Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-24-2013, 11:08 AM - 5 Likes   #1
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 31,382
Basic light table - diffuser box and commentary

This is my basic box, thrown together in a few hours with the help of my table saw, drills etc. but easy to duplicate even with glass tables and chairs etc. if you focus on the concept, not the construction.

Here is the basic frame



Notice the slots in the rails at the top and mid points. They are designed to accept the glass from an 11x14 2 dollar picture frame we picked ap a long time ago at the dollar store. Those will provide transparent table surfaces.

Glass inserted in the top, here is the first set up, one light shining up from the bottom.




Here is the resulting photo of the above set up.



What's wrong with this picture? The glass pane is distracting, the light isn't at all focused, we aren't getting everything we could from the set. The next thing I did was to add a black mask to the glass to stop light not coming through the bottom of the glass from hitting the glass. ( All you young guys thought a mask was something Photoshop invented didn't you?)



Here's the associated picture.



This is good as far as it goes but the light falls off at the top and the whole image isn't evenly lit. Now I want to move the shelf down to the middle slot, and drape my shower curtain over the frame to act as a diffuser.I'm also adding side lights and a top light to try and get more even lighting... I'm using a diffuser to prevent reflected high lights of my light sources from ruining the image.



And here is the resulting picture...



I don't want to make this seem too easy... there was a lot of fooling around to get things the way i wanted, and in the end, I should have taken the water out of the glass to get rid of the water line, I should have changed my lights around so my strongest light was at the top but as proof of concept it's not too bad. For positioning of each light, you need to be able to shut off all outside light and position each light individually the way you want it. Then turn them all on to make sure they work together. There's a lot of just tinkering.

For this project I bought a couple of lamps and some 100 watt equivalent "Daylight bulbs". The other lamps were already around the house somewhere. The thing I like about this is there are so many places I can add cardboard masks to create spot light effects or control light getting at my images from outside and unwanted sources. And I'm going to make a table top for is so it can hold my beer on the deck when I'm not using it for photography.

My back drop is an old black blanket pinned to the wall, it will be out of your DoF so it doesn't matter if it's a bit ratty or textured. This project took one sheet of black construction paper to make masks. Lamps can be anything with a reflector. I have a couple lamps with grips on them. You can see I've used a cheap old tripod I've lost the plate for as a light stand to hold it. The other two are table lamps on boxes. I'd say it took me a long time , ( a couple of hours) but really a lot of that was getting things I needed, paper scissors, tacks etc.

This type of open construction lends itself to a lot of different projects.

Other images taken using this equipment....



For this image, a sheet or shower curtain place over a glass coffee table, with the light under the table shining up, would work just as well



Once you played around with it long enough to understand the basic concept, and how light stiking objects from different angles changes the image, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. While the lights sets I've worked with in the past have often featured 500 Watt lights etc, for home still life, this is just as much fun (and not nearly as hot.)

05-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Melbourne Outer East
Photos: Albums
Posts: 94
Great work, food for thought.
05-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,670
Nice project with a great outcome! Filing this idea away as a great winter project next time around.
05-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Kobayashi.K's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 324
I'm also thinking about a light box and this nicely illustrates the idea of a open structure that can be adapted to various circumstances. Instead of wood a popular construction is also from PVC pipes that can be connected with elbows and T's, but it's probably less easy to attach things to it.
I imagine my wooden version should be sanded and coated with a transparent lacquer ...

05-24-2013, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #5
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 31,382
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
I'm also thinking about a light box and this nicely illustrates the idea of a open structure that can be adapted to various circumstances. Instead of wood a popular construction is also from PVC pipes that can be connected with elbows and T's, but it's probably less easy to attach things to it.
I imagine my wooden version should be sanded and coated with a transparent lacquer ...
When you're done photographing pretty things... you can take a few photos that will touch any man's heart... just leave it set up for a few days and see what comes to you....

05-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Kobayashi.K's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 324
Your setup works well. The beer so real I could just grab it.
05-25-2013, 04:56 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 31,382
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
Your setup works well. The beer so real I could just grab it.
Thanks for commenting.
05-27-2013, 05:55 AM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
JimJohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Summer:Lake Superior - Michigan Winter:Texas Hill Country
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,302
Well I like it - a lot, but I'm into functionality. My spouse would think I just added another piece of junk to my growing collection of fine photographic tools.

05-27-2013, 07:50 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 31,382
Original Poster
You have to get your wife started on photography. Tess asked me to build something like this. And as I said, I'm going to put a table top on it and use it on my deck, for putting my beer and snacks on. It's going to be way more functional than you're thinking. Put the table top on it first. She doesn't have to know what it's really for. It can just be a quirky coffee table you built in your spare time. I've seen worse woodworking projects in use around people's houses.
05-28-2013, 06:04 PM   #10
Veteran Member
dane.dawg's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,436
Excellent demo, thanks you for the great info.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
concept, couple, flash, glass, image, lamps, light, lighting, lot, photo studio, picture, strobist, table
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Food Light Box Food synnyster Post Your Photos! 4 02-26-2013 08:30 AM
Black & White Coffee table, Afternoon light CWyatt Post Your Photos! 2 05-20-2012 07:21 AM
Slide + Light Table + Loupe = Awesomeness k100d Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10 04-23-2009 09:34 PM
table top Studio light ideas Petthefish Photographic Technique 12 08-21-2007 10:26 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:46 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top