Friday, December 9, 2011

How to use your lightbox

Now that you have your lightbox, you need some lights! You do not have to buy $100 lamps!

First, check the Michaels clearance aisle, I bought my $100 lamp there for $12!

Also Hobby Lobby has theirs 50% off a lot.

If you're not that lucky, or they're still too expensive, just buy a natural bulb and use it in any lamp you already have. Natural light bulbs can be found at any hardware store for just a few dollars.

Now to use you light. You can set up 2 lamps, one on either side and shine them through your tissue paper holes.

Or you can do like I do. I taped a piece of typing paper over my light (to get soft light instead of hard shadows) and I point it directly back so the light bounces off the back wall.

All of this is great, but YOU MUST HAVE A TRIPOD!!! Nobody is steady enough to take a good picture without one. I didn't believe this, but it is true: a tripod is more important than a light box for a good photo. I ordered one of those flexible tripods of ebay. It was total garbage. So I disasembled it, then I disasembled my husband's telescope and stole the tripod part. It works!!

Now you have your lightbox, your lights and your tripod, there are 2 camera settings that are super important.

1.) Macro, the little flower. If you're photographing something small, use it!

2.) the exposure +/- button. This button controls how much light your camera sees. If you turn it up, your photos will be brighter. Start at 0.0 and turn it up by one each photo. I usually have mine set on +1.0 or +1.3.

And my last tip is for jewelry photos. I made this out of black cardstock:

If you slide it into one side of your lightbox, it will give your crystals an extra sparkle! I don't usually use this, but I have tried it and it works well!

For anyone that's interested, my camera is a Nikon L110. They run a little over $200. It is still a point and shoot, but it looks more like a SLR. EVERYTHING is automatic on this camera, so it's pretty hard to take a bad photo. I really like it a lot. Before this camera, I used a Sony Cybershot I purchased for $79. That was a great camera, too. Both are really great for the cost.


  1. Thank you very much for writing this, and adding the photos - it has helped a lot!! this is a great Christmas gift to all of us :D