Light box… of sorts.

I am a mediocre photographer.  I used to think it was genetic.  Then I realized that my youngest sister and brother are both more than adequate photographers.  Hmmm….

Maybe, just maybe, I could learn how to do this too!  After all, blogging is partially about expanding my skill set and learning new things.

With that in mind, I read every single article on how to best use my point-and-shoot that I can.  Getting a SLR is absolutely out of the question for me right now.  And, if I can learn to be a decent photographer with my pns, I can parlay those skills when it’s time to move up to the big leagues.

The first thing I learned is to keep steady.  Because of my fibro, my muscles twitch subtley – enough to make a blurry photo.  I bought a tripod, and pretty much ALWAYS use it.  Even if I don’t actually have it set up, the legs form an additional handle for me.  And I press the button just after I’ve exhaled, but before I inhale.  It helps.

The second thing I learned was to turn off the flash on my camera.  And to choose one of the auto settings that comes closest to what I need.  I also shoot at the highest pixel level possible.

The third thing I’ve learned is that natural lighting is best.  That doesn’t always work for me.  In the winter, it’s dark before I get home.  I could just wait until the weekend and take every photo then, but that’s not really feasible, either.

In order to combat this, I use my OTT lamp a lot.  It does provide natural light in a small area, and I can point it where I need it.  But it’s not the whole solution.  And it certainly doesn’t give me a very pretty or blank background when I need it.

I’m in the process now of building a small light box out of one of our moving boxes.  It will do for small items, or projects I’m in the process of working on.  It will sit on my craft table, where I can use it quickly when I’m mid project.  For larger things, I’ll need a slightly larger space.

So, I rearranged our basement computer/entertainment/crafting space.  You’ll see in this photo that there’s a partition for a closet – with no door or shelf.  I had used it for my craft table and miscellaneous unpacked boxes, but the table jut out into the room too much.  I moved the table to my REAL craft area – my computer space.  (From here, I can watch a movie, surf the web, chat with the Ogre AND craft something – I love this layout!)


My plan for this little space is simple.  I’m going to fill and sand the wholes, and give it a coat or two (maybe 3!) of white paint.  (Say goodbye to Spiderman!)  There’s an electrical outlet there that I can use for lighting.  And, if I need a different color background, I can always tape or tack up some of the fabric from my stash.

Here’s a shot of the space straight on.  It’s about 4 feet wide.

I’ve got a very old and small table – the “starter apartment” kind that will get a coat of white paint, too.  I can use it to lift items to display height if need be.

Mind you, moving all of the stuff that was in this closet resulted in this…

Just so you know that I didn’t leave it like this, here it is an hour or so after.

And here’s my tabletop light box.  A carboard box, painted white.  With a tinfoil covered reflector right beside it for convenience!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.


4 thoughts on “Light box… of sorts.

  1. I’m stuck with shooting everything with a regular point-and-shoot right now, too so I’m seriously considering making a light box. Have you taken many pictures with yours yet? I have a Ott light that I never used for its original purpose but now find handy if I want to take photos of something smaller in the evening. I am loving Daylight Savings for the great sunshine later in the day now!

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

    Claire @

    • I’ve only taken a couple, and I’m still figuring it out. I do like that it gives me a nice clean background, but I’ve REALLY got to work on where my light placement is. It’s a whole new world for me. Rather exciting, though! And I’ve followed you via my google reader!

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