|The lights are clamped inside this light box|
What size? Well that depends on what you are taking photos of. Keep in mind though that the bigger the box the more lights or stronger lights you will need to fill the box. Also keep in mind that your photos should not include the sides at all; in other words you need to be able to center your subject away from the back wall (remember the back is curved so you can only put your subject so far back anyway) and have it completely centered without capturing the sides (unless you are good with the clone tool :)). See my previous post on what sizes I had and what I just made if that helps you decide. You could do a mock run to see if what you are thinking will really work too. Try setting an item that you might photograph in your light box 4" away from a wall. Now place 2 items on both sides at the width that you think you want to make your box (an upright object would be better... bottle of glue, can, ketchup bottle, CD case on edge), now measure away from the wall the depth that you might make your box. Zoom, focus, look. Are your sides in view? Can you crop them out? What is that your photo will be posted as? If you built a box with these dimensions would it fit your needs in the end? Hey, nothing worse than spending a lot of time on something then discovering it's the wrong size.
A word about the inside background and why it should be removable. First and foremost is that white backdrops will will get dirty/marred over time and need to be replaced and secondly you should have other color options for different items you are photographing. Think about trying to photograph a white greeting card in a white light box... not so good; change the background to black/gray/blue and you've fixed the problem!
|This was my second light box. My first|
one was similar, but not as rigid
since I used thinner cardboard and it
was smaller/ same concept though.
Experiments: I mentioned earlier a bit about shining lights through a medium vs shining lights into your box and the lights that you can and cannot use depending on which you choose. You are probably wondering now, which is better? Well, with my cheap camera it didn't matter! I've shined it through fabric and paper and I've shined it in with fabric sides and with paper sides. None of my experiments yielded a best situation outcome and every one of them had to be adjusted a bit in the digital darkroom (see my previous post on this subject).