Building a light tent – part 1, introduction

Inspired by a conversation with one of my Flickr contacts, my current project is to build a light tent. Once I’ve done it, I’m going to take some photos of the vintage cameras I picked up over Christmas.

Bryan posted this interesting shot of some peppers in a light tent, and when I commented that I’d like something similar, he mentioned that he had built his own, following these instructions by Bill Huber. The upshot is that you can do it using some cheap lighting, and some PVC pipes more commonly used for plumbing.

Earlier in the week I checked out B&Q, but found that didn’t have any suitable desk lamps, and neither of their ranges of pipes seemed to have the right parts. Last night I went out to Homebase, and picked up 2 cheap desk lamps that take 40W “golf ball”-style bulbs, and another 2 that have 20W halogen bulbs. Both types of bulb are probably a bit on the dim side compared to the 50W or 75W halogens described in the instructions, but we shall see.

I was also able to get the pipe. In the instructions (written for a US audience), the measurements are all given in Imperial units… here in the UK, I purchased 2 x 2m of 15mm PVC pipe, which I think is roughly equivalent to what the article suggests. The stuff I picked up has simple “push together” connections. I plugged one shoulder joint into a T junction when I got home, and actually now can’t take it apart again, so obviously it fits well: no glue required! Bit of a problem though, as I was hoping to be able to disassemble it when not in use.

I plan to start cutting the lengths and putting it all together in the evenings this week. All I need now is a cheap white sheet and some appropriate backgrounds (and we have a craft supplies place just down the road, so I’ll pick those up at the weekend).

Pics to follow – but then, I always say that…

See the rest of the posts in this series:

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