We have a client, who is in the firearms trade, with a local shop here in Denver. He has made the big time on TV but we still need to photograph some of the pistols the shop has for sale. What we did here was nothing more than building a 2’x2’x2′ cube. The top is routed out so we can slide two pieces of plexiglass into the groove for our shooting surface. One piece of plex is matte white and one matte clear.
The inside of the box has a plex mirror piece that sits at a 45 degree angle, corner to corner. It just sits in there. We have used a little wood cleat to hold it from sliding out. We can easily remove it to clean it when needed. The inside is painted with Rosco White scene paint. One of the sides is open and allows us to put diffusion material facing the mirror plex. We have found that the extra diffusion gives us a real even white surface. If necessary we can blast straight into the mirror for a different effect.
It gives us a real clean drop out background. We have even put gels on the mirror to give other color effects to the background behind our subject. If you change the size of the reflector on the bottom light, it can change the value you will get on the white plex. The more efficient the reflector, the less power needed and options open up on how and where you place your flash head.
I always use black felt board on top to surround my subject to minimize any kick back or flare back into the lens. This makes sure the subject is sharp and has good contrast. Then I add in my fill lighting on top, usually a large soft source.
We decided to build this box instead of setting up a temporary one, out of saw horses and plex, every time. It has cut down our set up time to just a few minutes. It also has a far more consistent look that a temporary one.