My (almost) free lighting setup

posted on 14th of february, 2011

Some of the most asked questions on the message boards are about lighting. Where do I get it? What do I get? Is there anything cheaper? Whats the best?

I thought I would take some time to share my lighting setup with you.

Here it is...
Custom Light Box

I know it doesn't look very pretty but the images I have made with it are! I put this one together in about an hour or two using a cardboard box, pieces of white fabric, large white sheet of paper, masking tape, three lamps, three natural color "daylight" 6500K light bulbs (any bulbs will work) and some small mirrors(not a 'must have').

By replacing the cardboard sides and top with fabric I was able to shine light through and diffuse it at the same time. This creates a nice soft light on your subject.

I had all of these items sitting around my house except for the natural color bulbs. I would estimate that you could make this same setup for about $20... much cheaper and easier than buying a professional setup. I suggest anyone starting out in product photography to build one of these and play around with it.

I hope this helps! Good Luck!!!

f/7.1 1/200th second ISO 400

f/5.0 1/50th second ISO 125

f/5.0 1/50th second ISO 100

Comments (31)

Posted by Lenutaidi on January 18, 2013
Thank you for sharing!Very useful!!
Posted by Vennys on April 03, 2012
Great setup and explanation!
Help of this kind is every time appreciated.
Thank you!
Posted by Calyx22 on April 07, 2011
That's a really good idea. I like how you provided examples of how well it worked for you. Sometimes DIY is great!
Posted by Lostarts on April 07, 2011
Good idea. I'd made one of these in photo school about 40 years ago ... so long that I'd forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me!
Posted by Igordabari on April 07, 2011
Hi Alek. Look: I made lightbox using your description and here are some images taken with it:



Thank you once again for inspiration!
Posted by Calyx22 on March 11, 2011
Thanks for sharing, Kringstad! I took a class where we made similar light boxes. It was fun and cheap! :)
Posted by Lizapixels on March 09, 2011
thanks so much for sharing
Posted by Kringstad on March 03, 2011
That is great news, Igor. I am looking forward to seeing the new images in your portfolio!
Posted by lzf on March 03, 2011
thanks for share.nice pics really
Posted by Igordabari on March 03, 2011
Thanks for your blog once again. It inspired me to create my own light box (25$ spent) using your recipe. I have done test shots and I am quite sutisfied with results and hope to do much more.
Posted by Fra73 on February 22, 2011
Thanks a lot!!
Posted by Igordabari on February 21, 2011
Thank you very much for your detailed reply.
Posted by lzf on February 21, 2011
thanks for share.
Posted by Kringstad on February 21, 2011
The bulbs I was using are 13watt florescent bulbs which are equivalent to about 25 watt incandescent bulbs. The box in the video is about 1 foot (30cm) on each side. The front side may be a little wider. I place the subject in about the middle of the box and shoot from the open side with no fabric. The lamps I was using are no special lamps, they are just what I had around the house. Any kind of lamp that you can put a light bulb in will work.
I hope this helps and please respond if you have more questions. Thanks!
Posted by Igordabari on February 21, 2011
Could you tell: 1) What is bulb power? 2) What is appr. the box sizes? 3) What side of your parallelepiped serves as window for shooting: butt-end edge or one of the 'long' sides (excuse me for my non-perfect English)? 3) Video shows not only "daylight" bulbs but also some special p h o t o - lamps, or it is my mistake?

I like your idea much and would like to try it. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Mjskehan on February 19, 2011
Awesome tip, thanks!
Posted by Yuritz on February 19, 2011
Agree on the results,looks like your pictures turned out well with it.
Congrats and thanks for sharing
Posted by Kringstad on February 16, 2011
Wow. Thanks for all of the positive feedback everyone! Looks like my first blog is a success (542 views in about 40 hrs). I think I will continue to share my tips with everyone.
Posted by Joe1971 on February 16, 2011
Posted by Kimson1972 on February 15, 2011
..good ideas all the way..!..great...!
Posted by Mariaam on February 15, 2011
This is great! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Sobek85 on February 15, 2011
Great thanks for this
Posted by smartview27 on February 15, 2011
Posted by Scottysally2 on February 15, 2011
Thanks for sharing this, it worked well, your images turned out great. :)
Posted by Trottola on February 15, 2011
Thanks for sharing, your pictures are great!
Posted by Picstudio on February 14, 2011
Nice video.
Posted by Cammeraydave on February 14, 2011
I Like it ! Thanks, Dave
Posted by Egomezta on February 14, 2011
Thanks for sharing... it sure works well....
Posted by Kringstad on February 14, 2011
Oops sorry about that. It should work now
Posted by Helenlbuxton on February 14, 2011
The images are great, Alek ... I've been doing something similar with Ikea clip-on desk lamps, baking parchment & kitchen tin foil (no box as yet). For my speciality, though (food), I'm not always overjoyed with the results I get. I definitely prefer natural light (which also has its challenges!). Still, it's good to know that it's possible to get decent results with a bit of experimenting without spending the earth! All the best.

 2 >
 of 2

Comments (31)

This article has been read 3110 times. 8 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Alek Kringstad.

About me

Hoople, US

January (1)

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles


More favorite articles

Related image searches

lighting product photography cheap white

Cheap related stock images