A light tent, it turns out, costs around $100, so I decided to make my own crude, inexpensive light tent without spending a penny, though I'll eventually have to confess to my family that I'm the one who used up every bottle of glue and inch of tape in the house. And if you have been reading my Facebook page, you'll know I didn't have much glue to start with after my niece presumed the gluesticks were deodorant/perfume and applied it all liberally over herself when no one was looking.
The beauty of this is that even if you are, like me, the swot who failed art, craft and needlework (I went to an all-girls' convent school), you can still make a usable light tent. Here's how.
What you need to make your own light box for photography:
A cardboard carton, large enough to hold an average-sized beauty product: I suggest the box your microwave came in. Or a box that used to hold an outdated desktop PC monitor. Or a decent printer-cum-fax machine. See that it is sturdy and not creased and bent out of shape.
|This is how thin my cloth is|
Clear tape: A few yards, literally.
Scissors: One pair. Or more, if you keep forgetting where you left them.
Light: Ideally, a table lamp. A flashlight would suffice in a jiffy, provided it emits white and not yellow light.
Marker pen: As many as scissors.
Points to note while gathering the above: Your Bristol board, paper and cloth have to be the same shade of white. Do not pick blueish paper, off-white cloth and greyish-white card paper. You can get away with some shade difference in a corner or two, as you will see below, but for most part, keep them similar.
Got everything? Good. Now.
1. Tear or cut off the flaps from the top end of the box and even out the edges.
3. Cut out the squares like in the picture. This can be a painful process. Never mind if they're not perfectly straight. We aren't sculpting out darn Adonis here. You should now be left with a cube (or cuboid) open at the top, closed at the bottom, and with four framed sides. If not, go get another box and start again.
9. First affix the three pieces of cloth to three sides of the box with glue-and-tape/staples/adhesive of your choice. Pull the cloth over the frame as tightly as you can without bending the cardboard. Your box should now be closed on three sides by the cloth and open on one side. (Bottom also closed and top open)
12. Now take the last piece of cloth and cover the top of the box tightly, fixing it firmly on all four sides. See picture.
Both these photographs were taken with a Canon 500D on auto-without-flash mode, indoors. Can you guess which went into the light tent and which remained outside? Both are unedited and sans watermark.
I'm sure you can do a lot better than that with a light tent!