Ideas to Items: Construction of a Photo Box

1_photo_box.jpgWelcome to the Ideas to Items column. This new column will feature the construction of simple items that may be of interest to the hobbyist. If you like putting things together then you’ll like this new series.


What is a Photo Box?

A Photo Box is a small tank, cage, or some other set up used to get selective photographs.




Shown here is a 2.5 gallon glass aquarium.

Why have a Photo Box?

I get emails and pm’s every once in a while from hobbyists asking me how I get certain photographs. Most of the questions want to know “how do you take such great photos?” or maybe “how did you get that picture without anything else in the frame?” or something else along those lines. Well one of the tricks that we use in our lab is a photo box. So if you are looking to get clear, up-close, unobstructed, photos then consider this.


Building a Photo Box

The Photo Box shown here is what we call Blundell’s Expedition Box because it was what I was first taking with me on collecting trips a decade ago. Now we use them for the convenience of travel to visit other hobbyists, conferences, lectures, and whatever else. Shown here a dual-chamber box is made to provide a blue side and a black side.


This particular box has a common aquarium divider, covered with aquarium background material.



Step 1- Get a box of whatever size works well for you. See figure 2.

Step 2- Cut to fit whatever divider material you are going to use.


Step 3- Cover the back glass, and possible side panels with the color of your choice.

Step 4- Add substrate of your choice.


That is it! Now when you have a special fish or invertebrate that you need to photo just drop them in the Photo Box and get that perfect picture without anything in your way. No more chasing them around the aquarium while trying to adjust your tripod. They are right there in front of you for that perfect picture.


This project was made possible by the Aquatic & Terrestrial Research Team and was completed at the Aquaterrial Education Station.5_substrate_added.jpg








  Advanced Aquarist, Advanced Aquarist

 Adam Blundell

  (44 articles)

Adam Blundell M.S. works in Marine Ecology, and in Pathology for the University of Utah. He is also Director of The Aquatic & Terrestrial Research Team, a group which utilizes research projects to bring together hobbyists and scientists. His vision is to see this type of collaboration lead to further advancements in aquarium husbandry. While not in the lab he is the former president of one of the Nation's largest hobbyist clubs, the Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society ( Adam has earned a BS in Marine Biology and an MS in the Natural Resource and Health fields. Adam can be found at

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