How-to: DIY photo studio

November 2, 2008 at 10:50 am 16 comments

I am a complainer.

If you’ve read my blog at all, you’ve probably read about my complaints of living in a cave. One of the basic rules of photography is good “natural” light. I totally get that. Unfortunately (or fortunately if its a hot summer day) my apt faces south and if we all recall from grade school days, the sun rises in the east. So yeah… I live in a cave which means no natural light. All I have is my ghetto natural light aka ceiling fan or my kitchen’s fluorescents. Needless to say its not the best source but its doable and I make it work for the most part.

My favorite foodie know-it-all, Nikki, tells me all the time that I don’t need a swanky DSLR camera. What I need is a photo light studio and it would take care of my light issues but at $60 a pop (holy light box batman!), I decided I would just deal with my cave issues. What can I say? I am cheap!

Then fellow TWDer, Caitlin, posted about her DIY light box and the promised price tag? $2! Now you’re speaking my (cheap) language! So I followed the link on her blog and made my own. My advice? Keep fingers away from razor blade. Just take my word for it. Also click the link to see the process pictures.

My box was a 23x16x12 Amazon box (… and T thought saving amazon boxes was a waste! Eat your words T!) and tissue paper leftover from last Christmas. But the best deal was finding 2 matching desk lamps at a garage sale last weekend for $1/each! Score!

After I spent a good 2 hours setting it up I was giddy to take a picture. Imagine my dismay when my pictures came out with a yellow-orange-ish tint.

I am so sad.

Can someone tell me what I did wrong? Is my 60w light bulb wrong? Do I need a higher/lower wattage? Help?

:: begin pouting in … 3…2…1 ::

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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kim  |  November 2, 2008 at 11:32 am

    hey girl… nice setup :) you need to change the white balance setting on your camera. since you’re using desk lamps, try setting it to tungsten… sometimes the auto setting doesn’t always work.

    Reply
  • 2. Heather B  |  November 2, 2008 at 11:41 am

    ohhh….I wanna make me one these! You are all kinds of awesome!

    Reply
  • 3. chocolatechic  |  November 2, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I agree with your camera setting, but I would also stick in a higher watt bulb.

    Even a grow light would be great.

    Reply
  • 4. CB  |  November 2, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    KIM, white balance? Tungsten? Uh… english please! HAHA. I have a Sony DSC-S700. Would you have any idea how to change the white balance on my camera? Mucho appreciate your help chica!

    HEATHERB, You can do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! Its not hard. Just takes a little time and if I can get my stupid white balance figured it out it will be worth it.

    CHOCOLATECHIC, What do you think? 60w? 80w? 100w? What’s a grow light?

    Reply
  • 5. Cristine  |  November 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Wow! My pictures SUCK… I could totally benefit from this! :)

    Reply
  • 6. Nikki  |  November 2, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Nice Job! I would like to remind you that I showed you links for how to do it cheap months and months and months ago. hehe

    And if you want to learn how to change the white balance read your manual (sheesh and you wonder why I tell you you don’t need a camera with a bazillion settings). RTFM love RTFM

    Reply
  • 7. kim  |  November 2, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    hehe;) check out the cyber shot handbook: http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-documents.pl?mdl=DSCS700
    page 34 has an explanation of white balance, and i think pg 30 tells you how to set it. oh and they call it “incandescent” instead of tungsten. hth!

    Reply
  • 8. CB  |  November 2, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    CRISTINE, Your pictures don’t suck! I bet you just need a cutesy little light box too. ;)

    NIKKI, Read my manual? You realize this means I have to find it first right? HAHA

    KIM, thanks for the link! Hopefully I can figure this out. Who knew my dinky little point-and-shoot had all these options? HAHA

    Reply
  • 9. Lisa magicsprinkles  |  November 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Me again! I’ve left another surprise for you at my blog!

    Reply
  • 10. CB  |  November 3, 2008 at 7:27 am

    LISA, oohhhh surprise for me?? ::off to read your blog::

    Reply
  • 11. Wandering Chopsticks  |  November 12, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I added a link to creating your own light box in my “Photos” chapter. There’s suggestions for day light bulb with higher wattage. Regular lighting will shoot yellow.

    http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2008/09/photos-photography-tips-storage-and.html

    Reply
  • 12. CB  |  November 12, 2008 at 10:51 am

    WANDERINGCHOPSTICKS, Looks like I need a higher wattage bulb. DPS recommends 90W so I’ll have to go get some of those! Thanks for the link!

    Reply
  • 13. Wandering Chopsticks  |  November 12, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Doh! I meant to include the link to DPS, not my own blog. Wasn’t paying attention when I cut and pasted. Makes me look like I’m shamelessly self-promoting and you already know how to get to my blog! :P

    http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent/

    Reply
  • 14. CB  |  November 12, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    WANDERING, No worries! I found the DPS link on your blog through your self-promotion link. HAHA. I tease you. Nothing wrong with self-promotion in my book ;)

    Reply
  • 15. Jaime  |  November 27, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    now that you have a light box, your next step is to purchase a grey card to set your white balance.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/27715-REG/Kodak_1903061_Gray_Cards.html

    (not necessarily the cheapest site but just the first link i pulled up)

    the card will allow you to set the white balance each time you shoot so it doesn’t have a tinge to it. if you purchase them, then just follow the instructions in your manual to custom set your white balance. if you have a canon, email me, and i can show you :) it has made a big difference in my indoor photos!

    Reply
  • 16. CB  |  November 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    JAIME, Grey card? Very cool! I’ll have to read up on more info about it. I am a newb so I don’t really get all this photography mumbo yet. Thanks for the link!

    Reply

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