Thursday, March 17, 2011

Make Your Own Macro Photo Studio

For a long time I've wondered how some people photograph their handmade items to make them look like they are floating on a white background. I didn't know enough about photography to even think of how to search for that technique. So I was super excited when I saw this tutorial on how to make your own macro photo studio.

First I'll show you how to make the macro photo studio, then I'll show you what it does!
You'll need:
  • Large Cardboard Box
  • Duct Tape and Regular Tape
  • Tissue Paper
  • Exacto Knife and Scissors
  • White Poster Board
First, cut large squares out of three sides of your cardboard box, leaving one inch of cardboard around the edges. Do not cut the bottom of the box and one side. This uncut side will be the new bottom of your box and the original bottom will now be the back of your photo studio.
Next, attach tissue paper to the three sides of your box. The easiest way to do this is to secure the tissue paper with regular tape in the corners and then go over the entire side with duct tape. The tissue paper will diffuse the light around the subject you are shooting.

The last step is to cut your poster board to the width of your box. Secure one end of the poster board strip to the top back of your box then allow it to drape naturally down the back of your photo studio. This will create the white background for your pictures.
Now that your photo studio is finished you can experiment with different lighting to see what you like the best. I have three examples below of how to set up different lighting effects and what it does to your subject. Remember my Little Man Shoes?

Place the photo studio in a room with lots of natural, diffused light and this is the effect you get:
If you put it in bright, direct sunlight you get soft shadows:
And with artificial light you get a more warm glow to the picture:
It's really a personal preference and I imagine you'd want to photograph different items in different light. Which is your favorite?

Mine is the first, with natural light: