Mirror Box


Buy a box of 6 mirror tiles ( i.e. something like this )

Use some duct-tape and make a box out of them (mirror-side inwards)

(put a little duct-tape handle on the 6th tile to make it easy to take it on and off)

Set timer on camera, (turn flash on), place camera in box, put mirror ‘lid’ onto box before shutter fires…

…get cool photo.

toss in balls of aluminum foil – because they’re shiny.

Play with light-leaks at the seams of the box.

Add candles.  Pretty.

Finally, add Droids.  Everything is better with Droids.

(Click on any of the above images to biggerize them.  Also on Flickr, including a few more.)


UPDATE:  Here’s someone who got inspired about the idea and did a MirrorBox photo-a-day of throughout January 2012  http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxK8ZKe  Cool!


32 thoughts on “Mirror Box

  1. You can grind a hole in one of the mirrors (using either a stained glass grinder or dremel tool with a diamond head and some water) and take the pictures without the camera in the frame…if you wanted…other than that, great shots!

    • Or…. if you have spare tiles, you could tape a few of them together, flat, leaving only a small square for the camera lens. Less elegant, but simpler for the tool-challenged or skill challenged.

    • Good idea, I didn’t even think of just cutting a small hole in one of the mirrors for the lens on a point and shoot. I was trying to figure out a way to have one or two walls be one way mirrors with some lighting inside the box with some diffused RGB LED’s (maybe in each corner of the box) and it dark on the outside so you don’t see the camera in the shots if you want to use a camera with a larger lens where a small hole wouldn’t work. Great, now you got me thinking and that never leads anywhere good at one in the morning >.<

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  6. Here’s a variation that, properly tweaked, can be amazing: use one or more cheap laser pointers to bounce around the mirrors, and use some smoke to give them definition. Even a little smoke, too little to really see, will be lit up by the laser; but if you fill the box with as much smoke as it can hold, most lasers will still show visible beams.

    Most people will try this with cigarette smoke, but the particles in wood or paper smoke make for a better effect in most cases. If you have access to an artificial fog maker, that’s even better. Also, CO2 fog from a little piece of dry ice works well.

    If you’re using a digital camera, just keep the laser from hitting the lens and digital image surface; it can destroy the pixels and leave permanent spots in all your future photographs.

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  11. One point that’s not obvious in the photos: the dark parts are just reflections of the black plastic of your PS camera. Quickie change: wrap your camera in white paper or masking tape. Or better, bright colored.

    For thoughts on infinite reflections and trapped laser beams, you need to expose the ends of the infinite tunnels. I don’t think these appear in the photos; I just see bright candles and dark cameras.

    • Some of the black areas are, yes (but not all – see the droid shot and it’s clear there’s a lot of darkness that can gather generally). I did a couple of shots where I wrapped the camera in aluminum foil so only the lens was poking out but didn’t like the framing so haven’t posted them.

  12. Thanks Ron for the great idea. I have been experimenting with different subjects, angles and means for supporting my camera in my mirror box. I finally used a shoe string connected where the camera strap usually mounts. This allows me to both suspend the camera and minimize the amount of light coming in at the seam.I am using a Canon G11 which means that the camera is always visible in the frame.

    This is a great project. Thanks for sharing.

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