PVC Light Tent

Taking pictures on the workbench is an exercise in frustration.  For starters, there is usually not enough light, and when I get more light on the subject, then there are shadows and the coloring is just wrong.  A few things can be down to get better results.  First, the lighting used was standard CFL bulbs, secondly the background is usually the blue anti-static work surface of my bench and last is the positioning of the light fixtures.

I purchased daylight 100 watt equivalent bulbs from Walmart (4 bulbs for about $6).  Here’s the difference between standard bulbs and the daylight type:

Light Tent - Soft White Bulbs

Light Tent – Soft White Bulbs

Light Tent  - Daylight Bulbs

Light Tent – Daylight Bulbs








Next item to address is the shadowing… for this a light tent is used.  There are many, many ways to assemble one, Google search Light Tent to see all the variations.  I decided to make my own instead of purchasing one, that way I can tailor it exactly to my needs.  For that flexibility, I chose 1/2″ PVC pipe and some white bed sheets.  All the supplies cost $15.

Light Tent Frame Light Tent Backdrop and Sides Light Tent with Side Lights Light Tent with Top Light Light Tent - Front

All the pieces are friction-fit together, so later if I want to make it taller, or wider, it’ll be a simple matter of disassembling and re-assembling.  Also, note the two “handles” on either side of the tent that allows the lamps to be clipped on.



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