DIY Home Photo Setup




This is me. This is who I am. What you see is what you get. *However I can also be ordered as a ...

Dirty, Cheap, Decent DIY Setup for better ebay and Instructables photos.
I used a Canon Point and Shoot, and a Tripod!
I am NOT a professional photographer (nor do I play one on TV).

Necessity is the Mother of invention... and MacGyver is its Dad!

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Step 1: The Stove

Almost everyone has one of these at home (A Stove), and if you're really fancy, or living in accordance to strict building codes, then you also have a hood* over that stove.

*The hood is that thingy up top with the sucky part (Fan) and bright bit (Light).

Step 2: The Bits and Pieces

Get yourself some plain white Bristol Board.

Some of that re-usable sticky tacky stuff that you can safely stick posters to walls with... or some gum.

One CFL (NOT Football) with a daylight colour temperature of 5000k - 5500k
(just look for whatever you can find which will give you the whitest light possible)

Step 3: The Setup


and then...

Screw the new white bulb into the hood.

Lay the Bristol Board over the stove top allowing for the natural curve* as the board goes up the back, and keep it in place with that sticky stuff wherever you need it.

*The natural curve in the board is needed to give the illusion of an endless flowing white background.

OoOoH AaAaH!!!

Step 4: The Subject

Place the subject of your photograph in the middle of the board, under the light.

Pretty self explanatory really... if you think about it.

Step 5:

To keep it simple, keep your camera settings on AUTO, so it's less for you to think about and change... and...


Take your photo.

Seriously though... this pic right here is good enough for posting. It's lit well enough and the most important point is... IT'S IN FOCUS!

Step 6: The Tweaks

If the photo needs tweaking a little, then edit it with photo editing software such as GIMP (which is a free download, and easy enough to figure out)

The Contrast and Brightness was tweaked a bit here, with a little white to fill in a few nasty spots.

Step 7: The Tweaks... Continued

The Shadow underneath the car was too harsh, so I softened it up with a little selective blur.

Step 8: The Money Shot

Then I went a little further (you don't have to) and added a little soft glow, highlights, and depth.

There you go!

Alright... let's just all agree that if you're gonna post some pics... at least try to make sure that they're in focus!



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    98 Discussions

    For your average Joe (or Mike, Steve, Bob, Sue or Chris), on an average day, for Ebay, Craigslist (or Mikelist, Stevelist, Boblist, Suelist or Chrislist) or Kijijijijijiji etc. Just getting to step 5 will do you fine.

    As long as your image is in focus, no one can really complain about your images.

    One light, one piece of card, one camera, focus.... and shoot!
    (I used a tripod, and you don't even need to do that. If it seems too easy, try standing on one leg while doing it!)
    There's really no need to make it any more complicated... Have you seen some of the photos on Ebay?
    Someone could be selling a guitar, and all you can make out in the photo is what seems to be a blurry cow teapot!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    "The natural curve in the board is needed to give the illusion of an endless flowing white background."

    I was always wondering how come you did not see the demarcation lines as the back of some pictures. Ingenious, have to try this.Thanks.

    2 replies

    The pros call it an Infinity Wall or an Infinity Cyclorama. It gives the illusion that it goes on forever... and ever... and ever... and ever... (echo... echo... echo... fade)

    I can't make mention of something that isn't there.
    Surely you don't mean the wooden cutting board sitting on my counter on the left side of the photos.

    No those are wall mounted cupboards on each side of the stove hood!
    Cupboard on the left (you can see the silver handle) holds a large assortment of Tea's (My wife is a huge Tea drinker). Cupboard on the right are mugs (way more than 2 people should own), and plates and bowls of various sizes... you know... regular everyday kitchen stuff!
    Cupboard above the hood is top secret, and I can say no more about that cupboard!


    Great Idea! As a photographer I would recommend to put two more boards on the sides to bounce more light back at the subject and make the lighting more even.