Yes, You Can (Document Small Projects)!

light cube

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Mohamed Dardiri took a professional looking photograph of a laser cut design he made and it was getting likes on Pinterest within minutes. You can do this, too! Photographing small projects using one of our light cubes gives you a nice, even lighting without any harsh shadows.

There are two light cubes in the arts & crafts area upstairs, stored with the DSLR camera and tripods. You want to unfold the size light cube you want, the 13″ or 32″ inch tent, and set up the lamps on their bases on either side, as shown in the above photograph. I finished this art doll from a Jan Horrox pattern book and just set the doll on a box covered by some tissue paper.

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Art Doll Shellie Lewis 2016

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A sweep looks more professional and removes any distracting details from the background. There are some fabric curtain “sweeps” in the kit that Velcro into the light cubes. They need to be ironed before use to remove wrinkles. A better solution for a sweep is to use a large sheet of paper curved from top to bottom. I recommend using sewing pins or safety pins to hold the top of your sweep in place. Attach sweeps to the front and back of the cube; do not make any holes in the side panels or top panel that diffuses the lamp light.

If you don’t want to set up the DSLR camera and a tripod, and you have a smartphone, many models now have 12 – 14 megapixel high resolution cameras. These shots were taken with a lower cost LG G Stylo smartphone with a 14 megapixel camera. Using a fixed lens for small objects is not a bad option, the camera focus is simplified.

You may want to shoot in a totally dark room at night, avoiding mixed light sources from the overhead florescent lights or sunlight, if your project is light-sensitive. Having a totally consistent light source, such as the matched “cool white” 30 Watt 5500K lamps in the light cube kit, gives you maximum control over color for your photographs. Gemstones, glass art and most clear or reflective items are notorious for changing the overall color of the photographs they are in, so avoiding mixed light sources helps.

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Art Doll Face Shellie Lewis 2016

Minimal levels adjustment in Photoshop was used, because of the even, diffuse light source.

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The only downside to the light cubes is that it is a little tricky to fold them back up into circles that fit into their zipper bags.  They pop right open but getting them closed can seem like an origami secret. A reverse hand grip is the trick to making the memory steel go the right directions. The best way to fold them again correctly is to see this one minute tutorial video and try it yourself.

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