your dream studio...

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by jemmy, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    queensland, australia
    HI all. Was hoping you might like to share what your :heart: dream studio would comprise of. It sounds like my handy husband is becoming keener to build mine hopefully in the near future. I have designed the layout and cant wait for interior decorating but there are several questions i hope you could help answer.

    The space is 7.6 x 9metres. I am splitting it in two - studio area / office area. At present my idea is to have 5 x 7.6 for the studio (is this enough?) and the remaining 4 x 7.6 for the office area. I will set the studio up with lights etc. which i know little about yet!(apart from that alien bees sound ;) !!) One of my thoughts is because I love natural light so much, to allow for this in the studio with double glass doors?? (in case Im a total flop at studio lighting)..and have block out curtains for when Im using artificial lighting???? What do you think......???

    And would sky-lights (that can be closed off) be a good idea above the shooting area? for even more natural light??

    At present I am thinking of going for a polished concrete floor with plain white walls.... any thoughts??

    So many questions... really hoping you guys get right into this thread and share what you would do if you were building your :heart: dream portrait studio. Babble and DREAM as much as you like:lol: ... Im all ears! Thanks a million in advance, Jem x.
     
  2. woodsac

    woodsac TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    260
    Location:
    In a black hole
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I could type for 45 minutes just based on the little I've learned...and tons I've read the last few months.

    First, start with this thread
    Studios
    I'm gonna warn you, this thread is 246 pages long!!! It was started just over 2 years ago, and it's still going strong! There are lots of shots missing from the early posts, but still tons to be found and a massive amount to be learned! Make sure you've got a few hours to start reading it :D

    Go as big as you can! Once you learn your lighting, you can shoot in ridiculously small areas. But it doesn't allow for much creativity. For family type shots, I've been shooting in an area that's about 10'x20'...and I wish I had more room! But's it's more than enough room for head and shoulder type shots.

    I would like to be able to leave 5'-8' between my subject and the backdrop, and another 5' or so between my lights and the subject. I like shooting at 50mm or longer (on a 1.6X crop).

    You've got to account for your backdrop stands, unless you mount your system to the wall. Also, your room may be 15' wide, but if you have to large light stands with softboxes or octoboxes, there goes 6 feet :(

    My biggest complaint right now is the ceiling. Because I'm inside my house, I've only got 8' ceilings. Makes it next to impossible to get a hair light above...unless your model is only 5' tall.

    Colors...seems to be preference. I've been in a couple (and seen some on the web) major type studios. Some use flat white walls, and others use dark walls. White walls are good for bouncing light. But white walls are also bad...for bouncing light. You can easily end up with light spill where you didn't want it.

    If I had my choice of flooring, I would use a removeable hardwood floor. The type that you can temporarily assemble (without actually gluing them together). That way you still have the concrete for a gritty feel, but the wood is classy looking, and it's great for laying seemless paper on. No nicks, rocks, etc.

    Is my 45 minutes up yet? :lol: I'm done for now, but I'll try and keep up with this one.
     
  3. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,905
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I know nothing about this, but you may want to have middle gray walls actually - that way the aren't acting as reflectors :) Looks kind of crummy, but you can also display your work on it. Of course that is a minor choice which can be changed easily, but I am curious to what the experienced individuals have to say :)

    I would almost be tempted to have the 9m being your width - this will allow for larger 'groups' or just more of an open space - mind you, that would allow for only side direct entry doors, and I did like your double glass doors idea. Also, you might want to look into have your lights suspended with tracks (ack, I forget the correct terminology) especially since you do lots of kid sessions - less for them to be tripping over and you worrying about.

    Well, that was defintely babbling more than anything, sorry I wasn't much help, but good luck :)

    PS. Whatever flooring you use, make sure it won't 'sweat' - otherwise your paper will wrinkle..
     
  4. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    queensland, australia
    At the moment i use a fabric backdrop but am interested in the seamless paper.... what width is it...and am i imagining correctly in that it is on a roll, attatched to the top of stands so you can just keep rolling and tearing it off???
     
  5. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    queensland, australia
    Woodsac... I cannot thank you enough. That Studios link is just what I needed. Only problem is that it REALLY is 246 pages and i am only up to pg 24..... totally hooked, with a new hero - John E - how talented is that guy! Hubby is calling me to bed, but not sure Ill be getting off this computer any time soon!! :0) Thanks so much... x
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'd agree about keeping it as big as possible. Rather than dividing it into two spaces, I might try getting office furniture on wheels so that you can move it around if need be, or at least not put a wall up and have the desk in the corner so that you can shoot the full length.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Unless you have a warehouse...you will always want/need more space. I'm thinking that the tricky part is learning to make the best use out of your space.

    On a side note...my sister and her husband just bought a property on the outskirts of the city where I live. They have a large garage that looks more like a barn. It has a loft with 14' ceilings. I mentioned that it would be a good space for a photography studio...and they said "that's what the former owner used it for".... :drool: It was dark and cold, so I didn't really go for a good look...but I'm quite jealous.
     
  8. Jazz

    Jazz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Jemmy,

    I'll chip in with a few comments. I have converted a NYC apt into a studio and darkroom. The livingroom (15 ft x 16 ft) became the studio. It's on the ground floor, which is lucky because it's the only floor in the building with high ceilings (10 feet 3 inches). The studio has a wide dooorway so I stand out in the hallway, up to 15 ft away from the subject, while the subject is 6 ft from the backdrop. I use a couple of cloth backdrops (10 ft x 20 ft) and also 9 ft wide seamless rolls.

    1 - I agree with Woodsac "go as big as you can". I wouldn't give up any of that precious space to an office, unless you have no choice.

    2 - When I built the studio, I thought it was good that the walls were white. I do mostly portraits, and the light bouncing around was driving me crazy. So I covered the walls in black felt, and it reduced the lighting problems and really helped. If I was building one now, I'd paint the walls matte black, and the floor matte black.


    3 - My idea of any ideal studio would have at least 50 ft between the subject and the background. I wish I had a lot more than 6 or 8 ft. It's a pain.

    4 - My ceilings are 10 ft 3 inches and are barely high enough. It works, but higher would be better.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've seen some studios with lights that are track mounted to the ceiling. This way you can move your lights around without stands or cords in the way. You would need some sort of remote trigger (although you only have to plug into one light)...but if you mount a light up high...then it's hard to adjust. Some remote systems will allow you to adjust the lights power from you location without actually going to the light.
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I couldn't agree more. Having tons of space between your subject and the background, and again, between you and your subject really gives a lot of freedom. I would love to have a 50ft studio, with 15-20 foot ceilings. I would probably create a system to mount strobes to the ceiling as well, and buy the biggest softbox I could get, to mount directly overhead.
     
  11. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    queensland, australia
    Well the space I will have is pretty much set measurements... It is actually a garage... my hubby has his on one side of the yard and we are basically going to build a twin next to it. I realize the bigger the better, but bigger is not really possible... I cant take ALL of the kids yard! :0)

    So keep your ideas flowing... Im loving it. Thanks x
     
  12. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you are building the structure from scratch, I realize that square footage, or meterage for that matter, might be an issue, but you can certainly make the ceiling high, which I would definetly do.
     

Share This Page