Home Made Light Box


What on earth does a landscape photographer do on a wet and dull Sunday?

Well, I decided to build a light box and practice my flash photography.

Building a light box was easy – using an old cardboard box , some tracing paper and sellotape. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube to give you an idea what to do. I also bought some black card and some white card to give me a choice of backgrounds.

Setting up my flash, one thing quickly became apparent – I needed a reflector. A piece of stiff card, some kitchen foil and sellotape, and two minutes, is all you need to make your own reflector.

I tried various household objects – to see what I could get. It was an interesting experiment to while away an afternoon.

What did I learn?

  1. Once you’ve set your shutter speed, you won’t need to mess with it. To get the exposure correct, all you need to do is change your aperture. You can also change the power of the flash, but with the flash being so close to the subject, you could leave it on minimum power and just use your aperture.
  2. I prefer the black background as you could make your subjects really stand out.
  3. You are photographing small objects up close – give them a good clean before you do this (unlike me!)
  4. With one flash, you absolutely need a reflector of some sort. I tried white card, but it was not reflective enough. Kitchen foil is, however, wonderfully reflective and is ideal for this sort of photography. In the image above, the flash was to the right of the picture, and the wall on the left would have been in complete shadow had I not used a reflector.

Photography stuff: 70-200mm lens at 200mm, 1/200 sec at f/7.1, tripod, light box, flash on 1/128 power setting