February 08, 2010

Light tables can be expensive... here is a solution.

Transparent glass items can be difficult to photograph... you want to show off how the light shines through it.
A regular photo booth can to some degree but if the item is small it's a challenge, especially if you want to lay it flat.
I was getting frustrated with my dark photos and my friend Lee Black, a great photographer, suggested using my laptop to help shine light through my glass.
So here's what I did and I'm really happy with the results!  I'm sure this could be used for small transparent items that you'd like to shine light through.

What you need:
Steady hands or tripod
Laptop or flat screen monitor
Tracing Paper

Here's my laptop.

Change the background to white and move any icons out of the way... less is better.
Carefully flip the laptop over so it looks like this... hold onto it if necessary.  Doing this won't hurt anything if you're careful.
Take a single sheet of white tracing or tissue paper and lay it over the monitor screen. 

Have the product that you'd like to take a picture of ready.

Gently place the product on top of the paper.  Take a picture!  DO NOT use the flash.  I like to use a tripod and add 2.5 second exposure... just to let in a touch more light.

Crop and edit your photo... all done!

Use this at your own risk... it worked for me so I just wanted to share.
NOT recommended for heavy items... you could damage your monitor screen.


  1. brilliant. thanks for sharing. will try this.

  2. I love this. Thanks for sharing. Truly creative.

  3. The possibilities with this method are endless really.
    After all who says the background needs to be white? or even just one colour. ;)