Last month I showed how to make a simple light box with a cardboard box.  Here is another example, made from manila file folders.

A light tent can be purchased, but of course I prefer to just make my own.  Here I started with 2 discarded manila folders taped together so that they would stand as shown.  The extras are lying in front of them but only two were used for the main frame.

Folders are not terribly strong so you may want to use a thicker cardboard if you will be using it a great deal. Foam core works well, is inexpensive, comes in white and can be cut down to size.

In order to cut down on the yellow color coming through I covered the surface with 11” x 17” white printer paper by folding it over and taping it to the back.

Next a large piece of white fabric was laid down and over the top edge, press out wrinkles as you do.  I put a cloths pin on the top edge to keep it from dropping down, then folded it back over itself to drape over the top. I have seen folks use white trash bags, paper, tissue paper or whatever was available to get the desired effect.

I set up the tripod as shown in the camera testing example and then draped the material over the top of the camera.  This created a ‘white container’ to take the images inside.

After taking a few shots similar to the previous test, the image below was determined to have the correct setting at ISO 80, Macro setting, -1 flash.

Not bad, but I would like to get rid of the grayness of the white fabric.

 To do this I need to play with the exposure index.  After trying out -2 through +2 test shots this is the end result. I have to say that I like the change in the second photograph.

  

Continuing to experiment and see what works.

 

 

Just for comparison the image above was shot with Macro, -2 exposure, -.75 flash and a view of the image in black and white

  In my opinion the diffused light from lamp, on black, and same settings as above makes it appear much more three dimensional when compared to the other example. But I found some people preferred the images taken in the light tent and found it ‘softer’.

 

   

Hand blown glass paperweight shot in light tent compared to taken with flash on white background (paper towel)

Of course with some tweaking I am sure one could get much better shots here!

OpaqueProjector

Vintage Monster!

Is it OK to use an opaque projector as a tool for creating representational art? It is ingrained in me to say “No”. Being able to draw and see as an artist is the basis of all fine artist. One does not want to skip past this important step. When I was first serious about learning to draw having an opaque projector was not an option, financially. For this I am thankful.

I posed this question on my facebook page(s) – Artist-How-To and Diane Dobson Barton. People proposed “Professional artist use one all the time.”, “It saves time.”,  “The master’s used similar devices for centuries.” The problem as I see it arises when an artist uses a projection without the necessary skills to make it work in the end. When it is used as a crutch rather than a tool.

I have also heard people say it “saves time”.  But if you can draw well, drawing is quicker.  If you can not draw well, one must reason that you can also not see well. Seeing well is the basis of creating all representational art.

Vintage Projector

Vintage Projector

One can drive a car with cruise control and an automatic transmission just fine. But if they never learn to steer they won’t get very far. I sincerely wish I could say knowing someone uses one does not ruffle my feathers and make red flags pop up in my mind. Maybe I am just too old school?

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