Let there be light!
What started as an unofficial resolution at the beginning of 2015, before becoming an official resolution in the middle, is now a reality at the end. Despite my intention to get my craft on, I didn’t make my lightbox; this one was on sale and it was too good of a deal to pass up.
… that was the middle of July. What have I been doing since then?
Well, I stalled almost as soon as I started. Our spare lamp had only a 60W bulb and I needed a brighter bulb; it took me a few weeks to remember to buy a bulb. But, even with a “natural light” bulb, the shade threw a yellowish tinge that coloured the pictures. I tried making a reflective shade to boost the light and counter the yellowing, but I still couldn’t get my pictures the way that I wanted them. Having only one light also threw some shadows, so I stole two of our bedside lights, one for each side of the lightbox, in the hopes that I could make do with what I already had. Still no good.
I had a lightbox but no light!
Of course, it was the summer, so most days I had abundant natural light. Great for taking pictures my usual way. Not so great as an incentive to sort out my lightbox lighting. Over the summer I sporadically looked for lights that would work, but nothing seemed right. In October, as the days started to shorten, I forced myself to look more seriously for some decent lighting, but it wasn’t until the middle of December that I finally found some lights I thought would work. Sadly, they were out of stock and not expected to be back in stock for six to eight weeks. Still, I kept my eye on them while I looked for other options. A few days before we rang in the New Year I saw that they were back in stock and I pounced. Talk about coming down to the wire! But, I can honestly say that I finished the resolution in 2015, even if it took me a little longer to post about it.
I chose my dragon bracelet as my test because of the labradorites. Usually the sun really makes the labs flash, so I wanted to see how well the lightbox could do. The first two pictures below were taken in natural light, the rest were taken in my lightbox. And, to really see how it did on a dark day, I took the lightbox pictures in a dark room. The only light sources are the “true colour” bulbs in the lights that I bought.
The lightbox did a decent job of making the labs flash. The only thing that I’m still not quite happy with are the colours. The colours in the natural light pictures are still much nicer than those in the lightbox pictures. The difference is particularly noticeable in the more barrel-shaped lab, which looks blue in the natural light and a pale green in the lightbox light! And, despite the “natural light” bulbs, the lightbox pictures still have a few shadows and a tint to them. But, they did highlight the blue desert and pearl nicely.
Despite it not being the perfect solution I was hoping for, I’m pleased with my lightbox. Even in an almost complete dark room, the pictures turned out bright. And, although the resolution is complete, it’s not over. I want to try different materials underneath the bracelets and brighter bulbs to see if that helps diffuse the light and banish some of the shadows. I might also try a different brand of “natural light” bulbs to see if I can get rid of the tint. Part of me would really like a third light for on top, but I don’t know if that would be overkill.
I thought of subtitling this post “2015: The year of delayed resolutions.” As I looked back over the year, I noticed a trend:
- My bangle resolution was delayed by the lack of stoppers.
- My Faerybeads resolution was delayed by buyers paralysis.
- My chain resolution was delayed by a lack of “buy a lock, get a chain” deals.
- My bead-making resolution was delayed by the lack of a Brainiac bead.
- This resolution was delayed by the lack of lights.
I’m really hoping that my 2016 resolutions go a bit more smoothly!