Macro Studio Box:

A fun and easy project for macro photography would be to build a macro studio box. The purpose is to have more control over backgrounds. You may want a photo with a plain white or black background. You can see a difference in the mood of a picture by changing the background from white to black (compare IMG_9671 to IMG_0144).

There are two macro studio box versions shown here. The first macro studio box is based on examples I've seen. The second studio box is an alteration I found to be easier, quicker, and more flexible with background changes.

First Macro Studio Box (see example IMG_6784)

  1. Get a box
  2. Cut window shape holes on the sides and top
  3. Cover the holes with tracing paper to diffuse the light
  4. Buy white/black poster board and cover the inside of the box with the non-glossy side.
  5. Put lighting on both sides of the macro studio box windows to light up the box.

This box turned out ok. I didn't have the best lighting I needed for the sides of the box. Some people use multiple slave flashes for each side of the box to illuminate the box. Since I didn't want to buy slave flashes, I decided to make another macro studio box without the top and side panels to make the box more open. This way I could take the box outside and use natural light.

Second Macro Studio Box (see example IMG_9381)

  1. Get a box
  2. Cut out the top and side panel
  3. Cut two holes to allow binder clips to fit through
  4. Buy white/black poster board and use the binder clips to hold the poster board in place.
  5. Play with different lighting techniques

I find that this second version has more opportunity for creativity and flexibility with lighting and backgrounds. It's much faster to switch out the poster boards that are held by binder clips. There’s no need to worry about cutting the poster board to fit into a box like in the first version.

Macro Lens Used: Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS
Camera Body: Canon 7D