Picture of Photography Light Box
Photography Light Box to take pictures of small to medium items.

:: Parts ::
Large cardboard box (thicker box will hold up to the abuse of cutting and working on it)
Several yards of white cloth (I got 3 yards)
Wide/Think Double stick tape (I used Shurtape carpet tape)
Thin double stick tape.
[2] thin poster boards
[3] Reflective lights (I got mine for $5 at Job Lot {Local discount store})
[3] Light Bulb (I am using standard 100 watt bulbs)

:: Tools ::
Sharp Knife (I used a heavy duty box cutter)
Writing implement
Straight Edge (I used a a large shelf)

Give me your feedback and Please don't be one of those people who says, "there are already Instructables for light boxes." I know there are and sadly I did not get inspiration from Instructables. I love what trebuchet03 said, "I personally think it's better to have each variant in separate instructables - -and link between them ;)"

:: UPDATE :: I mentioned before that I was going to make a frame for this. Here is the link to my new Light Frame

:: THANKS :: Thanks to Peter at http://www.photoequipmentstore.com.au for publishing this Instructable to his photography site http://www.photoequipmentstore.com.au/How-to-build-a-Light-Box
aahwaan16 days ago

I liked your light box and would sure try to make one like this. I would like to know, if we can use paper instead of cloth on the sides ? If we use thin paper or chart paper, will there be any problem ?

Annepi4 months ago
I think this is going to be perfect for taking photography of my bath and body products to put online. Thank you for this, this is just what I needed
Scatershot8 months ago

I'm thinking of trying this but I'm going to paint the inside of the box white first to minimize the lines and use the same paper on the sides as well as the middle sheet. This should help keep the white all the same shade and make cleaning the image even easier. Great instructable!

tekjock (author)  Scatershot8 months ago
Thanks, just wish i still had it. Lost that to some flood damage years ago
michele_la made it!1 year ago

I love this box! It was super easy to make and works exceptionally well. I get tons of compliments on my jewelry photos since I started using it. Here are more photos: https://www.facebook.com/junkorjunque

You can totally see the transition from "before box" to "after box".

thanks for the setup
this guy has gerat ideas for your model photos
nipsip5 years ago
can you see the seam where the two sheets of posterboard are joined in any of your photos?
tekjock (author)  nipsip5 years ago
Alas ... you can ... I have been thinking of covering it with a thicker cloth then I used on the sides so you dont see the seem.
nipsip tekjock5 years ago
Another thought!

Get a piece of vinyl flooring, reverse it and paint the backside a matte white. Then if it gets dirty, you can touch it up.

You can cut it to any length or width you want.
nipsip tekjock5 years ago
You might want to consider cutting a white plastic tablecloth to fit. I don't think it is shiny but matte.

Take a look.

jj376 years ago
is there any way to soften the shadows under the objects without adding much cost to this project?
nipsip jj375 years ago
Couple of ideas.

Use a piece of white foamboard angled below the object to reflect light upward. Probably need a clamp and stand.

You also might want to try the piece of foamboard inside the box. Move it around until you get the desired effect.

Cut out the bottom of the box and place the box on a piece of white translucent plexiglass between two saw horses and light from below.

tekjock (author)  jj376 years ago
hmmmm .... One thought is a foreground light. Place an other light below the camera.
WendiG6 years ago
Have you tried this outside in good natural light? That is supposed to work well too-this looks easy enough, I'll let you know when I've attempted it-in the process of moving so lots of boxes to experiment on!
tekjock (author)  WendiG6 years ago
never thought of that ... I will have to give that a try
A_Str86 years ago
I just finished making mine and taking some test shots. i didn't have any large paper around for a seamless background, but otherwise it works great.

Test shots and a picture of the box are here: Flickr
tekjock (author)  A_Str86 years ago
that looks great. I might do that when the bottom and back. I hate having to clean up my pics of that line. Im glad my instructable helped you.
tyshef6 years ago
I am gonna try this, but I am gonna make one change and try to give the white background solid construction. otherwise very good!
tekjock (author)  tyshef6 years ago
Also ... if you do PLEASE post pics, I would love to see it. And thanks for wanting to make one based on my Instructable. OR ... If you do something different then what I did, post your own Inscrutable.
tekjock (author)  tyshef6 years ago
yea ... the dark lines on the side. I might try to cover them up. I was not very concerned as most of what I take pics of I will be cleaning it up in photoshop.
davidkimmel6 years ago
I don't suppose energy efficiency is a big deal here but the fire hazard situation could be improved upon by using 100 watt equivalent CFLs. Not only are they cooler in degrees F, choosing "Daylight" spectrum will provide better color balance in the final photo (degrees K).
I would actually suggest the opposite. Bigger, and brighter lights are always better. They allow you more flexibility. PS: Here's a picture from my iPod speaker project taken in my lightbox...
More light can certainly be better and CFLs come in greater levels of brightness or one could even add more CFLs. I kinda stole the idea from a photo page where a fella use five CFLs as the source in a diffused light box. http://alexcampagna.blogspot.com/2008/04/diy-spiderlight-softbox.html
That is, of course, not to say that bigger (150 W equiv.) and brigher (more CFLs) wouldn't have a positive effect.
tekjock (author)  davidkimmel6 years ago
I was planing on trying those, going with softer light
ve2vfd6 years ago
Nice lightbox! I love simple and efficient photography articles. You may want to add that a builder would want all the lights to be the same type (tungsten, fluorescent, halogen...) and to not forget to ajust the cameras white balance to avoid funky colours.
It looks very good--I tried a variation that was too flimsy (the sides caved in--and it used paper for the walls). I'll watch for the next big box that comes in and try this!
PKM6 years ago
That looks like a nice simple build. As well as the usual "pretty product on a white background" thing, you can have some fun using a completely black background and underexposing, possibly with only one of the side lights turned on and no top light.

I, and possibly the rest of the photographers, want to see your shots! Just because nobody asked, here are a couple of mine, and here are three I did of a friend's Ames Orkshop models.

tekjock (author)  PKM6 years ago
I have a bunch of shots I have taken using my light box. I will be putting them on Flickr later and I will post them here later. thanks for the comment .