Help needed! Home studio project (small space)

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Boniaski, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Boniaski

    Boniaski TPF Noob!

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    I'm planning to build a home photostudio, unfortunately my available space is limited.

    Studio purposes:
    -Fashion shoots
    -Portret shoots
    -Product shoots
    -Interviews (video)

    I will get window blinds to block the light coming from outside. I would like to install a rack of 3 backdrops (width of 3 meter) on the white wall next to the washing table (3m92).
    To avoid a loss of space i would install 4 wall brackets from interfit to mount the lights on.

    photo's of the space:

    93707372_217763219657104_5840689570147991552_n.jpg 93117206_275137790162499_7274039088762585088_n.jpg plattegrond kamer.jpg


    What would according to you be the best solution regarding layout, light- & camera setup?

    Thanks!


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're missing the most important dimension; ceiling height. That is indeed a cozy-size studio, however you can do a lot with the space. I would not use any backdrop system which put the backdrop proud of the wall by more than a couple of inches. You need every inch you can get. I would also pass on the wall brackets; you want flexibility in positioning your lights. My suggest would be wheeled bases. If you want, you can get a ceiling system that will give you full movement and keep the floor clear, but that's quite pricey, and you would need at least 12' ceilings to make that viable.

    I think this is will be fine mid-chest and tighter. Full and even 3/4 length portraits are going to mean using a VERY short focal length which I'm not a fan of. Products of course won't be an issue unless they're BIG products...
     
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  3. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally, I'd use the narrow end as your backdrop wall, this allows for light stands to be placed further from the centreline as you move them away from the background. The way you are designing it, your light stands get closer to the centreline encroaching on your field of view. Think of it like backing into a corner and the legs on stands and tripods now get closer together, I hope that makes sense. Additionally, the sink will come in handy for makeup but could get in the way if your background was near it.

    Additionally, you may want to look at a product called Autopoles, they are expandable poles that use friction cups on the floor and ceiling mounts. They eliminate the tripod style of three legs for a light, many brands are now available with Manfrotto being the first brand who brought them to the photo market.

    If you find the seamless is too wide when you add brackets, you can cut them down. Tape the outer surface and cut with a fine tooth saw, cored seamless makes this quite doable.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would NOT go with wall- mounted scissor-strut light mounts...that locks you in to fixed light placement, which has a ripple effect on where you place your shooting table or posing chairs or backgrounds or a combination of those things. You really want to have some flexibility in where you place your lights.

    The auto Pole system that JB mentioned is actually quite handy. I have a pretty complete one, and you can use it in most rooms with ceilings up to I believe 13 or 14 ft. You can use the autopole system to support both backgrounds and using super clamps and mounting spigots you can also use it to hold lights. I have actually developed a system in which I use the autopole to hold up a roll of 9-foot wide seamless paper and also a Speedotron flash head equipped with an 11.5 inch metal reflector with a 20 degree grid and a set of two-way barn doors which I use for my hair light. _DSC8186_re-EVAL copy 2.JPG
    Nikon D2x, ISO 100,f/7.1@ 1/200 second, 70-200 VR at 102mm. No retouching.

    Here is an example portrait lighted by a 24 by 24 in made-in-China softbox placed camera right and the above-mentioned 11.5 in hair light which was placed on the Autopole on a super clamp.
    The autopole is holding up a black background and at the same time is serving as a light stand. I shot this in my garage Studio back in 2007 or so.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    IMG_3994_Jenni_cell.jpg
    Canon 5D, ISO 250, 115mm on 70-200/2.8 L IS USM zoom, f/5.6 @ 1 /200 second.

    Same basic garage studio setup, Canon 5D, one 40 inch umbrella box camera right with just-purchased Speedotron Brown Line M90 as main light, a dark purple gel fired at the background, which at the right power gives this blue effect, hair light coming in from camera left was a Brown Line M11 light with 11.5 inch 50 degree reflector,with 20 degree grid and two-way barn doors. And the hair light was mounted on the on autopole.

    This was shot across the short dimension of my garage. The autopole system allowed me to put the background about 4 inches from the wall, and mounting the hairlight on the autopole made for more room and eliminated the need for a separate light stand. The background light was on a standard manfrotto light stand at about the 10 o'clock position.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think you need 2, 24x24 inch softboxes with removable so-called "egg crate" fabric grids.
    if the boxes have recessed fronts, that is an advantage. I also think you should have at least three identical 40 in umbrella boxes. I think it is also essential to have some way to light hair. I like the Speedotron 11.5 in reflectors with either 20 degree or 35 degree grids. For accent lighting I like the 7-inch reflectors with 10 and 20 and 35 degree grids. I think you should own at least one heavy-duty rolling Manfrotto boom stand which has about a 9-foot arm and a 15 pound steel counterweight. I think you need at least four lights, and you do not necessarily need a lot of power, and in fact I think 100 Watt-seconds per light is adequate.

    In a small Studio, One does not typically need much more than 100 Watt-seconds for the main light, especially today with cameras that have great performance at ISO 250 to ISO 400.

    You need at least six light stands and a few sheets of foam board, some gaffer tape, a few sandbags, and a few rolls of seamless paper, and a few other small odds n ends. Control is what you need. One of the best ways to get that is through the use of grids on both your main light and on your hair light. I don't think much of snoots, I would much rather use a 3- or a 10-degree grid on a small metal parabolic reflector. Speaking of which I think you should also have a 16 to 22 inch white beauty dish, with at least on grid,and several sheets of Tuff Spun or similar diffusion material.

    If cost is an issue you could make your own PVC pipe diffusing screens and reflectors and make your own diffusing scrims and reflectors using material from fabric stores.
     

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