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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Light up my life

Last time I tried to take photos of my work, it took me 4 hours to photograph 10 items.
The sun moved too much that the position I setup in was useless midway into the "shoot" due to shadows from hanging branches.

Those little damned green flies kept sitting on my background paper and wouldn't go away when I blew at them (whilst kneeling on one knee with one hand on camera reaching awkwardly over to rid the scene of them!).

The background paper I had taped into position to some lawn chairs had seperated from the wind howling and bending and tearing the paper.

I nearly lost all feeling in my legs while kneeling on the concrete bending over and peering into the camera.

I had enough! Time to get myself a professional photography studio and leave all that drama behind....

you know how much that would cost? Forget it. I needed to figure out a much cheaper alternative....a light box. Not just any light bow, but a homemade one!

After scouring the internet, I found several amazing sites with instructions on how to build a variation of light boxes with plumbing tubes, boxes, lamp shades and ikea name a few.

I settled on the Ikea option with instructions from PlanetJune, as seen here:

I thought I'd send along my step by step progress of assembling my photo box to show you how I achieved it!!
1. Get the Antonius Hamper Frame from Ikea Only £5 - what a bargain.

2. Get some type of white fabric. I chose a cotton sheet from Ikea because I was there and it was cheap. You could get white fabric just about anywhere, but in the UK, no Joanne's Fabric or Michaels to hop to in craft emergencies - so Ikea it had to be...

3. Cut 3 large rectangular pieces from the fabric, using the frame as a guide, cutting 1.5 inches or so bigger than the actual frame size. Do the same for the two ends, cutting smaller more square pieces. Start pinning them together on the frame to get a good snug fit.
4. After pinning, start sewing your pieces together. Put it on the frame to check the fit and adjust where necessary.

5. Start figuring out the lighting!

This is something I haven't had much luck finding! Many thanks to all the Etsians and countless blogs that I have reviewed for some more insight into the appropriate bulbs to use for this light box.

Being in the UK reading US blogs means I cannot take advantage of the great product suggestions available at all those great US hardware shops. In London, B&Q and Homebase without the Lowe's, Home Depots and Walmarts, don't seem to even have a small portion of the selection of bulbs I would have available to me!
I have resorted to online ordering which isn't so bad for ordering the bulbs. However, finding the appropriate light fixtures has proven to be much more difficult!!! Can I ask all of you out there, where did those clunky old clamp-on desk lights go? That is a blog entry for another day...

However, for the bulbs, I can gladly report my decision based on the advice of loads of Etsians:

I am ordering the trumpet low energy compact fluorescent daylight photo bulbs.
They are a bit wider than the usual bulbs, but it seems loads of people have had a lot of luck with them. They have a kelvin temp of around 6000, close to daylight as possible.
The width of them makes finding a lamp more difficult, but I am determined. More on that next time.

I'll post photos of some test shoots as soon as I sort out the lighting!


  1. Lovely to meet you today, loved your pots and thank you so much for your prize donation! Enjoying a glass of wine now.

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