Monday 16 September 2013

D.I.Y Photo Booth

This is a little project that I have been thinking of doing for some now. I have always found it difficult to photograph my finished models in a setting that has a neutral background. Most of the models on this website to date will have parts of my house in the background. This is a relatively new problem for me as in the past I was happy to finish the model and display it in my office. Now that I have started this web site I would love to be able to display the finished models in a more "professional" setting. I would like to point out that I am by no stretch of the imagination a keen photographer and my knowledge of the subject is extremely limited. I do however recognise the need to learn a little more of the subject if I am to improve the content of my website.

The idea of a booth as I said has been there for some time, however I am limited to available space at home and did not want something that would take up valuable space and only be used once the model had been finished. The solution for me was to make the booth a collapsible one that could be stored away in a small corner of my storage cupboard and then be brought out and assembled when needed. The materials that I used for the construction of the booth are as follows:

5mm thick foam board
Masking tape
Pritt Stick Adhesive
Printed Photo Backgrounds
Photographic light control film (optional)

To make the booth I first stuck down some of the printed photo backgrounds onto sections of foam board. This gave me a staring size for the booth itself. Once dry the boards were then taped together to form the "walls" of the booth. I originally intended to use the one background image and therefore use these as permanent walls for the booth, however I realised during the build that these background images could be interchangeable, so I opted to cut another two plain foam boards the same size and tape them together as well. These plain boards would then form the permanent walls of the booth.

 With the two side walls now cut, they gave me a size reference for the bottom of the booth. A square was cut and covered in the black light control foil that I have and this was glued to the surface. I would like to point out that this foil is simply some very thin aluminium that has been painted in matt black. If I did not have this material I would have simply sprayed the base board in some matt black paint. The next step was to make a diagonal  cut from one corner of the base board to the other. This in effect gave me two triangles. These triangles were then taped together to re-form the original square board. The side walls were then taped to the base board and the booth was now complete.

NOTE: when making the taped joints make sure that the pieces are folded and not flat as the tape will stretch and tear due to the thickness of the foam board.

Because this was made out of foam board, it is very light, reasonably strong and best of all, folds flat! the following photos show the booth with the other interchangeable back board that I have (plain matt black) and I will be adding more back boards to my collection courtesy of Cactus Studios who provided me with the images.

booth with matt black background
photo showing the back "wall" of the booth

Showing the booth folding in on itself
Booth folded and ready for storage

another shot of the booth folded up

I have also made a smaller based and higher walled version for photographing 120 mm figures.I won't go through the build of it again but the photos of the build are below. I have also included some photos of a work in progress figure against the various backgrounds that I currently have

I am sure that I will improve or refine my design as I use it more and more. I will of course include any modifications to the design on this page.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea!
    I also find myself struggling to take decent pictures of my models and will need to create something to improve the photo quality.