Create your own using an empty cereal box
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…