A lightbox is a small studio that includes everything but the camera in a photography setup. Photographers may shoot high-quality, professional photos of tiny objects like beauty, food, jewelry, and technological devices using the conditions of a lightbox.
Like any other piece of equipment, lightboxes come in various sizes and materials, with multiple settings and functions. You can even create your DIY lightbox with enough research and dedication.
Whether you have spent hundreds of dollars on a professional lightbox or built your own on a shoestring budget, they all serve the same purpose: they allow you to catch every detail of a subject, which is required for product commercials.
This is possible due to the white background inside the box. Please continue reading to learn how it works.
How Does Light Box Photography Function?
The platform, three vertical sides encircling the platform, and a roof make up a light box’s five sides/panels. An opening in the front allows you to reach in and arrange the subject before photographing it.
A smooth, white material covers all sides, including the platform and ceiling. When a light source is brought into the box, the white surfaces will reflect the light, completely covering the topic inside.
This is how photographers can light products so effectively.
You can either utilize LED lights that are fastened to the inside of the box (generally the more expensive variants) or bring your lights. As specific lightbox panels are translucent, you can shine a light from the outside or use natural light by placing the box outside.
As previously said, you can choose from numerous lightbox models. Also, you can fold some of them effortlessly. In addition, some cameras allow you to open the panels for more flexible shooting angles. Some even have colored backdrop sheets included.
Advantages of Light Box Photography
So, what does all of this achieve, and what are the outcomes? Here is what to expect when shooting a product (or any small thing) in a lightbox:
Illumination: Lightbox photography is the most effective approach to illuminate a subject properly. The box panels’ smooth, white surfaces will reflect light, allowing it to reach practically every crevice of the subject.
Even Lighting: Your subject will be evenly lighted to the same degree as the light source is emerging from all angles at the same power.
Controlled Shadows: A lightbox enables you to manipulate the subject’s shadows. There may be none at all, or the panels and light source might be positioned to provide mild, soft shadowing.
Puts the Subject Into Focus: There are no distractions in the background. Therefore, focusing on the subject becomes simple.
A Blank Slate: The space around the subject simplifies the editing process and makes it easy to add things like shadows in post-production.
When Should Light Box Photography Be Used?
As you may have guessed, lightbox photography is perfect for photographing small, handled items. However, you can use this technique for just about anything you wish to film with the same final result.
Get yourself a lightbox to exhibit whatever you want to highlight in detail and place in the limelight without any distractions.
However, for dynamic images, lightbox photography is not the ideal option. You will not get the visuals you desire with a lightbox if you want character, depth, range, and various elements.
Uses of Light Box for Photography
The optimum use for a photography lightbox is to photograph small items that fit inside the box. Here are some of the best applications for a lightbox:
Product Photography: For anyone who requires detailed images of products for sale, such as crafts, jewelry, or electronics.
Here is a video explaining lightbox for product photography
Food photography: While you probably will not use a lightbox during cooking, it’s ideal for photographing finished dishes.
Here is a video explaining the use of lightbox for food photography.
Flower Photography: A lightbox may be ideal for you if you frequently bring in natural objects such as flowers and plants to practice photography.
Here is a video explaining the use of lightbox for flower photography.
Macro photography: Proper lighting and exposure are critical for extreme close-up images. A lightbox will assist you in bringing out the details in macro pictures of almost anything.
Here is a video explaining the use of lightbox for macro photography.
Still-life photography: Create attractive (and well-lit) shots of your work by arranging miniature still-life setups inside your light box.
How to Build a DIY Light Box for Photography?
This $3.70 lightbox took ten minutes to construct. The following are the tools you will need:
- A Package of Cardboard
- Tape for Packing
- Using a Box Cutter
- Tissue Paper
- Poster Board in White
Step 1: Cut out your light box from cardboard.
Cut the top flaps off the box with the box cutter. Next, cut out three of the box’s sides, leaving a 1-inch border on each side. You do not have to make it perfect—it can be a little haphazard and sloppy.
Step 2: Cut white tissue paper to the exact dimensions of the box and tape it on it.
Cut the tissue paper to the dimensions of the box’s sides (leaving edges that can be taped down). The tissue paper should then be taped to the outside of the box, concealing all of the holes. In addition, the tissue paper will serve as a light diffuser, softening incoming light and curbing harsh shadows
Step 3: Cut the poster board to the exact dimensions and drape it for a white background.
Cut the poster board to fit the box’s width. Make sure the poster board extends beyond the confines of the box. To make an “infinity” white background without edges, tape the top of the poster board to the top of the rear of the box, then let it drape down and out of the box. To prevent the poster board from curling upwards, tape the bottom of the poster board to the bottom of the box.
You can now photograph your products by placing them inside the light box. Place the light box near a bright window or naturally well-lit location. If you do not have enough natural light, place a desk lamp above the light box. We did not utilize any additional lighting in this example because we located an area of our office with plenty of natural light.
How to Click Product Photographs with DIY Built Light Box?
- Artificial light is always preferred over natural light. Unless you want to add dramatic shadows to your light box, in which case you may tilt a lamp to shine towards the left or right side.
- Make sure your camera’s flash is turned off.
- Get up close and personal – Making use of a light box and a close-up photo to highlight the intricacies of your product without any distracting backgrounds is a terrific method to display the details of your product without any distracting backdrops.
- This helps your buyers know exactly what they are getting. It would be best to photograph your product from several perspectives.
Purchase the Best Light Boxes for Photography
The greatest picture lightboxes can provide you with everything you need to improve your photography skills. One of the most important aspects of capturing a beautiful shot is having good lighting.
Lightboxes not only soften the light falling on an object, but they also often serve as the perfect backdrop. Therefore, a soft lightbox is essential for multiple sets and interior space.
Our specialists looked at many lightboxes and came up with the following recommendations.
Best Overall Light Box – Fositan Photo Box: Our favorite lightbox on the list is the Foistan lightbox, which is also the largest. This box, which measures just under 3 feet on each side, is large enough for any shooting you need to accomplish. It could accommodate a chair or lamp without requiring any unusual maneuvering. If you are a jeweler, you will want something smaller, but this box can carry almost everything else.
The photo box comes with a carrying case for convenient transport, but it does take some time to set up and takedown, so plan accordingly. Along with the four colored backdrops that ensure you can click the photographs you want, the box features integrated, step-less, dimmable lighting, which is an excellent addition.
Best Budget Light Box – LimoStudio 16″ x 16″ Table Top Photo Photography Studio: The Limostudio Tabletop Photography Studio Kit, while not the lowest on our list, includes everything you will need at a reasonable price.
A lightbox, backgrounds, lights, and a phone tripod and holder are all included, and everything fits neatly into a carry case. Keep in mind that the backdrop fabric appears to wrinkle easily (requiring ironing) and that the spotlights are not particularly brilliant. This kit is a bonus if those two marks do not bother you.
Best Light Box for Colored Backdrops – JHS-TECH Mini Photo Studio Box: Great if the colorful backdrops drew your attention. But keep in mind that this is a little photo box. The dimensions are 9 x 9 x 9 inches. If this satisfies your requirements, you may have a winner on your hands. Red, white, green, blue, lime green, and black are among the included colors, and they may genuinely help your item stand out in a sea of white backdrops.
You may shoot from the top of the side for more freedom. As both sets of lights are USB powered, you may light your item with a wall adapter or a portable battery. It is also reasonably priced.
Best All-in-One Light Box – StudioPRO Fovitec Photography Portable Studio Table Top Lighting Tent: If the Foistan is too expensive, the StudioPRO Fovitec is a beautiful alternative. It includes everything you will need for well-lit shots, including two light stands, two small tables for holding the item being taken, and four different colored backdrops.
The lower price comes with a catch: all of these items come without a carrying bag, and the light stands are prone to tipping over. But, overall, if you only have a camera, this is an excellent kit to start your photoshoot.
Best Portable Light Box – ORANGEMONKIE Foldio3 Foldable Photo Studio Box:The “3” in the Foldio3’s name refers to the lightbox’s third generation in the Foldio family, but we believe it relates to three distinct features:
- It has a Bluetooth-controlled turntable.
- It has a short power cord.
- It folds flat and reassembles magnetically.
The Foldio3 is costlier than the StudioPro. However, it has a turntable; therefore, it is worth it. This is useful for some photographs and can significantly affect the final result (or animated gif). Furthermore, owing to its Bluetooth controller, you will not have to continuously touch the gadget, risking fingerprints or knocking it over.
Best Compact Light Box – PULUZ Light Box: You do not always need a large photo package. The Puluz little photo studio box is an excellent choice if your subjects are generally small. This lightbox rests on a table and folds down to be less than 1 inch thick. Orange, red, green, blue, and black are among the five various background colors available. It is unbeatable in terms of what it accomplishes.
We are not talking about rock-solid construction quality here since the box is thin plastic and held together with velcro. There is a light provided. However, it has a short cord, so keep an extension cord in your gear bag.
Best Professional Light Box – MyStudio MS20PRO-LED Tabletop Lightbox: Look no farther than the MyStudio MS20PRO if you possess the space for a photo studio but not the budget for one. This is a large unit, and because it is difficult to transport, it is best for someone who has a dedicated location to keep it set up.
The MS20PRO photo box from MyStudio comes in several sides, but we recommend it because we believe it will fulfill the demands of most people most of the time. You can make the final decision because there are other sizes available. This photo studio box is the greatest to have because of its seamless background, powerful lights, and included bounce cards.
Neewer Professional Studio Light Box for Photography: Neewer’s 16-inch professional lightbox emits a solid white light that you can readily adjust to highlight your items. Use a reflective interior diffusion cloth to reduce shadows and hot spots for a clean background and even illumination without distracting glare. There are four backdrops included with this photographic lightbox: black, white, gray, and orange. It also folds flat and can be put up with hook-and-loop fasteners for convenience.
Zecti Folding Light Box for Photography: This portable photographic lightbox is available in three sizes, allowing you to select the one that best suits your needs. It also has two bright 6500K LED strip lights, ensuring that they appropriately light anything you are shooting. The Zecti light box folds flat, and the LED lights are also removable to save space. You will also get four different non-woven cloth background colors free of scratches and wrinkles and create beautiful backgrounds for professional photos.
SLOW DOLPHIN Studio Light Box with 6 Backdrops: SLOW DOLPHIN created this portable photographic lightbox for artists and internet sellers. It comes with a three-color temperature-adjustable LED light ring, a mobile design for easy transport, and six PVC backdrops in white, black, red, yellow, green, and blue. It is simple to shoot flat lays or other top-down compositions. Thanks to a top opening. Reflective cloth evenly diffuses light, so you can catch more details without glare.
Finnhomy Large Professional Light Box: The Finnhomy photographic lighthouse measures 24 inches by 24 inches and is ideal for capturing larger objects. It comes with two adjustable LED light bands and three PVC backdrops in white, black, and tan, and is still incredibly portable despite its bigger size. Different filming angles are possible thanks to openings in the front and top, and everything folds up to fit into the provided carrying bag.
DUCLUS Small, Portable Photography Light Box: If you are an internet merchant or creative head looking to capture little goods like jewelry, toys, or electronics, you might be interested in this DUCLUS compact studio lightbox. This compact photographic lightbox is available in four sizes, the smallest of which is approximately 8 inches by 8 inches. White, black, red, green, blue, and yellow are among the six PVC backdrops offered. The device also includes two LED light bars that can be swiftly charged using a USB charging cord. This compact, low-cost lightbox is ideal for newcomers.
Lightbox photography is a valuable talent in the studio and for anyone who shoots product images for blogging or online sales. In addition, a portable photography lightbox is a terrific investment if you find yourself working on a tiny scale with your camera.
Lightbox photography is effortless; all you need is light and reflecting panels to create a well-lit subject. You will know their secret the next time you see those wonderfully illuminated product ads while scrolling through social media.