I'm actually a natural light photography fan mainly because I don't have the space to have a light tent set-up (before I bought commercial folding photo studios). 

You can always make your own light tent especially if you'd rather spend your hard earned money on beads instead! There are lots of tutorials on the internet so I've picked my favorites. The Digital Photography School blog is an excellent site and they have instructions on how to make one using an unwanted cardboard box, white cloth and white bristol board - assuming you have a camera and lights (top picture).

I also like this video tutorial called DIY Macro Studio by justsomekid2 on YouTube. The box idea is simpler to construct than the Digital Photography School one.

You can use white foam board instead of cardboard and build up the side. Check out Paige and Brooke for the tutorial.

No time? Then try the tissue method. Tissue is translucent so it does the same job as the white cloth - diffuses the light. This tutorial is by Stephen Dow on the CreativePro.com site. He also suggests a pillow case!! His article is definitely worth a visit as there are variations to the fast and cheap light tent idea. He said one of their most successful light tents involved a small white lampshade and a couple of facial tissues! Actually anything translucent like a plastic storage box or a paint can liner will be worth a try.

The evilmadscientist had a diabolical tutorial with a cylindrical lamp shade!

Homebrew Light Tent

If you could get one of those plastic shelving units like in the above picture by mightyohm on Flickr, rice paper, tissue or some cloth draped over it might also do the trick. Check out his tutorial on his blog.

If you are handy with PVC pipes and connectors, you can also build your own frame over which you can drape the fabric. Richard Hinton on Eyefetch wrote this tutorial for the plastic pipe light tent (link no longer available).

For that professional touch - the reflective type of jewelry photo, you'll need a glass (or clear plastic) riser. Colorado Photography by Chester Bullock has a PVC tutorial which incorporates a glass riser (Update : link no longer available). If you have something like a small u shaped glass shelf, it'll also work inside any light tent.

If you lack the space to keep a box around, a DIY collapsible light tent might be useful.Jeffrey Bail of JPGmag has a tutorial you can follow to make one out of ordinary wire coat hangers, wire, glue or tape, Bristol board and binder clips. He favors white nylon over thin white cloth.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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