How to Create a Lightbox Using a Cooler

There are many ways to create a lightbox that involve different degrees of creative ability. This one involves no ability to build anything and you don't need a single hammer or nail. Dig out your cooler (ice chest) and get ready to photograph!

Steps

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    Get a cooler. If you don't have one in the garage, you might need to get one. You want a cooler because of the white interior.
    • Be sure that the handle is the square kind that goes around it. The source article has a perfect example.
      • Note: This particular ice chest is pretty small. You might want something a little larger.
    • If the cooler isn't as pristine as you would like it, it is very easy, because of its size and shape, to put in some poster paper in it.
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    Get a source of light. You want something that is maneuverable. The best kind is a shot lamp with a clamp. Alternatively, try using a flexible neck desk lamp. The inside of the light cover should be reflective or white.
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    Be sure that the bulb is right. You will want a bright bulb. Experiment with different types. There are cooler lightbulbs that you can get, but you might have to alter the white balance of your shots. Figure out what works.
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    Put the cooler on its side. If you need to, put in the posterboard in it.
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    Be sure that the handle is in front of the cooler. It will need to be in front of it, so you can fasten the lamp.
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    Fasten the lamp to the handle and point it upwards. You are wanting to light the box, not blind it.
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    Consider some sort of tissue paper covering of the lamp, if necessary. Depending on the heat of the bulb, you will only want to use this for short periods of time at most.
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    Turn on your light and start photographing!

Tips

  • If your cooler does not have the 'appropriate' handle, use something else. With the clamp on the light source, your options are endless.
  • Plastic is slippery, so depending on the shape of your handle, you might need something to keep the clamp from sliding.

Things You'll Need

  • A cooler for camping
  • A source of light

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Photography Lighting | Photographic DIY