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Spellduckwrong

Stop Apologizing for Your Photos!

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I've been seeing a trend on this forum of people apologizing for bad images of their painted models or WIP shots, which is a shame because there are some beautiful paint jobs out there. Usually, a cell phone (or equivalent) is blamed but from what I've seen is that it's the light, not the camera. And thankfully, the light is the cheaper of the two to fix!

Putting "DIY Lightbox" into your search engine of choice will bring up a host of tutorials. Typically, the cheapest ones are all a variation on the same theme. 1) Make a cube out of cardboard/poster board (cardboard boxes easily fulfill this requirement). 2) Cut square holes in the sides and/or top. 3) Cover all but one of said holes with tissue/cray paper/tracing paper (I spent $1USD on some jumbo fancy gift package tissue). 4) Put a piece of white poster board in the box. 4) Shine lights into box through covered holes.

That's it. Basically, the tissue covered holes diffuse the light (which is what we want), the box keeps most of the light bouncing around in there (and over your model), and the poster board makes a seamless backdrop.

Here's three links to tutorials with photos of three variations of the process.

http://m.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inexpensive-Photography-Lightbox

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html

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

If you want to get a space background, use a sheet of black poster board, flick some white paint onto it with a toothbrush to make stars and then jam that into the lightbox. That's what I did here:

http://community.spartangames.co.uk/index.php?/gallery/image/5637-spellduckwrong-dindrenzi2/

My lightbox was less literally than <$10USD for the stuff I had to actually buy. 3 x $2 white poster boards, 1 x $1 black poster sheet, 1 x $1 package of jumbo gift tissues. I already had an old toothbrush, some white paint, tape, and two desk lamps.

Hopefully, this helps! Can't wait to see some great shots.

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Ducky!  I'm sorry my pictures came out so horrible!!

 

Namazu squadron 2

 

 

It's always good to know more technique, if I had a couple of cheap clamp lights I'd probably use them to help light.  Plus some filters and what not...  And here I thought gaming was an expensive hobby!  ;)

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Been looking at the budget light box and sadly enough I only have the cardboard box. I only have 1 lamp now. Apparently lamps that eject their bulb in a sheet of fire are not desired.

 

I need to check a few more budget electronic/dollar shops but even 2 cheap ones + cheap standard bulbs add up to close to 2/3 of the price for a light box that folds up. I may have to lash out for the light box

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need to get me a box. How much stuff should I order from spartan?  :P

 

5 grand should make Spartan happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.... oh you mean for the box. I expect you could ask any shop for packing boxes. I would not recommend a fridge box as it is a bit too long :)

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Been looking at the budget light box and sadly enough I only have the cardboard box. I only have 1 lamp now. Apparently lamps that eject their bulb in a sheet of fire are not desired.

I need to check a few more budget electronic/dollar shops but even 2 cheap ones + cheap standard bulbs add up to close to 2/3 of the price for a light box that folds up. I may have to lash out for the light box

No, ejecting flaming bulbs is not a feature you typically want in a lamp!

If you put some time into the design, you can creat tape hinges that will allow a DIY box to be collapsed. You should look around at hardware stores for some clamp lights. They usually run about $5USD like this one: http://m.globalindustrial.com/m/p/tools/portable-work-lights/Flashlights-Clamping/clamp-light-with-aluminum-reflector-sl300pdq6-silver-6pk?infoParam.campaignId=T9F&gclid=CPS_k7rvrr0CFdBcMgodmHsAyw

And even if you only have one light, you can make a reflector out of aluminum foil that will kick the light back onto the model and simulate a second light.

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 Apparently lamps that eject their bulb in a sheet of fire are not desired.

 

 

It's a great feature if you're allowing your arch-nemesis to use the light.  ;)

 

 

 

If you put some time into the design, you can creat tape hinges that will allow a DIY box to be collapsed. You should look around at hardware stores for some clamp lights. They usually run about $5USD like this one: http://m.globalindustrial.com/m/p/tools/portable-work-lights/Flashlights-Clamping/clamp-light-with-aluminum-reflector-sl300pdq6-silver-6pk?infoParam.campaignId=T9F&gclid=CPS_k7rvrr0CFdBcMgodmHsAyw

And even if you only have one light, you can make a reflector out of aluminum foil that will kick the light back onto the model and simulate a second light.

 

 

The clamp lights are a great start, just watch how much wattage they're rated for.  The cheap ones aren't rated for much more than 60 watts, though you can cheat and use either a CFL (the twisty bubls) or an eco-halogen.

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My Dad has a pair of 1,000,000 candle power+ torches for work. I guess I could use those, should do the trick. Those things light up clouds at night....

 

Hell with that much candle power you could jsut use the torches to strip the paint straight off those suckers :)

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Back on the original topic, light boxes make quite a big difference in mini photography, and I use one for almost all of my shooting now. However, using natural, outdoor light also proves quite effective. 

 

The trick outdoors is to avoid direct sunlight. One way of doing this is to use the light box without any lamps to diffuse the sun, or you could just shoot on cloudy mornings, which give great color to photographs...

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Back on the original topic, light boxes make quite a big difference in mini photography, and I use one for almost all of my shooting now. However, using natural, outdoor light also proves quite effective. 

 

The trick outdoors is to avoid direct sunlight. One way of doing this is to use the light box without any lamps to diffuse the sun, or you could just shoot on cloudy mornings, which give great color to photographs...

I agree with everything you said. :)

Diffusing the light is really the secret and there are a ton of ways to do it.

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Back on the original topic, light boxes make quite a big difference in mini photography, and I use one for almost all of my shooting now. However, using natural, outdoor light also proves quite effective.

The trick outdoors is to avoid direct sunlight. One way of doing this is to use the light box without any lamps to diffuse the sun, or you could just shoot on cloudy mornings, which give great color to photographs...

Another way to avoid direct sun is to live in the uk

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