There you have it. You managed to convince your wife/hubby to spare some space under the kitchen table where you can do your photo business without interruption. You have managed to scrounge up some bed sheets for backdrops. What's next? Next is the really big thing that will instantly convert your den to a fine studio after hard labor and learning will give you the ability to take wonderful photographs. Light!
Did anybody say obsessed?
OK, I'll admit it. Over the last month or so, I've been obsessing with home studio tweaks - backgrounds and seamless whites in particular. No wonder too. I'm about to enter my own kids place space studio in about a month now.
This setup has been around for over a year on the web. I can't believe it went under the radar. It's cheap, quick to build and kill and best of all it is continuous, so it is also good for video A-LA matrix style.
How do you take a lovely portrait like this, on a perfect white background? Of course you'll need a beautiful model. But how would you handle the lighting? Just throw about 10000 Watts/Seconds on your seamless white and you're good.
Or use a single strobe and 5$ worth of white Coroplast. Read on for the full details.
UPDATE: assignemt results are posted here.
Welcome to the first assignment of Studio @ Home.
As I promised in the first post of the series, Studio @ Home will be accompanied with a series of assignment (or exercises if you will) that will put some structure on the evolution of your home studio. Those assignments can also be used a motivation leverage - and provide some great opportunities to win great prizes. Read on for the full details.
Once we have explored location and a few basic backdrops options we are going to hit lighting. The backdrop assignment will be up next. However, I thought it would not be fair to do the first assignment without even a little bit of home lighting discussion.
After all, light is the substance from which your photograph is made of.
There are several lighting options if you are building up your home studio: Tungsten, Halogen, Florescent, small speedlites and the big canons - studio flashes. Each with its vices and merits. I will dedicate a full post to explore the several options. But just to get things started, I wanted to discuss the most available light of all: Available Light.
On 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.
OK, 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.
On 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.
In 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?
So, you are here reading the second part of the Studio @ Home series. This is good; it means that you want to take better pictures. But have you stopped a minute to think why do I even need a studio? At Home? While most of us have a good intuition about it, and we feel that a studio will help us take better pictures (at least of some specific kinds), I would like to suggest several reasons to move from sporadic art driven shooting to studio environment. Still no DIY on this post, but I will lay the grounds for most ideas that will follow up on this series of articles.