How to make a good lighting rig with a hamburger box and a flashlight


Originally published at:


All white plastic cups work great too. Find them at 99cent stores and alike.


In Paris they call it Le Big Mac.


Say Cheeseburger!


Royale with cheeseburger.


Are those photos direct from the phone or is there post processing?


Right at the end of the clip it lists tools used for “retouching”.


Oh, great.

Now there will be hipsters with selfie sticks and Big Mac boxes taking premium mediocre photos.

(Of course this is a gimmic. He could have probably gotten the same results with a notebook or a dozen other things. He understands light intrinsically and that is why the photographs rock, not because of the method he is using. But there will be tons of people who mimic the flashlight-big mac box-straw setup without understanding how to use it, instead of learning to study the light.)

I wonder if Lomography will start carrying atrisionally hand-greased ethically sourced biodegradable vegan Big Mac boxes now?


I’m going to spray paint the inside of big mac boxes with metallic bronze or something just to see how far this can be taken


Thank you.




Is that because of the Metric System?


“Photographer Philippe Echaroux used a cheap flashlight, a soda straw, decades of photography experience and a Big Mac box to take some excellent portraits with his iPhone.”



That light was pretty dim to do much. The ambient light alone got him 90% of the way there.

Choosing where to use the ambient light is where the experience comes in.


That looks like my flashlight. It wasn’t cheap. $50.


Exactly right. Even a much better light source, placed so close to a subject’s face, produces a distinctive shadowy look that is quite different these results. Think of how a person looks when they hold a flashlight below their chin for spooky campfire stories.


Although with that large softbox in that link so close to the subject, it is also placed too low for a head shot.

75% of the light emitting surface is below the face, which is why there is a rising nose shadow.

I once saw a photographer use an open door to the outside as a light source. He asked the model to kneel. Then he knelt with her, and took a medium closeup. I asked him why the kneeling, since there was no hint of kneeling in the shot. He told me that if they remained standing then 80% of the door light would have been rising into shot from below camera, which would not have looked as good.

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