Friday, 23 September 2016

What a difference a day(light bulb) makes!

I know what you are thinking; two posts in one week? I know, right. Long may it continue!

This post is primarily about the fact I bought a light box a week ago and I'm quite amazed at the difference a proper backdrop and diffused lighting can make. No more sharp shadows or harsh light.

I've been looking over my options for some time now and I've swung back and forth between making my own and buying one. What it came down to in the end was mobility. Space is a precious commodity at the moment for me so, while there are some fantastic guides out there to making your own ( I recommend this guide if interested, or here for a studier, larger design), I wanted something I could pack away.

There are a large range of light boxes on the market and the price range varies greatly. I didn't want to spend too much money on something I could literally make out of scraps I had lying around but I also didn't want to cheap out to the point where it would effect the quality of picture I was trying to produce.

Decisiveness is not a virtue I possess (just ask my wife!) but I finally settled on a happy medium between price and quality. I ordered this package from eBay. It came with a 16" Velcro foldable light box (not so small that I could only fit one model in, but large enough that I could fit a small army, squad or a even a wayfaring cat (the latter being the only one to have been tested so far - grudgingly I might add). It also comes with 4 different colour cloth back drops - these could be replaced for any backdrop of your choice but the white does help reflect the light. There is also a camera tripod and 4(!) 50w haloid lamps, just as a word of warning, these get hot very quickly (trust me!) and I think I will replace them at some point for brighter bulbs as they aren't quite doing it for me.

For the price I paid, I'm very happy with the results and whether you build or buy, I highly recommend acquiring your own light box. You just aren't doing justice to your painting skills without one, so go ahead and spend that hour on a Saturday making your own and shopping around for one you like. Trust me, you will be glad you did!