DIY project Make a light­box

Build your own light­box to take back­lit im­ages

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO PROJECTS -

Light­boxes are de­signed to il­lu­mi­nate a subject from

be­hind. A favourite of artists, they’re also per­fect for shoot­ing close-ups of semi-translu­cent sub­jects.

Ready-made light­boxes or even light ta­bles can be pretty ex­pen­sive to buy, but you can build your own for next to noth­ing. Take an old ce­real box, some translu­cent ma­te­rial such as grease­proof or trac­ing pa­per, and some fairy lights. You might need to do a bit of jig­gling to get the light to spread evenly, but it works bril­liantly for cap­tur­ing close-ups.

Any­thing semi-translu­cent that al­lows some of the light from the box to shine through, such as this lime tree leaf, makes a good subject to shoot. You don’t even need to use a macro lens – we used an in­ex­pen­sive close-up fil­ter. Try lots of leaves for a va­ri­ety of tex­tures and shapes, and try shoot­ing both sides of the leaves, as the top layer may be more de­tailed than the un­der­side.

Step 1

Get an empty ce­real box and cut a hole out of the front and back, leav­ing a frame round the edge. Tape some grease­proof pa­per over one hole, and feed your fairy lights in through the back hole. Press them around the edge of the box and tape them in place.

Step 2

Mount your camera on a tri­pod; a model that holds the camera up­side-down or that has a cen­tre col­umn that folds out is best, to get re­ally close in for a top-down view. Level off the tri­pod head un­til the camera is par­al­lel with the ta­ble.

Step 3

In close-up shoot­ing the avail­able depth of field is shal­low, so opt for f/11 to max­imise it. Choose ISO 100 and in­crease your shut­ter speed to get a good ex­po­sure; ours was 1.3 sec. To avoid camera shake when press­ing the shut­ter but­ton, we used the self-timer.

Step 4

Turn off aut­o­fo­cus on the lens and en­gage Live View mode so that the im­age ap­pears on the rear LCD. Zoom in 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.