Studio @ Home – Full Scale Backdrops & Backgrounds

Photography Studio @ HomeOn the last post we saw how easy it is to set a “backdrop” for any small object.

In this post, we will continue to explore backdrop solutions, only this time the focus is going to be on full scale backdrops. The type that goes better with taking portraits.

The underlying principles remain the same: once you have a space to shoot at, you will want to remove distractions from the background. Again, you’ll want to use a seamless backdrop removing seams in Photoshop is a painful and time consuming process. The standard width for most backdrop, muslin or paper is about 108″ (although 53″ is a common size as well). This width allows for some freedom in terms of subject placement and subject movement.

As with most simple things in life backdrop creation can be divided into two parts: creating the backdrop and mounting it.

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The DIY Light Table – A Weekend Project


Here’s a great project for a weekend. The DIY Light Table, courtesy of Félix Ménard (Flickr).

The idea behind the light table is simple. Things look really great if the light is passing through them. As opposed to light being reflected off them. This is why slides look so good, this is why we love vitrage windows in churches.

A light table is the perfect way to inspect slides, negs and to do some really interesting art.

This project by Felix uses an old desktop (from when desktops were actually made from wood and did not have any chips in them), however, a similar project can be made with more temporary means which are great for a weekend project. I’ll discuss this towards the end.

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The Portable Flash Pack

Portable Flash PackIf you’ve read the small backdrops post on Studio @ home, you know I am now on some R&R with wify. Of course I am packed for the ride with my photography gear. Aside from a camera I wanted to share how I pack my flash things. I got this tip from a long while ago at Strobist and here is my adaptation: The Portable Flash Pack.

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Doing More With Less – A Mannequin Case Study

Doing More With Less - Photography Studio LightsWhen I was a young manager, I went to my boss once, and bitched about a resource cut down and the fact the marketing was imposing a hell of a schedule on us poor R&D guys.

I really liked his response and even though it did not get me more resources it gave me good directions on how to make a plan. He looked straight into my eyes, patted me on the shoulder and fiercely said “Any manager can do more work with more resources; only good managers can do more with less“. Okay, strike the shoulder and fierce thing, this is just my father complex kicking in.

However, the same idea also applies to photography, and especially starting photographers where big dollars equipment is rare.

In the story below Martin Kimeldorf (Flickr) shares a lesson on making more with less. Actually, Martin managed to double the amount of light sources he has with just a bit of imagination. [Read more...]

Studio @ Home – Small Backdrops & Backgrounds

Photography Studio @ HomeOK, so you have your space, and ready to take your first shot on your new studio.

One of the first things that you’ll need is background. Whether you’re doing a product shot or a full portrait, backgrounds play essential role in the final outcome.

A good background will not create distractions from the subject, and will help draw attention to its features.A bad background, on the other hand, can spoil a perfectly good subject and create a cluttered feel that will distract from the subject.

In this post I’ll cover backgrounds for small objects and product shots.

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Macro On A Budget Or Back To Back Couplers

Macro On A Budget Or Back To Back Couplers The following guest post by Brian Carey will show you how to make a powerful macro glass using some old filters (and really good and cheap glass)

One method of delving into macro photography is to use adapter rings.

These rings have threads on both sides, one end is screwed onto your present camera lens like any filter and a second lens is attached in reverse onto the other end of the ring. So two lenses can be attached front to front using the adapter rings filter threads. You can buy these adapters or you can make them yourself by taking filters matching the thread sizes of the lenses being used and removing the glass and epoxying the rings together with the threads sticking out on both ends.

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Studio @ Home – Show Us Your Space

Photography Studio @ HomeOn the last post we discussed the space that a home studio requires.

So, to help get some ideas flowing, and to spite all this No-Way-You-Can-Shoot-That-At-Home attitude I’ve seen around, I thought it would be nice to share some of your home setups and spaces. Share an image of your place: be it the leaving room / basement / garage or bedroom doubling as a studio. Post it on this Flickr thread for the world to see. Let them know their house is no longer safe.

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Studio @ Home – Space

Photography Studio @ HomeIn this installment of Studio @ Home we will deal with the most fundamental aspect of having a home based studio – space.

When dealing with studio space can be easily overlooked while taking care of all the musts: camera, lighting, backdrops, props and more. But the fact of the thing is, you cannot have a studio if there is no studio space. So, how much space do you need?

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