Lightbox Help [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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09-05-2011, 13:42
Hey gang,

I used Edwick's awesome lightbox tutorial to make my lightbox. Unfortunately, I don't think I did it correctly :lol

Here is a basic picture of the lightbox with a figure inside:

My lightbox is made from an old microwave box with posterboard on the inside. I used white fabric shower curtain liners for the sides and top. I am using 100-W CFL bulbs. It looks like it diffuses the light pretty well, until I take the pictures at which time everything turns yellow. :think

I am using a basic point and shoot camera (cheap thing), so I'm sure that has a lot to do with the crappy quality. However, I'm not sure why everything is turning out yellow... Here is the same figure using my basic set up of posterboard background and camera flash:

Any ideas what I am doing incorrectly? Is the lightbox too big? Is it time for me to upgrade my camera?

Any help is appreciated!

09-05-2011, 19:26
Well, I tweaked the settings on my camera (adjusting the White Balance and setting it to macro) and I think the pictures look a bit better. At least the yellow is gone.

Here are some pics of my Troopbots using my lightbox:

09-05-2011, 19:59
The second set of pics are allot better mate.
I'd advise using a piece of white fabric in the back and base so you can't the see the join line at the bottom. :thumb

09-05-2011, 20:09
The second set of pics are allot better mate.
I'd advise using a piece of white fabric in the back and base so you can't the see the join line at the bottom. :thumb


Good call on the fabric background. I didn't notice it until after I uploaded the pictures. Thanks again!

09-06-2011, 11:30
Yeah, those first photos were just white balance problems. The second set looks like you resolved that and they look MUCH better now. You can color-correct your original photos once they're in the computer (I'm using iPhoto or Photoshop, but Picasa is a pretty good free editor for Windows), but it's a lot easier if your WB is right when you take the shots. You will get best results if you can set white balance manually against your box rather than using one of the camera presets, but I'd say whatever it is you're doing looks great already.

You can also use the posterboard for the backing without a problem -- I'm using it in mine now, in fact. The key to avoiding that bottom line is to curve your backing against the far corners instead of pasting everything flat against the background. If you cut fabric to fit the exact back and top/bottom of the box, you'll still see join lines. If you take a look at the full-sized version of this photo (, you'll see what I'm talking about if you focus on the one visible inside corner of the lightbox. It means you have to have a sheet of posterboard that's the width of your lightbox and is long enough to cover up the back corners and a bit of the bottom of the box (and you'll see that mine doesn't go all the way to the front of the box, which means I can't do any prone-position shots).

I just got some black posterboard to make a different background (and to see if my clever velcro scheme really works), so I'll take some work-in-progress shots while I'm doing it. I was honestly not sure that any of it was going to work or that it'd be worth it, which is why I didn't bother doing any assembly shots at the time. Alternately, you can follow the instructions this guy posted ( to make his homemade lightbox. It's more or less what I did anyway.

You may also want to try using your camera's landscape setting as well as the macro mode. Most camera's macro mode is going to lower depth of field, so you'll have a really narrow section of the photo that's in focus -- the camera will lock onto one chunk of your figure to focus on, but almost anything in front or behind it will be blurred. Landscape mode (usually has the 2 mountains icon) will aim to make as much of the shot in-focus as it can get, though it might mean you'll have to hold the camera steadier to do it. The lightbox should throw enough light on the subject to keep you from getting blurry photos, though.

09-10-2011, 18:35
edwick - thanks for the detailed response! I see what you mean about bending the posterboard, I'll have to try that.

I had no idea about the landscape setting - I will try that as well! Thanks again!