Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shed a little light on it

 As I approach my “blogiversary”, I am thinking about this first year of blogging  and about why I haven’t posted more frequently.  One reason I came up with is that I am often writing my entries late at night after the kids have gone to bed, and the quality of my photographs at that time of night, with artificial light, has been lousy.(exhibit A, Mr. Smurf at left)  My camera is El Cheapo and my photo skills are nil.   At times, the lack of a good quality photograph is all it takes to discourage me from sharing something.   In order to do better,  I found instructions  online for a DIY lightbox and gave it a go last night. 

A cardboard box, a box cutter, a big piece of nice quality drawing paper, and a light source. I had it all.  I had just the right size paper to fit inside the box, having found several big pads at the Bowdoin College Dump-and-Run years ago.  It took me 3 minutes and Mr. Handy Smurf was ready for his closeup. 

 I played around with 2 light sources; my standard sewing light made by Ott which has the nicest full-spectrum light (come to think of it, I found that at the Dump-and-run as well!), and a simple $8 shop light from Home Depot.  I might even dig out the tripod to steady the jiggles. 


  I was so pleased with the results that I went around the house to see what I could photograph!  

Semipalmated Plover, carved by Mary Alice Hatch, my Grandma, in 1978.

Here is to beautiful photographs in the coming year’s Barn of Opportunity Blog.  Please leave me a comment.


  1. Wow!!! I have the same problem with poor quality photos! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Well done. Try tripling your light source: top and both sides. That will eliminate shadows and give your treasures the royal treatment. Not the "Royal" treatment, though- that would include a lot of tape, glue, a toilet paper tube, and various costume changes. ;)

    1. Triple lighting, "the royal treatment", would involve too much rearranging in my limited space, I'm afraid. I calmed myself about the shadow that remains with my dual lighting system: I do need to feel anchiored in space, right? Right! Thanks so much for your comment, Tessa. I love knowing you are reading.

  3. How do I get the children to stand still long enough to get this effect?

    You are amazing - well done!


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