DIY: Bright Photos, Simple and Unique

Create photographic masterpieces in a jiffy with a lightbox, some toys and a digital camera. Seriously! I discovered this little trick about a year ago while playing around in my studio and continue to love the results.

Ever since I was a child I’ve horded miniature relics and idolized dioramas (see: my adventures in an overstocked basement.) Whether creating tiny scenes on a shelf or in a shoe box, there’s something amazing about how the fractioned scale invites you in. In college, I satiated this fascination with an undying admiration for David Levinthal’s early works – specifically, Wild West and Hitler Moves East. But it wasn’t until I saw Blackface in Houston a few years ago that I began to appreciate placing all attention on the object itself and allowing each toy’s history to visually unfold.

Bright Puppy
Bright Puppy

Like many TLC projects, both design and history have their place. These bright photographs are no exception.

To create your own images, place your object in the middle of a light box (Porta Trace makes a great one for less than $40.) (Or, at $15, the Fado lamp from Ikea is a fantastic alternative.)

Bright Gorilla
Bright Gorilla

With a digital camera, shoot photos of your object from a high angle (above the toy) getting as close as you can while still maintaining a sharp focus. Be sure to fill your screen with the white of the lamp (lay sheets of white paper underneath your light source to provide a larger white area). Cameras that allow you to control your shutter speed and aperture settings work best (as you’re dealing with dramatic lighting situations). Expect to spend some time getting used to the lighting and take lots of photos to make sure you get a good shot. Offload your images and print! That’s it.

Got questions or interested in TLC capturing your favorite childhood relic for you? Just ask. We’re happy to help!

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2 Responses to “DIY: Bright Photos, Simple and Unique”

  1. Betsy Says:

    you know how much i love these!!!
    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE these..
    still need to do something with my cowboy and my stallion that you made for me last year. Love them.

  2. Ralu Says:

    nice tips, thanks for sharing 🙂

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