lighting for still life

I set up a still life in my shadow box. I want to cast a strong raking light left to right over a shallow area in the front of the box. I see still lives like this a lot and wonder how to arrange the light so the foreground is bright and the middle and background are quite dark. Does anyone know how to do this? Could I put some kind of collar on my light fixture so it doesn't spread as much? I've tried blocking the light with a panel, but haven't found a way to arrange it yet so it does the trick.


  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2016
    Keep experimenting with light blocking materials until you get what you want to control the shadows.  In the meantime, here is a little graphic that might be helpful.  The sun is substituting for your light(s) and the tree is substituting for your display inside the box.  From there, you might like to diffuse the intensity of the light, as you mentioned.  Hope this helps.  Summer

  • Flatty said:
    Can u show a pic of your shadowbox?
    This made me laugh
  • @Flatty In case you were asking me for a pic of my shadowbox, aside from Mark's model, I sometimes use a photo soft box tent which gives me flexibility with my lighting from many angles especially when photographing miniatures.  Thought I'd mention it anyway.   Summer 
  • Currently I'm using a cardboard box painted brown inside. I want to paint objects on tablecloth with "portrait gloom behind." I'd put up a pic but I don't know how, trying to learn one thing at the time. Thanks for the responses.
  • Try a piece of cardboard big enough to block light with slot about 1/4" wide almost as long as the light box as a filter then experiment with turning it various angles and use another plain piece of cardboard to shorten the slot. A small 1 to 2 inch whole in a cardboard is another filter.
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