I was browsing the Etsy forums when I noticed this article on building a lightbox that some kind soul had linked to in a thread. I had nothing better to do last night, so I decided to give it a try.
Armed with a hobby knife, scissors, tissue paper and tape, I attacked a poor empty cardboard box I found. The article I linked to has much better instructions than I could give, so suffice to say that after about 30 minutes of cutting, taping, cutting and more taping, I had produced the world's ugliest lightbox.
Working with paper has never been my strong side. The box measures 47 x 32 x 26 cm (about 18.5 x 12.5 x 10 in), so it should be big enough for most of my stuff. Inside I put last year's calendar upside down (the biggest white sheet of paper I had at home), which is ok for now.
So, does it work?
Well, I took some test photos today, as it's a very cloudy day and thus sucks for product photos. Suitable lights were nowhere to be found at home, so I thought I'd try the lamp from one of my aquariums as the light source. While the amount of light was better than before, the purplish fluorescent tubes that were in the lamp were about the worst choice I could have made. The colour balance was awful, but was at least easily corrected in Photoshop for these shots. I imagine once I get my hands on some daylight tubes, the result will be much better (and the aquarium will look better too).
So in summary:
Total amount of money spent: $0
Injuries: Surprisingly, none!
Bottom line: It's a promising project, but needs more work and I need to work on how to use my camera for the best results. Stay tuned for more experiments.
(By the way, the fingerless gloves in the photo are available in my shop.)