If you’re a photographer yourself, I’m sure you’ll remember a time when you practiced taking pictures of your pet dog over and over again to no avail. How about the time you went to Bishan park to photograph random strangers for hours without producing a single decent image? Being a photographer isn’t easy, especially if you’re just starting out, but why not making your life easier by beginning your journey with a photography light box?
This handy device enables even the most amateur of photographers to produce clean and professional photos, anywhere and anytime. It’s portable, user-friendly and very affordable. In fact, you can can buy a lightbox online for as little as $40! Here are a few tips to get the most out of your photography light box:
1. Use the Right Lighting
Even though your photography light box should do most of the work for you, it is important to place the object you’re photographing in the centre of the lightbox such that you:
- Minimise any glare
- Minimise any shadows
- Ensure the object is evenly lit
- Maximise the white space around the object
The last point is arguably the most important, since you want to give your photograph a clean and polished finish when editing, and white space plays a pivotal role in producing such a result.
Very often, the photograph that appears on your screen may be rather dimly lit. This is rather common as the LED strips on even a professional photography light box are designed to be weak to minimise the glare and reflection off the object you’re photographing. If you are less than satisfied with the lighting in your original photo, simply upload it to your computer and make a few minor edits using Photoshop or Windows Photo Manager:
- Increase the saturation
- Use the “enhance” feature to make the white space more prominent
- Increase the brightness of your photo
2. Take Multiple Photos from Multiple Angles
I can’t stress this enough. Lightboxes are built to allow you to view your object from multiple angles. Most photographers approach the object from the front and from the top, but bonus points if you can produce a 360-degree image by painstakingly rotating the object while leaving the camera at a fixed position.
Taking photos from awkward and unflattering angles makes for a good challenge for an amateur photographer. It requires good technique in holding the camera steady, in addition to creativity in making the most out of an admittedly poor situation.
3. Pick the Right Lightbox
Anyone can be a professional photographer if they have a photography light box. As long as you have a decent camera, even a smartphone would do, a tripod to keep it stable, your photos would appear almost indistinguishable from a seasoned professional.
However, it is important that you choose the right photography light box to get started. Most photo-taking kits cost upwards of $100 and are bulky (comprising many different parts and components), so it is important when choosing a lightbox, to keep in mind how portable it is. Equally pivotal to the functionality of the lightbox is its condition. Do not ever try to save money by buying a cheap and (very likely) defective one off the street.
- Lightboxes should be no larger than 80cm x 80cm x 60cm large
- Your photography light box should not have any scratches or black marks, especially around the area your object is placed
- Always check the Velcro/magnets that hold your lightbox together to ensure that they are firmly in place
Lightboxes are affordable, portable and simple to use, but don’t scrimp – get yourself a decent and durable one.