Shadow box question; studio setup

I am new to the forum and beginning to build a shadow box. A question about the shadow box: does any remaining opening in the roof need to be covered while using the shadow box? i.e. the light box is over top of the opening, and some boards to create shadows on the still life.
Also, in Mark's description of the studio setup, he shows one light on the ceiling at 35 degrees to the canvas. Should there only be one light in the room?




  • The "one light" in the diagram is just the position of the light, but you can have multiple bulbs there or a multi-bulb fixture, and unless you're in a small studio you probably will use multiple bulbs. But no, you don't want lights in other parts of the room — or rather, if you do, you will want to make sure they don't create glare issue under any circumstances, and the simplest way to do that is just to not have lights or bright things all over the place.

    Regarding the shadowbox, you don't even have to have a roof if you don't want, so it's okay if light gets in, it's up to you. As long as you "balance your whites" (and you should also consider checking your blacks), you're fine. Do make sure, however, that you have some mechanism in place — a length of cloth or something — to prevent your shadowbox light from lighting your color checker directly, as this will definitely throw your values off. To check this, simply turn your studio light off, leave your shadowbox light on, and go sit in your chair and hold your color checker out and move it around a bit. If it gets lit by the shadowbox light, you need to make some adjustments.
  • Thanks a lot for your advice!
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