Taking photos of my food projects for this blog has made it abundantly clear to me that I don’t really have the right setup for beautiful pictures of food. My two windows with good natural light are located in awkward positions (both above couches, so I can’t set up a table in front of them), and all my lines of sight are directed at unattractive backgrounds. The latter problem is easily dealt with by purchasing a cardboard display board that I can use to create my own neutral backgrounds, but the light problem is tougher to solve.
A little online research shows that there are some well-reviewed artificial lights out there that apparently work well to simulate natural light. However, since I don’t have $100+ to drop on a fancy light, I decided to go the DIY route. There are tons of tutorials on how to make your own DIY “softbox,” which is basically a device that you fit around your lightbulb that’s shiny on the inside to bounce the light around and has a diffuser in the front to soften it. The most useful tutorial appeared to involve using a mesh food tent as the structure and lining it on the inside in aluminum foil or shiny fabric, and on the outside with black fabric. The big plus is that it’s foldable and thus doesn’t take up too much space.
However, when I found this insulated food tent I figured I could take it one step further. The shiny fabric here is on the outside, but I thought that if I could remove the cover and reverse it so the shiny part was on the inside, it would be a really easy solution. It turned out to be amazingly simple. Here’s how I did it: Continue reading