A lightbox consists of a little pop-up tent, consisting of a white fabric box with a hole in front and three lights. A lightbox would be a container with several light bulbs and a pane of frosted glass on the top. Professional photographers can use lightbox photography to view transparent films. The lightbox was first used to sort photographic plates. Sometimes, when you lay it flat, you could call it a light table.
A lightbox is lit like daylight (5,000–6,000 kelvins (K)). It has uniform light strength on the glass pane. There are fabric reflectors that attach to studio lighting with a connector. It creates soft lighting by diffusing the strobe flash. They come in rectangle or octagon shapes and sizes. Some interior reflectors are white, silver or gold. They alter the temperature of light.
Let’s look at some ways to make lightbox photography. And where you can get the best lightboxes for your photography.
How to Shoot Lightbox Photography
First place the box on some kind of table or end table, with the light sources opposite each other on each side. The tripod should be centered in front. Place the box up on a table. This will make it easier to see. You can and maneuver as well as make it easier to use your tripod for shooting.
Your backdrop is attached at the top inside the box. And it should fall freely down into a gentle curve at the back and then across the bottom of the tent. Make sure that your backdrop is clean and free of wrinkles or debris. If you are using a fabric backdrop, iron it for a completely smooth look. Use a lint roller or small blow dryer for dealing with the inevitable dust and debris.
Pro tip: If you iron your fabric, you can keep it wrinkle free by rolling it up on a cardboard tube after you shoot.
Ready to start photographing? Put your subject inside the box. And start with your object in the exact center. Moving your subject forward or backward relative to the light. It can change the lighting and shadows. Experiment for the right look. You can also experiment with lights by pointing them at a slight angle. Leave space between your subject and the walls. You’ll be able to zoom in or position your camera to see only the backdrop and not any edges.
You can use ambient lighting and adjust as needed. There is no difference between shooting midday in diffused indoor light, and shooting at night with only the lights. Avoid direct sunlight shining in or at your tent. It will be difficult to balance such a powerful light source.
Camera Set-Up For Lightbox Photography
Secure your camera on the tripod. Use either the two-second timer or a remote shutter release. This will make your tripod remains steady. Lenses with image stabilization, vibration reduction, or vibration control, should switch off. You can use longer shutter speeds with crisp results by using the tripod.
Shoot in aperture priority mode with an ISO of 100 (or the lowest value for your camera). Choose your aperture based on the look that you want in the image. If you want a narrow depth of field and lots of blur, choose the wide aperture like f/1.8. If you want a narrow and wide depth of field and crisp focus across the entire subject, choose an aperture like f/22. For food photographs: use wide apertures and selective blur to make food look more appealing. For product shots of crafts and handmade goods, use a narrow aperture to keep the entire item into focus. Do you want to avoid blur in the foreground? Your focus should be set using the part of your subject that is closest to the camera.
Try using exposure compensation to shoot a series of three shots, bracketed at -1, 0, and +1 exposure. You will see which gives you the best results.
Tip: For white backgrounds, you may get better results around +1; while for black backgrounds, you will get better results around -1. If a full stop is too dark or too light, try a half or a third of a stop.
Editing Lightbox Photography
You may want to do some more editing to ensure that your whites are white and your blacks are black. Using Adobe Photoshop can do this:
For RAW, adjust the white balance of your image, making your whites look white and not yellowish. Your light bulb will list the color temperature of the light they produce. Use as a guide for setting the white balance. Set the white balance by shooting a white card and calibrating with that image. If your background is pure white or black use the color picker in the RAW processor to neutralize any tint.
Lightboxes for Lightbox Photography
Amzdeal Photo Light Box 32 x 32in Photo Studio Professional Photography Tent with LED Light 3 Backdrops
- 32”X 32”X 32”/82cmX82cmX82cm.
- Super bright LED lights.
- Three-door System.
Easy to Set up.
LimoStudio 24″ Folding Photo Box Tent LED Light Table Top Photography Studio Kit
- 1 x 24-inch Cubic Photo-shooting Tent / 2 x Table Top Mini Halogen Light /
- Table Top Mini LED Spotlight / 1 x Table Top Mini Camera Stand / 1 x Cellphone Holding Clip
- White Photo Box: 24 x 24 x 24-inch Dimension / 4 Color Backdrops: Red, Black, Blue
- White Halogen Light: 120V / 50W / GU10 / 9.5-inch Max Tall
- LED Light: 5500K / 600 Lumen / 9.5-inch Max Tall / 120° Beaming Angle
- Table Top Camera Stand: 10–17-inch Height Adjustable
Emart Photography 24 x 24 Inches Table Top Photo Studio Continous Lighting LED Light Shooting Tent Box Kit, Camera Tripod & Cell Phone Holder
- (1) x High Quality 24in x 24in Photo Studio Light Folding Photo Box
- (4) x High Output Table Top Photography LED Light Stand & Color Gel Filter
- (4) x Backdrop Cloth(Red, Black, Blue, White)
- (1) x Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder