As a gadgets writer, I’m often behind a camera taking product shots. Yet as a freelancer, I don’t have the luxury of fancy lightboxes.
Using some poster boards and a pair of Joby GorillaTorches (cousins to the GorillaPod, a favorite among photogs), I decided to make my own collapsible lightbox. This easy DIY project should take about half an hour, and after you’re done, you can fold it up and tuck it behind a door.
Materials needed for this project:
-3 styrofoam poster boards
-pair of scissors or other cutting utensil
Using a pair of scissors, X-ACTO knife or whatever you’ve got, score two of the three poster boards in half. Avoid cutting the entire board in half. What you want is to penetrate the surface and most of the foam. The remaining board should be halved and cut through.
With the two boards scored, they should be easy to break into halves.
Tape two of the boards together so they begin forming the shape of a cube. The scored surface should be facing out.
Affix one of the remaining half poster boards to the box. It will act as the box’s back panel. You can choose to also trim the board so it aligns perfectly with the rest of the box, but that’s not necessary.
To make this lightbox collapsible, I added small pieces of masking tape on the sides to hold the back panel in place. I chose this route to save space in my small apartment, but you can also tape the sides down for a non-collapsible version.
You’re done building the box. Position the GorillaPods, or your choice of bright lighting, such that the rays hit the ceiling of the box.
Here’s the lightbox in collapsed form.
Some test shots below. Aside from the crop, these images are untouched. I would recommend shooting both with and without the camera flash to see what you like best.
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