View Full Version : lightbox suggestions

07-21-2008, 05:00 PM
i am new to macro and i have setup a lightbox/light tent in order to take my photos (see pic below)...i've read that people are able to use standard desktop lamps, but i opted for what i thought would yield better lighting...but the lighting still seems low and not very bright for my shots...could it be the bulbs (they are sylvania 150W utility bulbs)? could it be the sheet, which is actually some sort of white cloth, a little heavier than a sheet?

any tips to help improve lighting, the lightbox, etc would be greatly appreciated...

07-21-2008, 05:10 PM
Couple things, though it really depends on what you're photographing (figurines? jewellry? coins?)

1. Generally with a softbox you want your lights as close a possible to the subject. From what I can see, you've got a few inches from the side of your backdrop to the sheeting, then another few inches to the lights. I'd spend some time with a tape measure and figure out exactly how small the backdrop could be (simply taking a photo of a ruler or yardstick works perfectly), and then move the sides of your box and lights in. One simple way to do this is use bulldog clips and clip the fabric to the inside of the support frame you're using and push the lights right up against.

2. A light coming straight down from the top couldn't hurt, if you've got the room/support (you can lower the side lights and aim them slightly up to prevent shadows).

3. If not from the top, you could do a light (or two) from directly in front. One idea is that you could get a sparkler light (generally a low-power quartz) and use a diffuser on it when you're not doing jewellry.

As to lights... if you're doing macro shots with a softbox I've gotten excellent results from everything from standard utility bulbs to CCFLs and LED bulbs. The latter are particularly nice because of the lower power draw and little or no heat.

07-21-2008, 06:42 PM
thanks for the reply...

1) i'll try to move the edge of the cover closer in and the lights as well...the lights do get hot, so that's one reason a little distance is there...
2&3) i've considered putting a light above, and/or in front...

07-21-2008, 08:11 PM
Just something interesting for you to take a look at. It's by no means a perfect light box, but the basics are there. Should help you tweak yours a little


Light tents don't need to be expensive or complicated, unless you're desperate for something portable.

07-22-2008, 12:14 AM
Nice link^^^^^^

07-23-2008, 08:14 PM
here is the tutorial i followed to create mine: