Photography / Lighting

To make my photographs look a little better, I had thought about building a simple photo box. The project is quickly implemented and even if you can only improve the quality minimally with it, it is worth it.


I ordered the straw silk online. The aluminium poles I had from an old tent, which broke at a Heavy Metal Festival (Some drunken guy fell into my tent). The tape and paper roll I had left over from another project at home. I had the lamps stored when I last moved. Since a complete roll of paper can be quite expensive, it is better to buy a single sheet. It also depends on how much you want to take pictures later. So if you go to mass, a roll is cheaper again. Everyone has to decide for himself and unfortunately I cannot give any guidelines. I extended the cables of the lamps with an extra plug and a lustre terminal. I once sprayed the connectors black, but this did not hold on the plastic. This flaked off even more later because of the double-sided adhesive tape and spread throughout the room.

  • Straw silk
  • Aluminium rods and plastic connectors
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Roll of white paper
  • Lights
  • Smartphone or digitalcamera
  • Graphite pencil
  • Metre stick
  • Long ruler/rod/bar
  • Scissors

Since we want to have the shape of a cube, we plug the aluminium tubes into this arrangement. Since the material comes from a camping tent, there is nothing more to explain.

To fix the straw silk properly we use the double-sided adhesive tape. I cut the tape into small pieces so that I don't have to tear off an entire page if I make a mistake. As you can see, the paint didn't hold on the plastic parts. So you can save yourself this work. I just wanted to have it uniformly in black so that it looked more professional. With a 3D printer you could also print the parts in the right colour.

We repeat this step for three sides of the cube. There must be two sides facing each other, as the lamps will be on these sides. Excess paper is cut off neatly with sharp scissors. So most of the work is already done and we come to the last important step.

As we can see, the paper on the roll is a little too wide for our project. So we're gonna cut it up. To do this, we measure the width of our cube with a metre rule and transfer it to our paper. Now we'll take something long and straight. In my case, I used a spirit level as a ruler. After we have transferred the line to the paper, we cut it again with the scissors suitably. On the first photo you can see that the paper is only held with two objects. This works quite well and you don't necessarily have to glue it firmly, because after you use it once, it goes back into the paper waste. Even if you are careful and work very cleanly, there are still small creases and stains on the paper and that doesn't look so nice in the later photo.


As mentioned above, I learned a lot. So you not only have to invest a lot of time and calmness in good photographs, but also use sufficient technology. With an inappropriate smartphone and a few household lamps, you don't really get far. Also, the straw silk I use is quite thick and either I use stronger light or thinner tissue paper. Nevertheless, I found the first tests not necessarily bad, they just weren't enough for my requirements. But I also ask myself quite a few questions. Can I work with coloured backgrounds? How do photographers get these light fadings from top to bottom? I will therefore continue to deal with the topic, but since this is already a rather expensive hobby in terms of technology, I will only be able to upgrade it in small steps. Nevertheless, I will keep an eye on this and test around a little bit.