Cross-posted from Eldritch Engines, my new blog.
Last week, I got it in my head to build a lightbox for taking pictures of miniatures, toys, and other things like that. That way, when I post these things, people can complain about my lack of photography or painting skills instead of complaining about the poor lighting. Real lightboxes cost a fair chunk of change and use high-grade photographer’s lights (most real photographers wouldn’t be taking pictures on a phone, either, but that’s beside the point). My version is cheaper and less effective, but serviceable enough to use.
At the heart of the lightbox (which, you’ll notice, isn’t so much a box as a three-sided backdrop) is a piece of two-fold foamcore board. Below that is a piece of white posterboard (really, I should’ve used foamcore for that, too).
You’ll notice the three desk lamps clamped around various places, pointed at the table. These cost about five bucks each, and just might be dangerous. You see, these desk lamps aren’t meant to handle more than a 40-watt bulb, but because I like fire hazards, bright lights, and Ferris wheels, I’m using 60-watt bulbs. Right now, they’re the "soft white" kind; this set-up will probably do better once I swap those for daylight-style bulbs.
Total cost for the set-up? About $18, not counting Tennessee’s exorbitant sales tax.Not professional-grade, but it works well enough for my purposes.
As for the backdrop I’ve been using for shooting miniatures, the walls are from the Mage Knight castle series, some of the better-made and cheaper buildings I’ve seen for miniatures games. The floor is a sheet of textured styrene that I sprayed in gray primer and gave a brown paint wash. Probably should have put a tan basecoat down first, to match the walls. But it’s good enough.