As a professional photographer (www.zelophotoblog.com) of course I was drawn to this thread. I've got huge umbrellas and softboxes and reflectors and all that stuff, but whenever I'm going to sell something on eBay I don't really feel like getting out all my gear. This project is great but what I have is a pretty good sized cardboard box that I cut large "windows" out of the top, left and right sides. Then I taped vellum/tracing paper over the windows and put my white backdrop in place and have the light shine through the vellum to soften it a bit. I'm attaching an image of an old movie camera I was selling last year. I took this photo using my cardboard box setup. Of course, this could have been anything, not just a camera. And I can easily change out the paper color for the backdrop. With a couple extra cuts you can also make the box collapsible for storage. Anyway, that's my two cents, haha!
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