Light box!

Cre­ate your own us­ing an empty ce­real box

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Light ta­bles are de­signed to il­lu­mi­nate a sub­ject from be­hind and are used for a va­ri­ety of pur­poses, from arts and crafts to tat­tooists trac­ing de­signs – or pho­tog­ra­phers shoot­ing close-ups.

You can buy ready-made light ta­bles and they vary in price, with some reach­ing hun­dreds of pounds. How­ever, it doesn’t take a fancy setup to get fancy back­lit pho­to­graphs, and you can build your own for next to noth­ing. Take an old ce­real box, for in­stance; this can be our base for a light ta­ble. Cut a hole in the front of it, stick some translu­cent ma­te­rial over said hole, (we used grease­proof pa­per) and then feed fairy lights in be­hind.

It re­quired a bit of jig­gling to get the light to spread evenly, but once it was set up we put the Nikon up above on a tri­pod. Then it was a case of find­ing some­thing beau­ti­ful to pho­to­graph, like this lime tree leaf. Any­thing semi-translu­cent that al­lows some light to shine through makes a good sub­ject; thin slices of fruit work well too.

So let’s see what you’ll need to take your own back­lit pho­tos…

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