glossy).
If you have a drawer that is not white nor black then consider switching to black and white :P
Aside that you can still use the above methods but when reflecting "some" light it will be colored as the drawer is painted. It'll be a problem when shooting in color (unless it's intentional).