I've been having a horrible time taking pictures of my items. I couldn't seem to get nice bright and clean pictures no matter how hard I tried. I ended up taking all of my photographs outside, but with our South Florida daily thunderstorms and extreme heat, it's near impossible to catch the right light without it being too sunny or cloudy, so I was determined to build a lightbox. I scoured the internet and read many tutorials on how to make one, and went for it.
On Friday, I was lucky to find an Ott Lamp on clearance in Joann's, so obviously I grabbed it. I also bought two clip on lamps from Walmart, they were under $10 each and a pair of daylight bulbs from GE also $10 for the pair. Being that I have items of different sizes and won't be just photographing jewelry I had be sure that my box would be tall enough to accomodate all I want to photograph, but I couldn't find one large enough for my needs. My alternative was to buy the slightly pricier foam boards that are used for school projects. I bought a trifold board and a single sheet board.
After getting everything home, I attempted to put the box together but suddenly realized I wouldn't have any space to store this contraption in my already crowded townhouse. So I decided to keep it all separate and not make it permanent so it could be moved around and stored when not in use.
Here is my setup, the Ott lamp in on an armchair providing light from above, the other two lamps I set on the floor.
I know it's not as pretty or neat looking like the ones I referenced, but it's functional, does it's job and can be put away. I find I still need to touch up the pictures so there is still some tweeking to be done to get it perfect.
Here is one of the pics I took using my new set up without any photo editing.
Here is the same image after using the Autofix feature in Picnik
Here are some of the great links I used to guide me in my decision making, check them out and come up with your own lightbox, and show me your own setup.
Homemade Light box for product photography
How to make an inexpensive light tent
Create an inexpensive photography lightbox
Also don't forget to try this great free program to retouch your photos