Challenge - How would you build my studio?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by misol, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    I am primarily an outdoor/natural light photographer (child/family). I love natural light...but being in Texas, there are several months through the year I don't work much because of the heat or rain. I am slowly building my business and am ready (and have the client base) to create an in-home studio. I would like it to look more natural light then standard "studio" lighting.

    The room is 11'7" wide, 14'8" long with (I believe) 10 foot ceilings (might be 12). It opens to the foyer, but not too much light comes in. Unfortunately it only has a 4'x6' south facing and heavily eved widow (but shutters that can block out the light). I have used that window to shoot sisters with albinism, and it was beautiful, but too "artsy" then would work for the average client.

    I like to use paper rolls (the long 107") and would rather put up a few rolls and use them then switch them out on stands (stands take up so much space and can be difficult working with curious kids)...but I haven't seen a system that provides that. I guess I would prefer to leave them up so I am not packing and unpacking (I have active kids of my own and plan to multipurpose the room with easily removable furniture.

    And...lets see...I have a "portable studio" with alien bees, large soft box, etc. But I am ready to buy new equipment as need be.

    So, how would you set this up? I have some ideas but am really open to learning this new aspect of photography and would love to hear the ideas from you all who are likely much more well trained in studio photography.

    Thanks so much. Y'all can even go "no cost is too much" (although we cant change the room...and cost is an issue. I would just love to see what people think.


     
  2. lonewolfsx

    lonewolfsx TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps you could use some semi-transparent paper over the windows, and could use it sort of like a giant softbox (which you could adjust the power off using the blinds on the windows, cool stuff)... as for the other lights, I'd probably continue using your alien bees, and get a large softbox (maybe an octagonal one since the window would work like a rectangular softbox), some strobes with various color filters to light your backgrounds, and hmmmm... if I had no money concerns and could shoot in an indoor studio, I'd almost definitely get a ringlight, such as the ABR800. I know that doesn't really create the "natural light" look you're going for, but you might able to offset that a little with a warmer white balance on the camera, and your subjects eyes will look fantastic. I'm not sure what exactly to do about your background issues, I'd probably just leave the stands up and just give a little briefing prior to each shoot telling people not to touch them I guess.... however effective that is haha.
    Oh and a reflector, or a few. For more natural light look, get ones with gold on one side, you could use these to warm up your subject without warming the entire image like you'd have to if you only used your camera's white balance.

    Also sorry to go off-topic a bit, but what exactly is in your "portable studio?" I'm going that route right now and have been fighting between SB flashguns and AB strobes.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If the Bees are working, then there should be no reason to change unless you feel like you're missing features that other brands have or you just want a change. I went through Bees and Speedotron before settling on Dynalite. I primarily shoot on location and outdoors and the Bees weren't powerful enough so I went to a pack and head system where I could get 1200w/s on a single light if needed. That was with the Speedotrons which were entirely too heavy so I went with Dynalite which fit me just right at the moment.

    If you're shooting indoors, you shouldn't need an over abundance of power so that shouldn't be an issue. The only I can see that the Bees would be hindering you in is color casts at lower temps and having to use a slider rather than a rotating knob with clicks for stops or a digital read out like what's on the Elinchrom strobes. If you're not shooting portraiture that involves movement or anything with action, then flash duration shouldn't be a huge issue for you either.

    If you want to best of the best just to say you have it then go spend $20,000 on a Broncolor or Profoto setup.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Savage Multiple Polevault System 63151 B&H Photo Video
    Interfit Wall Mounting Kit for Paper Rolls INT312 B&H Photo
     

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