In the last year I've had back in the hobby there's been a lot to rediscover. Miniature photography has been a new thing to discover in itself. One thing I've found is the importance of softening the light hitting a mini. There are loads of tutorials out there for making a lightbox to do this, but I've come across something a little different which I thought I'd share...
A few weeks ago I came across Jix's website. Jix are a way of joining together drinking straws to make different structures, and I thought they might be good for making a frame for a lightbox, the main benefits being that you can scale it as big as you want, and can then pack it up really small when you're done.
Using the Jix connectors and some 6mm diameter straws, you can build up a frame your lightbox:
Once you've got a frame, you can drape your diffusion material over the top and down the sides of it. You can spend a little money on professional photographic diffusion sheets, like Lee 216, or you can spend next to nothing and get some white baking parchment, as I did:
Hit this with a couple of lights shining through the diffusion sheet, and there you go. In the photo below I had the main lights in the room on to show the setup, but I'd switch these off for photographing the mini as it would kill the diffusion effect created by the lightbox (as you can see by all the shadows around the mini).
I'd add that a tripod is really useful with this, as diffusing the light also means less light hitting the mini, and no one's arms are steady enough to shoot a decent 4 second exposure, as I have with this setup.
For an idea of the effect the diffusion box has, below's a with/without. It doesn't show the difference as strongly as with other miniatures I've got, but looking at the two, the diffusion creates fewer shadows that weren't painted onto the mini, and is less prone to bringing out surface imperfections and dust in the model which make it look nasty.
Anyway, I hope this has been of help to someone out there. The Jix connecters can be found here:
Edited by NiceGuyAdi, 01 March 2017 - 12:52 AM.