Let There Be Lightbox

In an effort to embetter my Lego photography, I decided to build a lightbox. Nicolás had pointed me to a nifty set of instructions for how to build your own for pennies. Behold the result:

Okay, so I didn’t do such a great job on it. And I already tore one of the sides. But hey, I have more pennies, so I can make a better one. My question to you is, should I?

To be honest, I’m not sure it makes that much of a difference compared to just plain having decent lighting, which I now have thanks to those two lamps you can see in photo 2. In addition, I learned how to set my camera so that it knows I’m doing this under artificial lights, and that seems to be making a huge difference.

There’s only one way to resolve this: SCIENCE!

Here are six photos of the same thing, taken under different configurations. I want YOU to tell me which one you think looks the best. You can click on them to see bigger versions.


NUMBER 1


NUMBER 2


NUMBER 3


NUMBER 4


NUMBER 5


NUMBER 6

If people can tell the difference, it’ll be worth making a nicer box. If not, I abandon it in the woods to fend for itself. The woods are cruel to boxes, but SCIENCE! has no room for your sentimental foolishness.

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22 Responses to Let There Be Lightbox

  1. Shane says:

    Number 1

  2. Shane says:

    Then 5.

  3. Chris Sims says:

    I think #1 gets the job done best for clarity, but I like the background of #4.

  4. Dorian says:

    Color and detail look best to me on #4, but that shadow in the back-ground doesn’t look right. Second best is probably #5.

  5. Jerm says:

    #5 is best, 2 is good, 1 is alright, and even 3 and 6 don’t make my eyes bleed.

  6. bugink says:

    five.

  7. pronoblem says:

    #5 looks best…

  8. Albatross says:

    #5 is the best.
    It has the best foreground and background separation and lacks the shadow problems of some of the other shots.

  9. Albatross says:

    But you’ve got an entirely different palette in 4.

  10. Topher says:

    Yeah, #5 is the cleanest, without a shadow, which is really nice.

  11. Lanf says:

    We’re off, to outer space. We’re leaving mother Earth, to save the human race, BA BA BA OUR STAR BLAZERS!
    (Does this answer your question? YES/NO)

  12. Kurt says:

    #5 looks the best. Mainly I’m looking at the shadows. No shadows == better pic. That’s what a lightbox should do.

  13. Anne says:

    #5 for all the reasons stated above. But I like the richer colors of #4 despite the harsh shadows. Would placing the light sources on both sides of the model rather than one side minimize the shadows?

  14. Blasterhappy says:

    Yeah I think #5 is the best. Yeah I think Anne is right. Every light box I have ever seen had at least two light sources usually left and right sides. So cough up a few more pennies and get another light. Or just go outside and take your pic. that’s cheaper. HAHA!

  15. hollowhills (eric) says:

    i like #5, the light is the most even of them all without harsh contrast

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  17. Anarkey says:

    Number 5 yadda yadda, but hey, what I really wanted to tell you is that I copied some instructions for making an easy, cheap portable lightbox from the internet earlier. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you’re going to give it a second go, here’s the instructions: “Get a big clear plastic bin, a white sheet, and two desk lamps (on sale for 5 bucks each!), and a bunch of poster boards, in all different colors…I used velcro, you can use tape, but, using that box setup, you can change backgrounds quickly, it wont fall apart like with the box, and, toss everything into a bin and it’s portable!” (I copied these from a commenter on a Lifehacker article a while ago, sorry about the lack of linkage). If you make it, report back on how easy/hard/worthwhile it is!

  18. Stewart says:

    I’m going to go along with the crowd here. My votes in descending preference are 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 4!

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