Using photography lightbox

If you are doing close-up photography of detailed objects, you need good lighting. Table top close up photos without proper lighting always end up lots of dark images. Then you need to use a photo editing program to adjust colors and brightness, which adds up more time in front of computer than behind the camera.

If you are aiming to sell a small product online, you need a well-lit photo of that item.
There are many ways to create Lightbox environment at your home or in your studio. Depends on your budget you can buy a cheap inexpensive lightbox tent, or create your own lightbox with at least 3 “Daylight” Bulbs around it. If you have a bigger budget then you can purchase expensive lightbox that many online camera stores sell.


At first I created my own lightbox tent (one of my own DIY project in 2005), I used it for a while, but I was never too happy about quality of the light.
I kept switching different lightbulbs, but the box settings was never satisfying.

Most images had yellowish colors. It was pretty much like this. Too much shadow if I used flash, without flash still lighting was not bright enough.

Back in 2010 I had a LED lighting client, ( ) so I asked Carl to create one unique easy to carry around lightbox for me. He did, it was collapsable, easy to cary a metal box.

He used LEd lights inside. At first he used 2 sets of strips for lighting. It was cool to touch the lightbox, no heat, so I could get close enough my objects. However it was not bright enough. Then he made the lightbox with two strips for me. It was much better from previous version. Light was good but when I was taking glass like shiny items, there was a lot of splashing lights. I did not wanted those bright spots on the images. I have used for a while thin papers to diffuse those lights.
custom LED lightbox

The advantage of using this lightbox is I could take it anywhere ( which has electric outlet ) and set up my small photo lighting studio. I used 12″x12″ scrapbook papers as my backgrounds, sometimes muslin drops.

This year I wanted more brightness and a kind of diffuser to block sharp light splashes on the photos. So he changed the lighting inside the box. The LED lights were awesome, the dimmer was great. However this time I had strange problem. If I was looking at from view finder I was seeing some black lines? Where was that coming from? There was nothing on the image.

He explained to me that: “due to the refreash rate of your camera view finder since it updates from top to bottom and paints the line much like a tv it is sensitive to strobing of the light source”. Now what? Is is possible to use bight cool LED in a lightbox without this effect?
New challenge for both of us.

It was very interesting to see on the image there was no black line. However if I was taking photos in burst mode, I was able to see light changes clearly.
burst mode