Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need a flash or the greatest lighting setup to create seamless white backdrop photos–but a flash will give you the sharpest images due to how flash duration works. However, photographer Luke Ayers has a tutorial video (below the jump) on how to do it with a single light, shoe boxes, a white board, paper and a simple lamp you can use at home.
Luke uses very cheap lights, a white backboard, white surface, and two shoe boxes. The boxes have two different properties: diffusion and reflection. The light, as Luke points out, can give you different effects. Bulbs can have a variety of color temperatures that make them either very blue or very orange. These will affect the way your product looks accordingly.
Luke is using a single bulb, and sometimes it can be very tough to pull something like this off but in this situation it works. The golden rule of lighting is that the larger the light source and the closer it is in relation to the object, the softer the light will be overall. If the product were even smaller, the light would be softer.
This is working so well because the light is being diffused by the softbox (shoe box) and it’s bouncing off of the back surface. It’s also fairly tough to get right. This would be best done with three or two lights if you’re looking for something easier. But Luke’s solution also proves that lighting knowledge trumps all over gear.