Tuesday, 28 October 2014

How to make a Homemade Light Box

In an attempt to improve my cake photos me and my husband embarked on making a light box today. A light box is suppose to illuminate the object with a soft light and reduce shadows and dark/bright spots. It also has the added advantage that it gives a nice backdrop to the cake so the image is just focused on that. 

So how did we go about it? We started this because we had a large cardboard box that we thought we'd be able to customise, however, when we placed my cakes in it we realised that it wouldn't be large enough for all of the cakes. We set off to hobbycraft to search for some supplies. First step, look for a box. We walked around the shop and found nothing until we eventually found a solution in a strange place:

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/hobbycraft-my-colour-in-shop-playhouse/578508-1000

This is a play shop. It is nice and big and already has holes in the front and one side, something we needed. We made the shop up to the instructions except not putting the shelf on:
"Shop is all made up"
From this point the customisation started. We (I say we it was all Gary!) cut a hole in the side and taped tissue paper over the gap. We filled the other side in the same way (it already had a hole.). Gary strengthened the structure with some addition cardboard along the bottom of the sides and front. He also cut down the front so it was a little lower. 
Tracing paper on the sides. 
After this is was basically done. I used some coloured paper along the back and lay a piece along the bottom as a base. This gave the cake a plain back drop and a white surface to sit on. 

To provide the light we purchase 2 simple desk lights, one for each side, and pointed them in to the box. We are debating getting a bit more colour in by cutting out the top and placing some tissue paper over that too. 
Pre and Post Light box
Here is an example of the difference. The cake on the left is with the light box and on the right without. You can see that the lighting is much more even and the colours of the flowers are therefore much more visible. It is also a much cleaner picture as the focus is the cake and not drawn away by the table or wall as they are on the right. For different cakes I can use different coloured back drops and eventually I can personalise these further. 

This picture shows the lightbox in place. You can see the lights on each side pointing in and you can also see that the effect of the window is minimised by using the box. 
The stage is set
I hope this is helpful to you and I'd encourage you to use one as I feel it's made quite a difference to my photo.