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Fold-away Photo Base

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I had always used some sort of temporary background for taking photos of my models etc but was never satisfied with the results so I tried to make a background holder that was easy to use. I wanted to use 32†by 40†matt board as the background because of the different colors available and the strength of the product. To mount the matt board, I used a scrap piece of ½ inch plywood that I had in my basement. The scrap was 30†by 48’’ so I cut it into two 30’ by 21 ¾â€pieces. I used a piece of piano hinge to attach two parts and added braces to prevent them from opening past 90 degrees. I also added some pieces of ¾ inch wide flat molding to the edges opposite the hinge so that the matt board can be snapped into place. The 21 ¾ inch lengths allow the matt board to fit in place with a flat base and back with 4 to 5 inch radius at the base. I added a handle and a clasp so that the photo base can fold up compactly and fit next to a wall.


Photo 1 is the base folded.




Photo 2 shows the base open.




Photo 3 shows the base with a piece of matt board in place ready to put the model for photographing.




Note, I would normally have used a 32’ wide piece of plywood for the project but the scrap that I had worked just as well.


As far as lighting is concerned, I have a strong light above the table I use plus the flash of the camera tends to soften shadows. If I need really good lighting, I have four clamp on lamps that I can attach to the corners of the base.


Here is a model in place.



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That is nice Clare. Do you use a light cube or anything to difuse your light?


BTW 72nd is indeed gentlemen's scale.


Thanks for the comments guys. No David, I do not use a light cube. I kind of built this set-up on the cheap. Having said that, the overhead lamp is florescent with a plastic sheet under it that does quite a bit of diffusing. Check the shadows on the last photo. They are soft edged. However, the lamp is reflected on the cowl of this very shiny model. When I get serious about a specific photo, I break out the four clamp on lamps. I use 23W spiral florescent lamps for this usage. If I have too strong a shadow, I will hang a piece of tracing paper over one or the other lamps.


Yes, indeed.

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Great info- especially for the reviewer corps



Actually, your message to the reviewer corps was the impetus that caused me to make the write-up. I wanted some members' comments on the design.

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Hey Clare, how about doing a write up for our club website? WINK WINK


Done. :smiley17:


See IPMS Kalamazoo - articles, how-to. I even gave you more background plus an additional photo of the clamp-on lamps.

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