My first "studio"

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by redtippmann, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    Well im converting my back porch into a "studio". I always have been interested in studio work but never really looked into it.

    So I'm getting some light and stands and umbrellas soon from amazon.com and am making backdrops out of some thick cloth because im on a tight budget and cant get a $100 for backgrounds.

    This is going to document my experiences so I hope you dont mind me posting here.

    So heres what I have to work with, its the largest part of my house that were not using for living.
    [​IMG]
    so my first question is where/who can I get to shoot. I already asked my friends but they don't want to. But I looked at model mayhem but I'm not sure about contacting people there scene im only 15. So any advice about this studio stuff? Thanks!
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    For backdrops I use seamless paper rolls that are 9' wide and 12 yards long. I buy them from B&H and they cost $43 a roll plus shipping (I get free regular shipping from B&H with my NAPP membership). They come in many colors though I mostly use gray and white. White is only $40.

    You may have a source nearby so you don't have to pay shipping charges.

    Shooting in studio gives the advantage of having total control of the light. You have a lot of uncontrolled light there, but like you said, it's all you got. It's been said that, "necessity is the mother of invention".

    If you shoot models from MM or friends you need to have a signed contract and model release from each person you photograph.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  3. tron

    tron TPF Noob!

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    the easiest way i found is to just jerry rig a studio. i dont do studio work a lot so i didnt want to spend big bucks for stands, unbrellas, etc so heres what i did

    hung a white bedsheet from a closet

    got 4 of these lamps from my garage:
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml82/82011a.jpg

    clamp the lights to anything (i use wood clamps, my shelf, desk, boxes, etc)

    works great!
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yep, your studio 'gear' never shows up in the image so, whatever works.
     
  5. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    yea im looking into a set like this:
    Amazon.com: CowboyStudio New Photo Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit Set- 2 7ft Stands, 1 Mini Stand and Carry Case: Camera & Photo

    I'd love to have like 4 SB-600 (or some type of flashes) around but there like what $200 each? So I decided to go the constant light route.

    but thanks for the back drop link! I heard cloth dosent always work with bright light. but I am going to set the backdrop along the back wall and I'll keep the shades open so hopefully it will decrease the shadows cast by the subject.
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Indeed. Duct tape snoots FTW! (My snoots are all covered in duct tape on the outside...same for my cardboard grids. :lol: )
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You'll be replacing those lights, they don't have enough umph, but they'll get you started. When you go to get more powerfull lights be sure they are daylight balanced.

    No self respecting photographer uses 'duct tape', they use gaffers tape. :lol:
     
  8. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    so what light would you recommend?
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Duct tape is what I had man. It's hard to get gaffer's tape in this city, but I finally found a supplier here that sells it! :D

    I'd recommend hot-shoe flashes, for the sake of portability. I here Alien Bees are good though, if you won't need to carry them around anywhere.
     
  10. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    i went to home depot and got a couple 500W worklights with clamps and/or adjustable stands. works for me...only real beef is that they get HOT...so look out!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    I would like flashes compared to constant light but I don't know of any besides the SB-series. And my budget is around the $100 mark. I looked into the Alien Bees and a set of three ( I think I would need that) were out of my price range.

    If anyone knows of something in my range (if there is anything) portability docent matter to me so much.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    UGH... I'm sorry, but I feel that "constant on" lights suck. The power is low and portability is severely curtailed. I love studio work, but I will tell you what... some of the BEST studios are outside your door. I found some old abandoned buildings with INCREDIBLE graffiti and shot there... there are some parks that are stunning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Older buildings, back yards, down town... old parts of town, by the water, lakes, cities, country sides, inside, outside... there is NO studio in the world that will give you the vibrant background of a setting sun.

    Even at night around some campfires offer better "studio space"!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even professional studios are fun at first... but get boring REAL fast after the first 10 or so times. Then it is money wasted on backdrop stands, backdrops and other things that you will rarely, if ever, use again.

    Get yourself 1 speedlight on a light stand, maybe some wireless triggers... read the strobist site for a week, then go out and REALLY get some nice shots, then later add one or two more speedlights. They are fast, portable and you can do much more with them than any "constant on" lighting... ever!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009

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