Let’s say you want to keep your LEGO photography simple with clean backgrounds and well lit subjects. One of the easiest ways to do it is to use a light box (also called a light tent).
The idea is that the box/tent is made of a translucent material which helps to diffuse the light sources, giving nice, even light on your subject. The box also lets you create a nice smooth backdrop by using muslin or chroma key.
But alas, you may not have your own fancy light box, material backdrops or portable lights (and you only have half an hour before you have to go to work!).
This is the quickest light box I could whip up – you’ve probably already seen the featured image above so you know where I’m going with this.
- 1x Sun (this won’t work at night)
- 1x large, translucent plastic storage container (also handy for storing things in afterwards)
- 1x Sticky tape dispenser (with sticky tape)
- 2x A4 pieces of white paper (ideally an A3 would have been good but who has A3 paper at home?)
- 1x Tripod (I recommend the Joby range)
- 1x Camera (in this case, it’s the old faithful iPhone 5S)
Simply sticky tape the pieces of paper together along the long side to create one larger piece (You may be able to skip this if you’re just shooting a single minifigure).
Turn the box on its side and sticky tape the paper to the inside of the box to form the background and the surface that the model will be on. (Allow the paper to curve in order to have that seamless backdrop look).
Take the box outside and you’re ready to go! In my case I propped it up on a small stool.
Ta da! This is what it looks like (please mind the weeds…)
And this is the result with the iPhone 5s. These are mech versions of the LEGO Mighty Micros series that I’ve been working on.
While it’s not perfect and we could spend some time pointing out the issues, BUT it’s not terrible for what you’re spending on it (hopefully nothing if you already have the gear available to you). For a quick and easy delve into the world of light boxes, I think it works pretty well!
Now, a few quick pointers.
- If it’s a really bright day, consider where the sun is coming from. I’d suggest pointing the back of the box directly at the sun. That way you won’t get shadows from the ides
- You could just use 1x A4 piece of paper if you’re shooting smaller subjects
- You can try different coloured backgrounds
What do you think?