Artist-How-To

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*All images and words copyright of Diane Dobson-Barton dba as Barton Studio 2002-2007

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Creating a Light Tent From a Cardboard Box

Start with an empty cardboard box that is sturdy and small enough to not take up a lot of space. The one we are using here is approx 12" x 12" X 12" When closed up.

Tape the lower three flaps together at the ends so they are stable.

Drape the fabric of choice inside of the box, loosely lining it.

 

Tape the upper flap back onto the box with a strong tape.

Either roll up and use double faced tape to attach your backdrop cloth to the top of the box. Attach about where the upper half of the fabric naturally would lay. If this is unclear see the images below for examples of how the fabric is inserted into the box as a backdrop.

Attach the fabric to the bottom flap that is laying flat. It will help to keep it from shifting. Here I used a rolled up strip of strong shipping tape for the job.

With your hands press out any folds or wrinkles that interfere with the right effect for you images.

I preferred a very flat tight backdrop to the item being shot. So a piece of paper was taped into place inside of the box. This way only the smooth white surface of the paper showed up and not the weave of the fabric.

If I had only put in a sheet of paper the brown of the box would have not been totally wiped away and the darkness would have not created the look I wanted.

Another option is to paint the inside of the box entirely white with a flat paint.

This approximates what the camera will see. The item is incased in white with the light diffused from the upper right hand side.

Because of the position of the set up I chose to not use a tripod. But instead set the camera up on a box for stability. A light, with a Reveal bulb was placed over head to diffuse through the fabric. It was placed closer when shots were taken than shown here. Imagine it placed right over the right hand side of the box, rather than in the upper right hand corner of the shot shown.

Here you can see how the fabric is draped from the outside.