Home made Light­box

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Dress the ta­ble Get an empty ce­real box and cut a hole out of the front and back, leav­ing a frame round the edge to tidy ca­bles be­hind later. Tape some grease­proof pa­per (or a sheet of trac­ing pa­per) to one side of the box. The hole on the other side is to put your fairy lights in.

3 Shoot from above

Mount your Nikon on a tri­pod; a model that holds the cam­era up­side-down is best to get re­ally close in for a top-down view. Some tripods have cen­tre-col­umns that fold out side­ways, which will do a good job too. Level off the tri­pod head un­til the Nikon is par­al­lel with the ta­ble.

5 Stop the wob­ble

In close-up shoot­ing our depth of field is shal­low, so opt for f/11 to max­i­mize this. Choose ISO100 and in­crease your shut­ter speed to get a good ex­po­sure; ours was 1.3 sec. That’s quite slow, so to avoid cam­era shake when press­ing the shut­ter but­ton we en­gaged the self-timer. 2 Light it up Feed your fairy lights in through the back hole and press them around the edge of the box. Use some tape to keep them in place and make a uni­form glow across the pa­per. We kept the power switch on the out­side of the box to turn them off when not in use.

4 Get in close

For smaller sub­jects you could use a macro lens to fill the frame with your leaf, but we’re us­ing an in­ex­pen­sive close-up fil­ter in­stead. These ei­ther screw or clip on the lens and al­low the lens to fo­cus closer. Here we’re us­ing the Raynox DCR-250 (around £55/$60).

6 Use manual fo­cus

Turn off aut­o­fo­cus on the lens and en­gage Live View mode so that the im­age ap­pears on the rear LCD. Zoom in with the mag­nify but­ton and man­u­ally ad­just the fo­cus ring on the lens un­til the leaf looks crisp. When you’re happy that it’s pin sharp, take your photo!

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