I really enjoy putting a lot of thinking in the gifts I give. Apparently, its the gesture that counts, but I feel a gesture and a thought are worth much more. Buying a gift for the sake of buying a gift is just like calling the plumber to get a leaky faucet fixed, you pay someone/something to take care of a problem for you. On top of that, useless gifts too often end up spending a few years at the bottom of a closet and then get thrown in the trash during a session of spring cleaning.
So the ideal gift should be something into which a lot of thought was invested in, be it in choosing, finding it or building it. It not only has to mean something but it also has to remind of the giver.
This Christmas, I built (with the help of my mother and my other sister) a light box for my little sister. A picture is worth a thousand words:
Basically, its a table top studio. It diffuses light around the object so as to diminish reflections and shadow as mush as possible in order to capture the object itself rather than it and its environment. There are plenty of tutorials to make light boxes on the net so this is nothing I invented myself, but I did design this one to be sturdy, customisable and portable.
My sister’s camera is a bit crappy and virtually no post-processing was applied to the pictures, but I can say I am more than satisfied with the result. Here are a few demonstrations of what it can do:
This is a good old reflex camera from the 80’s
Handpainted figurines from a tabletop game called WarHammer 40k. Those are 3cm high.
An ATI Radeon 9800 pro.