Building a Homemade Light Tent

Light Tent

With it raining off and on (more on than off) for the past few weeks I have had little chance to use my new Olympus E-510 since getting it.

So, as the rain poured down on Saturday afternoon I decided to build myself a light tent. Not that I really have a keen interest in product type photography, it is still an area that I wanted to explore. It is a great inexpensive way to learn more about lighting and what does and does not work.

I decided to build a PVC framed box covered with a white cloth. For lights I used some cheap lamps with a clip rather than a base which meant that I could clip them to the frame and position them where required.

At the moment I am using 20 Watt Eco Bulbs (Equivalent to 100Watts incandescent lights). They have a colour temperature of around 2700K. I will try some other light sources as the time permits.

As a backing board I use inexpensive, colured A2 sheets of paper clipped or taped to the back of the frame.

All the pieces

The main frame of the Lightbox is made from a single length of 20mm electrical conduit.

You will also need some 90 degree elbows, Tee pieces and PVC adhesive to join the frame together.

to protect my table from scratches I have also used some caps on the end of the legs.

Putting the main frame together

The pieces of the main frame prior to assembly.

The length of the frame is around 500mm (fits an A2 sheet nicely).

The Light Tent is around 400mm deep.

Light Tent, legs

The legs of the light tent are around 350mm in length.

Rather than have the elbows on the main frame I opted to put elbows on the legs to enable the frame to be folded flat.

Close up of the leg connection

Close up view showing how the leg fits into the main frame.

Light Tent - Folded for storage

The Light Tent folds way nice and flat for easy storage.

This was a requirement as I have limited space and don't have a permanent position where I can leave it set up.

Assembled Light Tent

With the frame assembled all that is left to do is; clip or stick on our backing paper, cover our frame with a white cloth and set up our lighting.

Light Tent in use

In this shot of a model car I had 3 lights set up to get the right lighting. It took a little bit of trial and error, but I was happy with the end results.

I had one light shining through the tent on the right. Another shinning through the top of the tent. The third light was shinning directly onto the object from the front of the tent.

Valiant Charger

A classic Australian Muscle car the 256 Cubic Inch, E38 Valiant Charger R/T.

It was at one time the fastest accelerating Aussie muscle-car, covering the the standing 400 metres in just over 14 seconds.

Take a look at the full-sized version of the Charger in our photo gallery.



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