Five ways to use a inscription as a photography light

October 30, 2014 - photo frame

A inscription is a good approach to perspective your photos, though it can also be impossibly useful when creation them. Here are 5 ways to spin a inscription into a DIY photography light. Many of these tips will also work with a laptop or a vast smartphone shade too.


Sick of a same aged macro photos? Turn your inscription into a DIY splendid credentials to supplement some seductiveness to a scene. This technique works best with smaller objects like toys or flowers placed in front of a screen.

Find an picture to use as a backdrop, and afterwards spin adult a shade brightness. Make certain to use an picture that we have a rights to photograph, such as a print with a scold Creative Commons license.

To assistance chuck a credentials out of concentration and combine on your subject, select a far-reaching orifice (small f-stop) to emanate a shoal abyss of field.


Lexy Savvides/CNET

As an alternative, distortion a inscription down with a shade confronting up. Then, place a tiny intent on tip of a shade with your preferred background. This technique works best when a ambient light is low so we get a intense outcome from a shade adult into a subject.

Light painting

Light paintings are mostly done with torches and sparklers, though any light source can make a sorcery occur — including your inscription screen. These images are done when a ambient light is unequivocally low, so find a dim room or conduct outward during night to experiment.

One instance of regulating a inscription shade (or even a smartphone) for light portrayal is to snippet shapes in front of your camera lens while a shiver is open for several seconds. You can even examination with spelling out words, though remember to write in counterpart picture from right to left.


Lexy Savvides/CNET

Exposure tips

  • Long exposures need a shiver to stay open for a prolonged duration of time. Use a tripod or place a camera on a plain surface, and use a remote recover (or self-timer) to revoke any intensity camera shake.
  • Keep a ISO low to revoke noise
  • Use primer mode to have full control over shiver and orifice values. Use a light scale to get an denote of what multiple will give we a scold exposure.
  • If possible, spin on bearing make-believe on a dSLR so we get a improved thought of what a final bearing will demeanour like on shade (if you’re regulating live view). Also, bearing make-believe creates focusing a lot easier if it’s dark.
  • Make shapes seem in photos by displaying an picture such as a white star opposite a black background, afterwards open and tighten a inscription cover in opposite positions around a support during a exposure.

There are copiousness of apps that can furnish opposite effects on your inscription screen, such as Holographium for iOS that creates slices of difference and cinema that seem as 3D objects when held on camera.

With a inscription displaying a ribbon settlement and an 8 second exposure, Luigi looks like he’s racing.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

Softbox Pro for iPad comes with a operation of preset shapes, patterns and colours to arrangement on a screen, as good as a shade liughtness toggle within a app.

For Android, Softlight lets we play around with colours and liughtness for educational a scene. Dr. Light Painting will spell out difference and pull cinema when dragged opposite a scene.


Your inscription is not designed to reinstate a studio light, though it does yield a large, splendid light source to irradiate a subject.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Display a plain white picture on a shade and spin a liughtness adult to a limit value. Depending on a outcome we are after, position a theme and afterwards pierce a inscription to act as a fill light. You competence find it easier to have an partner assistance we with positioning a tablet, or else spin on self-timer mode on a camera and reason a inscription in position.

With a inscription as a DIY softbox it’s probable to fill shadows on a subject’s face, or emanate a capricious outcome by highlighting their features. Experiment with a stretch from a subject’s face and shade liughtness settings.

For a unequivocally thespian look, spin off all a lights and use a inscription as your categorical light source. By holding a inscription to a side of your subject’s face, we can emanate a distinguished mural where half of a face is splendid and a other half falls off to darkness.

For this technique it’s easiest to mountain your camera or dSLR on a tripod to use a somewhat longer shiver speed, or else spin adult a ISO so we can reason a camera though introducing camera shake.

LED flash


Lexy Savvides/CNET

Tablets with an LED peep built-in to a camera procedure have another fun light source to play with. If we can control a LED peep exclusively by a flashlight app, spin it on to emanate an present torch.

The light can afterwards be used to irradiate anything from a tiny intent to a side of a subject’s face.

The strong lamp of light is also useful for formulating an outline around a theme when light painting.

For videographers, try regulating a LED as a consistent light when sharpened in a dark.


Got a box of aged negatives or slides fibbing around? Dig them out and use your inscription as a DIY lightbox.

Depending on a distance of a inscription screen, line adult a negatives or slides side by side to examination them easily, afterwards adjust a shade liughtness to get a preferred result. If we find we can see particular pixels from a shade entrance through, try diffusing a light by fixation a piece of hankie or baking paper between a shade and a negatives.

For Android, try a elementary though effective app Lightbox Free. For iOS, Light Pad HD offers a ability to toggle certain sections of a shade on and off to prominence particular slides.

If we possess a flatbed scanner, a inscription can also act as a backlight so we can indicate negatives. Simply place a negatives on a scanner glass, lay a inscription with a white shade on top, afterwards start a scan. Invert a picture in post-processing to see a finished result.

small.wp_rp_excerpt { line-height:115%; font-style:normal; } .related_post_title { } ul.related_post { line-height:120%; } ul.related_post li { list-style-type:none; clear:both; margin:0 0 0 3px; } ul.related_post li a { font-weight: bold; display:block; margin:0 0 5px 0; } ul.related_post li a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } ul.related_post li A img { width:130px; height:auto; }

More frame ...

› tags: photo frame /