When the folks over at www.backlitbox.com approached me about reviewing the product and participating in the initial research and design of their new product, I was happy to oblige as new products that come into the marketplace are always engaging to participate in during development. So, I submitted one print for work-up, considering the line of products (images back-lit by laser lights). I chose a shot of the moon hanging beautifully over the harbor of South Carolina. When I got the product, I was skeptical at first because there was hardly any color to the image. However, when I plugged it in, the color became quite brilliant, and lit things amazingly well – better than I would have anticipated.
I did have some notes to go back to Faxon (the owner): the back of the box had no hanging wire mechanism, which put me in an awkward position of having to nail a picture hanger into the box myself, and without knowing how it was wired up for electrical, made for a potentially damaging situation. The other thing I noticed is that a thin line of light was evident around the perimeter of the box on all four sides. As we discussed at length later, this was an unfortunate side effect of the production line, with no real professional way to mask this light spill (we both agreed that gaffers tape or electrical tape would just look rather amateurish).
Not long after that, I had an idea when noticing a piece of trim molding in my office was peeling…what if there was a thin piece of trim molding that surrounded the print…this could effectively black out the border thereby avoiding the light spillage. I relayed the thoughts to Faxon, and shortly before I left for my trip, he informed me that the 2nd generation product was ready to ship and to send another photo in for production.
After sending in another image (a sunset over Folly Beach), I got the updated product literally 24 hours before my departure on vacation, and the end of the April contest series…so the review had to wait until now.
First off, let me say that I was (and am) very impressed with the professionalism that Faxon exhibited during the entire research and development process. Not only did he take constructive criticism well, but he also was quick to implement changes where improvements were desired, including not only a photo hanger on the back now, but also the trim molding to effectively eliminate the the white line of light around the border. Take a look:
The image looks amazing and I was surprised even that it was one from my own portfolio! Give the image quality, back-lit intensity, and visual appeal from this product, I must heartily give it a two-thumbs up rating, even though it is likely still in development. While most products usually are, this one even more so as he continues to improve upon the original design to deliver a better quality product to his client base. For the cost of printing, it almost is a no-brainer to consider these as part of your portfolio of products to offer clients. I’ve seen two different landscapes, and Faxon has shown me displays of portrait work and architecture work as well that have really rocked my socks off!
It’s a great product that will only improve with time, and is something every photographer should have both in their own portfolio, and as a product offering to their clients. For more information, and to upload/order your own images for production, please visit www.backlitbox.com
For those interested in having product reviews done on your own product line, please feel free to email me, as always. I do also appreciate the many requests for reviews of various products from the readership here, and all it takes is a request to me for a review to begin the process of communication with respective vendors for review copies, so keep chiming in with these ideas – it’s your suggestions that keep the product reviews coming, so sound off in the comments with what you’d like me to review next! Until then, happy shooting!