How to Create a Photo Using a Lightbox

"Lingering' Image created using a photo taken with a lightbox and DSLR by Jennifer Empey
Last updated Jun 14, 2024
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How to Create a Photo Using a Lightbox

Lightbox Photo Create

Lingering

"You need to pick and choose to see what matches the visual ideas you have for your image.

Be open to the possibilities that artistic serendipity sends your way!

~ Harold Davis

1 My Journey into Lightbox Photo Create

My journey into floral photography began with creating images of flowers, leaves, and nature in my garden. Especially, I would create images in the hour leading up to sunset.

Then, I purchased an entry-level Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera. In addition, I learned to use it in manual mode.

My goal was to develop my own style which led me to learn photography composition and techniques. After that, I consistently experimented with intentional camera movement whereby I created abstract photographs.

From there, I journeyed into the realms of textures and painterly techniques.

More importantly, my own style of abstracts was created. Additionally, my style continually evolves.

2 Inspiration

In March 2012, I discovered the book, Photographing Flowers, Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis. I was inspired by the desire to shoot flowers in a macro using a lightbox. And, he added textures to some of his images.

However, it would still be a while before I owned a lightbox. So that, I could use it to create my images.

In 2015, I joined the Williamstown Camera Club. I have been exposed to new camera techniques, photography and art composition, and competitions. We learn from each other and develop our craft. Moreover, all this has assisted me to develop and grow as a photographer.

In the same year, I went to my first VAPS (Victorian Association of Photographers Societies Inc.) convention held in Bendigo. One of the presenters was Julieanne Kost, the Photoshop and Lightroom Evangelist. In her presentations, she inspired me with her images using intentional camera movement.

Next, Kathleen Clemons turned up on my radar. Above all, her close-up shots of flowers that are abstract and painterly caught my attention and inspired my imagination.

My overall goal is to find ways to be different and create images that are unique and creative. Above all, I am passionate about creating abstract images.

Photographing Flowers

3 Setting up the shot

The before shot was created using a small lightbox. My daughter found the lightbox at Kmart, and it is shown below. It is 29.8 cm long, 14.3 cm wide, and 6.4 cm deep. The lit-up area is 28.9 cm long and 13.1 cm wide.

Using the lightbox with the light turned on, meant that a flash was not needed. Other lights in the room were turned off, so no reflections would appear in the image. Therefore, a tripod was not used due to the size of the lightbox because I could lean over it.

In addition, the clear perspex was taken off the box.

Lightbox
Lightbox

4 Getting the Shot

Whilst I was at my son's farm, I found some decaying brown leaves on the ground. When the leaves are green, they aren't transparent. Thus, they're not suited to be used on a lightbox. Whereas, the decayed brown leaves are translucent when placed on a lightbox when it is switched on. As a result, reflections of light shine through the leaves creating varying shades of dark and light in parts of the leaves.

I used a Canon EOS 550d, an entry-level crop sensor DSLR camera to create an image of the three leaves. The lens I used is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.

The DSLR was used in manual mode and the settings are f/2.8 aperture, 1/100 second shutter, ISO400, at 100mm focal length.

To get the shot, I sat on a chair and leaned over the lightbox. I tried different combinations of one leaf and three leaves, and various angles. In addition, I moved in closer to fill the frame. And, I took some further away. The composition of three leaves that suited my desires is shown below.

Leaves

 

5 Post-Production and Final Image

Next, the image of the three leaves was edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. Using a series of layers, blend modes, and textures resulted in the final abstract image, Lingering.

Shown below is the after image, Lingering.

Lingering
Framed
Lightbox Photo Create in a Frame

 

6 Awards

I am honored that my lightbox photo created, Lingering achieved Print Image of the Year in A Grade at Williamstown Camera Club 2018. In the Traces competition during the same year, Lingering placed first in A Grade print.

 

Take a Leap of Faith, Explore, and Express yourself through lightbox photo create, and your photography.

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How To Lightbox Photo Create
How To Lightbox Photo Create

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10 Comments

  1. What type of layering and additional items did you do in Photoshop and Lightroom? Your art is beautiful and I’m not surprised that you won an award!

    Reply
    • Hi Jessica
      Thank you.
      I added a couple of texture layers to eliminate the white light areas of the light box, and a watercolour layer. Then, I used multiple layers of blend modes to achieve the final outcome.

      Reply
  2. Congratulations! Beautify work. I’m and trying to be more creative with my photographs, but not so creative as you.

    Reply
    • Hi Catherine
      Thank you.
      It takes time to learn the camera settings and composition techniques. Then, you will find you are developing into your own creative artist.
      Enjoy your journey!

      Reply
  3. Your picture came out amazing. I have not mastered the photography side of my blog but I have plans to upgrade my camera soon and that might inspire me to try new things with it.

    Reply
    • Hi Rosie
      Thank you.
      It’s ok to start with the camera or smart phone that you have already.
      Enjoy your journey!

      Reply
  4. Just trying to capture great shots right now for my blog and social media. Your work is beautiful.

    Reply
    • Hi Catherine
      Thank you.
      Enjoy Your Journey!

      Reply
  5. Beautiful! This is very inspirational – we have some really pretty nature in our backyard and I am always thinking about ways to photograph it in interesting ways. And, I own a lightbox! One of these days I will try it out. I’m not sure I’m that talented with Photoshop though…

    Reply
    • Hi Glory
      Thank you.
      It does take time.
      Enjoy Your Journey!

      Reply

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