An anonymous commenter asked if I could explain the white box I sometimes use for insect studio shots.
Here it is:
There’s not much to it. It’s an old cardboard box- this one once held toilet paper, I think- with white printer paper taped along the inside. The strobe is placed inside the box. When the strobe fires, the box is filled with a lovely diffuse white light.
White boxes only take a few minutes to assemble, and I’ll often make one on location if I need to. Natural substrates like leaves and rocks can be added to the box so that it approximates a field setting. The whole thing is pretty ghetto.
The exact placement of the strobe within the box is important. If your subject catches direct light from the flash it’ll be reflected as a bit of glare. The light will also bounce off some sides of the box more than others depending on where the strobe is aimed, so it’s worth playing with the configuration.
Below are a few shots I took using a white box.
Scaphinotus petersi – Snail Hunting Beetle, Arizona.
Incidentally, white boxes are ideal for product photography. If you sell jewelry on ebay it’s worth your time, all ten minutes of it, to put one together. You won’t need a strobe for inanimate objects. Any light source with a reasonably white color cast will do.