Tuesday, 14 February 2017

How to make a product photography light tent for cheap?

Have you ever bought a product from eBay or any other online store? Notice how the images are so crisp, sharp, and properly lit. The magic wand behind those professionally looking photos can be a soft box, or a light box. The whole purpose of having a light tent is to spread the light evenly in every direction; photography is all about light. A light box minimizes issues such as shadows, harsh blown out edges (from flash or direct light), and faded color. 
Now the difficult part, spending money. You can buy a professionally built light tent online around 70-100 bucks. More cheap? Buy used. More cheap? Do it yourself. Yes, that's the best way. Only thing required from you is a visit to your local market, and a couple of hours. Here is a list of things you will need:

1) Old used cardboard box or moving box. Any color would do. Preferably 18x18x16 inches. 
2) Cello tape or any other kind of tape. Duct tape would also work, I believe it works for everything.  
3) Tissue paper or a white muslin fabric/cloth. 
4) Cutter. 
5) Three table lamps. 
6) Three 80W or 100W fluorescent or daylight bulbs. 
7) A pen or pencil for marking. 
8) White poster board. 

Before we start, I request you not to scream with joy ( I did) looking at your product pictures after finishing the light box set up. Let's do it:

Step 1: A cardboard box has 6 sides, out of which one is already opened in order to take out whatever product was in it. This would be the entry for placing the product. Also, do not touch the exact opposite side to this opening. 
 Step 2: You have 4 sides remaining now. Choose any 3 sides of your choice and make square shaped gaps by using cutter. 
a) If you are using a tissue paper like me, take a pen to mark the gap size required for a tissue paper to fit. This cut would be smaller as tissue paper has a limited and fixed size.  
b) If using a white muslin cloth, you can cut as much big as you want leaving some space on the edges for cello tape to sit on. 

Step 3: After finishing the cuts an any three sides, all you have is a box with three sides wide open. You can put your hand or arm or even face through that gap into the box, just to have some fun. Place the tissue paper on top of gap, and hold it. Grab the tape and apply on all 4 sides. Do similar thing for remaining 2 sides as well. 
If you were using a white muslin cloth, cover up the whole gap and fix using tape on all four sides of cloth. Do similar step for remaining 2 sides. 

Step 4: Did you notice you still have 2 sides intact out of total 6? One would be your product background, and other one as the box base. Tilt the box and place it in such a way that you will have gaps on top, left, and right side. Take the white poster board and place it inside the box in a sliding motion. It needs to form a curve. Fix with tape. See picture below:

Product photography light tent
Light Tent or Light Box ( Not finished yet)

Step 5: Bring all three of your table lamps containing day light bulbs close to left, right, and top gap. Turn on the power. Voila! 

Place any suitable sized object inside your light box and take brilliant quality product pictures using your DSLR or smartphone camera. 

Here is a sample shot:

sample test product photography image
Sample Product Photography Image

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