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Small Parrot and Finch Photographic Box

(Printable Version - PDF file - Free Adobe Reader download)

Article and photographs supplied by Paul Henry (July 2021)

These are the steps required to make a simple and
cheap box for photographing your birds

Equipment required

  1. Foam box.  I used an old grocery box measuring 58 x 39 x 26cm.  It is preferable if you have the lid as well because it makes construction easier.
  2. Sliding metal door. I cut an old cage front down to suit.
  3. Glue door to box. I used liquid nail with applicator gun. Silicon would also work.
  4. It is important to install good lighting. I used a 400 lumens LED Bar Light. This needs to be installed at the end of the box above where the bird will stand. It was about $20.
  5. You will need a jig-saw to cut out the viewing hole and door hole.
  6. For safety it is best to tape the lid to the main body after construction.

Construction method

  1. Cut out hole to accommodate the sliding door.
  2. Install, glue, brackets to hold your phone in place. I used 1 piece of plastic u-tube for the top bracket and right angle tube for the bottom support. The viewing hole must align with the phone camera lens.
  3. Glue coloured paper in half the box. The paper end is farthest from the lens hole. Once the paper has been glued you can change the paper by sticking others coloured paper by using blue-tack adhesive.
  4. Glue the metal sliding door to the lid. I used liquid nail. It does react to the form by dissolving some foam. Still OK.
  5. You will need a stand for the bird to stand on. I only used a piece of round timber, but a more natural look would require a piece of timber branch.

Taking photographs

After placing the bird in the box, I cover the door opening with a towel. This prevents the bird from trying to escape. I also used a piece of thin dowel to guide the bird towards the stand. In most cases the bird walked to the stand and stood on it without any prodding. With phone camera in the slide brackets, I slid the phone to the centre of the box and adjusted the zoom to suit what I wanted.

Photographs of various steps

Foam Box with LidFoam box with lid
Wire Front - after cutting hole glue front to boxWire front - after cutting hole
glue front to box
Mark and cut door openingMark and cut door opening
Opening for sliding doorOpening for sliding door
Mark camera lens opening and glue runnersMark camera lens opening
and glue runners
Internal view with paperInternal view with paper
Cut slot for camera lens slide camera into placeCut slot for camera lens slide camera into place
Phone centred for photo shotPhone centred for photo shot
Photo of bird standing on blockPhoto of bird standing on block

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