DIY Photography Softbox / Light Tent

I had a little spare time today as I recovered from a cold. I’ve been trying to get into photography more and really figure out how to make pictures that aren’t just ordinary. I wanted to try my hand at some macro photography when I read this article. The project involves making a softbox (light tent) out of ordinary household supplies (was free in my case) and then shooting into the sides. The tissue paper on the side diffuses the light very nicely and it then bounces around filling in most of the shadows. I’m using my flash, but a bright lamp would work just as well.

Here’s a few shots of stuff I grabbed off my desk and tried in my new cheap-o photography tool.


The Setup


Light being diffused by the tissue paper


Swiss Army Knife (in the full size pic my fingerprints are very clear)


The old trusty point and shoot that needs to be retired


Compact flash cards have never looked better


A lonely battery


Not so lonely batteries


Exact same setup as above but using direct onboard flash, flat and boring

The softbox still needs some work, I’ll probably make a larger one and count this one as a prototype. As I continue to dabble I’ll post more stuff up. Any suggestions for something to shoot?

New Wedding Pics are up

Last weekend Sarah and I crashed my brother-in-law’s sister’s wedding. Previously I have had 2 chances to take photos at weddings with my Nikon D70, one at Lori and Angelo’s with the on board pop up flash and then at my brother’s wedding with my newly acquired SB-800 flash on the hot shoe. First time my results were adequate but really didn’t look much better than a point and shoot. Second time around my results were much better but I still hadn’t really grasped some of the basics like balancing background exposure and fill flash.

This time I’m definitely more pleased with the results and it is easy to see, here are the latest pics.

Paul and Grace’s Wedding (10/7/2006)

And for quality comparison:

Nathan and Stacie’s Wedding (7/9/2005)

Lori and Angelo’s Wedding