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Ideal photo studio?

Author Message
Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message edited at 11/29/2012, 21:39:34 PM by Chanevy
I sold my house 6 months ago and am seriously looking at one that would allow space for my own studio. I an considering one room to shoot and one next to it as an office and maybe dressing room if I break into studio portraits. Does anyone have any tips? Things that I should do or mistakes to avoid? Both rooms will have ample storage space.
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Nospmisk
364 posts
61
Message posted at 11/29/2012, 22:03:44 PM by Nospmisk
15x25' with 15' ceilings, painted black.
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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message posted at 11/30/2012, 08:46:19 AM by Chanevy
Thank you. What kind of lighting set up do you use?
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Nospmisk
364 posts
61
Message posted at 11/30/2012, 09:23:02 AM by Nospmisk
Depends on the shot.
I have:
Canon 580EXii
Canon 550EX
Canon 420EX
Apollo ORB 43"
4 Shoot through umbrellas
3 stands
4 wireless triggers
6' ettl cord
12" octo flash box
6x4" flash box
Flash globe omni
Grids
4 bounce boards
5 flags
backdrop frame + white/blue/pink/purple/yellow seamless paper

The shot dictates what I actually use though.
For a simple portrait I'll use the Apollo orb with the 580EXii on a trigger directly above the lens.

Example:
   Child in Business Suit   
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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message posted at 11/30/2012, 09:41:58 AM by Chanevy
Cool image. I am still studying lighting. I guess I will have to go slow in figuring out what I need. I appreciate your insights.
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Nospmisk
364 posts
61
Message edited at 11/30/2012, 09:47:01 AM by Nospmisk
This will probably be a good start for you: Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it By Scott Kelby
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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message edited at 11/30/2012, 10:24:45 AM by Chanevy
I will put it on my reading list
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Bogdanzagan
288 posts
78
Message posted at 11/30/2012, 13:34:41 PM by Bogdanzagan
You can easily use only one bounce flash. Here's an example:

   Image not available or id is incorrect.   

No studio, just a regular 254cm ceiling room. It's true, a nicely studio setup will make your life easier, but for stock photography you don't need a studio... one or two flashes and a white backdrop will do the job. It's in the technique... and it's easier that it sounds.
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Nospmisk
364 posts
61
Message posted at 11/30/2012, 13:42:11 PM by Nospmisk
I use my kitchen. :)
It is a big kitchen though, 15x25'
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Wisconsinart
1544 posts
80
Message posted at 12/01/2012, 09:03:09 AM by Wisconsinart
I had a similar situation, I bought a new house and the garage had an annex added onto it, a 650 square foot space with high ceilings. It also had a furnace so naturally it was perfect to use as a studio.

If you search the internet you will find many comments and resources for building your own photography studio. They all essentially say one of two things: paint the ceiling, walls, and FLOOR black or else paint it white. (I don't think you would paint the floor white, though, just black).

Black gives you total control over the light. White will have bounce effects but it's neutral as opposed to using a color. Use a flat paint, you don't want shiny surfaces reflecting and bouncing.

For lighting, that is a science in itself. Experienced photographers can still give you bad advice because many tend to go with what they know and can steer you wrong when going outside of their comfort zone. For someone starting out, a two light kit should be more than adequate. Photographers who know what they're doing, 10 lights may not be enough. You can get into backlighting, lighting mounted on booms, bouncing, etc., depending on the effects you desire.

Get the book on lighting mentioned above and a good two-light kit if starting out in portraits. Two lights is more than enough for basic stock, too. Don't go cheap on the lights. You don't need top of the line but a cheap light kit is going to make you wish you had better. One of the biggest attributes of lights is WATTAGE. More watts the better.

When I set up my studio I painted the walls white. It works well for stock, I don't need to bother with a backdrop for what I do. The floor is a gray cement and I left it that way. The cement is more durable when moving props/furniture, paint is going to scratch easily.

What no one talks about is WORKFLOW. It's easy to be giddy about having a space. The challenge is no matter how big, the venue is always going to have limitations. You're going to want a chair. Stands for lights. Stands for backdrops. You have the backdrops themselves. Then there are props. Where are the electrical outlets located? You now have furniture, wires, objects in the way, and storage requirements. No one may talk about this because "stuff" is a given, but you are limited for how much stuff you can have. Electrical wires and lights get in the way. The chair is in the way. Setting up the backdrops and taking them down can be a bigger issue than you think.

All your stuff gets in the way. Think ahead for your storage requirements so you can have an efficient workflow. Since my studio is essentially a garage, there is no way I am going to leave electronic equipment (such as lights) sit out in the cold. Every time I want to shoot I have to move everything from the house to the garage and back. Mice can also get into the garage so backdrops, softboxes, etc., they need to be kept in containers that are rodent proof.

Regardless, a dedicated space is super-wonderful-fantastic! At the old house I would push the furniture in the living room to the side and set up the photography stuff but it was a pain in the butt and pretty much a failure. The living space interfered with the photography and the photography interfered with the living space. I think many here can relate to that.

You will find a dedicated space making you a much more powerful photographer. It's funny because a studio does not make you a better photographer. It's merely a tool but we all know how you can accomplish a task when you have the right tools.
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Nospmisk
364 posts
61
Message posted at 12/01/2012, 12:24:22 PM by Nospmisk
Well said
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Brmonico
149 posts
73
Message posted at 12/01/2012, 17:03:37 PM by Brmonico
WELL , you must know what kind of photography you will made to buy a studio setup . But my advice to you is:

- choose a good brand. A brand that last forever and a brand with affordable products compatibility . A product that let you shoot indoor and outdoor if needed and based in my experience i choose or advice to buy Bowens or Profoto brands. I have multiblitz too, but is very expensive and is not better that Bowens. I advice you a set with their most affordable heads , the Spirit line , that allow a good work in studio and power on a battery to shoot outdoor . I have 3 x 500 watts spirit line and never had a problem , only change 3 fuses that cost about $1 each in 9 years. Never break a flash lamp , never become yellow color. 9 years shoots . They are amazing studio lights .

- Then i have too Multiblitz, 6 heads, 2x 250w , 2x 500w, 1x 1000w, 1x 1500w, very expensive set. Buy bowens.

-Now with a brand choose , what you will make? Portraits?

- You need 2x 500w to set light in backgrounds. For these buy the most affordable light boxes but they must be large.

-People light. An 8 sides soft box with at least 1m , if you can buy the biggest one, you will use these a lot to set up light from the back, hair, full body child with soft light or backgrounds .

- A beauty dish for soft and clean skin models. Must be right to front the model and up side the camera pointing to face. Use the 8 sides box to hair and back light.

A 2 sides 8transparent white umbrella in very useful too.

A product table is a must have to stock photography.

I invite you to visit the best value products for me:

Bowens line

you can buy after this soft boxes and other products from Wallimex and Photoquantum . They are very good and more cheap but the power light buy the best.

Nikon D7000 , Multiblitz studio light, Bowens studio light,

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Brmonico
149 posts
73
Message posted at 12/01/2012, 17:20:10 PM by Brmonico
ANOTHER LINK FOR BOWENS TV can help you:

BOWENS TV
Nikon D7000 , Multiblitz studio light, Bowens studio light,

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Jirsak
28 posts
74
Message edited at 12/04/2012, 01:03:54 AM by Jirsak
My experience is to have minimally 3 lights in studio (four is even better).
- key light
- fill light
- back light or background light

I don't think more power is better. It depends on style of your shooting. If you want to use the aperture like f2.8 for portraits, 300Ws (for every single strobe) is more than enough. With more power, you could have problem go down with intensity of light. On the other hand, I have 2x400Ws and 1x300Ws and when I take photos on f16, sometimes I am on the edge (I have set maximal power on lights and 1/125s, ISO 100 on the camera).

The product photography table is not necessary in my opinion.

My experience is that a paper background is better than textile (textile backgrounds have lot of wrinkles).

I don't use very often color backgrounds because I have color filters for lights. Thank this I am able create a wide range of background colors with one background (white or gray) + set of filters with lower price than one paper background.
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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message posted at 12/03/2012, 20:17:01 PM by Chanevy
Thank you everybody, I am absorbing this all, and house shopping. It is a fun time for me.
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Chrisboswell
21 posts
76
Message posted at 12/09/2012, 22:00:37 PM by Chrisboswell
Multiple rooms, walls, or backdrops needed, you will want both black and white as you progress!
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Brmonico
149 posts
73
Message posted at 12/10/2012, 06:49:00 AM by Brmonico

Originally posted by Jirsak:
Quoted Message: My experience is to have minimally 3 lights in studio (four is even better).- key light- fill light- back light or background lightI don`t think more power is better. It depends on style of your shooting. If you want to use the aperture like f2.8 for portraits, 300Ws (for every single strobe) is more than enough. With more power, you could have problem go down with intensity of light. On the other hand, I have 2x400Ws and 1x300Ws and when I take photos on f16, sometimes I am on the edge (I have set maximal power on lights and 1/125s, ISO 100 on the camera).The product photography table is not necessary in my opinion.My experience is that a paper background is better than textile (textile backgrounds have lot of wrinkles).I don`t use very often color backgrounds because I have color filters for lights. Thank this I am able create a wide range of background colors with one background (white or gray) + set of filters with lower price than one paper background.


- 4 lights is enough . I advice (1x750w, 2x500, 1x250w) or (4x500w) or (3x500w, 1 250w) and a big white/silver reflector set on a tripod .

-My 1000ws and 1500ws i use only to setup pure white on backgrounds. My portrait power is the 250ws and the 500ws. To use outdoor in large spaces the 1000w and 1500w are very useful too, they have an impressive power to work in large open spaces

-The backgrounds color i setup with very cheap color transparent plastic gel

- On Background i hate paper. Paper is more cheap when we buy it but i work with kids and models and paper is a low profit and low durable solution . Textil is good , BUT, must be good and photo appropriate textil or you will see noise in backgrounds , so i choose matte leather fabric . It costs more but is a livetime background and we can clean it and wash it after session...easy to use, clean and strong .... no issues for me. I only use black, grey and white....no others. Color i setup with gel...For more complex sessions i setup special scenes just to one session. For backgrounds and 80% client orders that must have a background image i work with a good chroma key and use patterns for backgrounds or landscapes. Its easy and more cheap to client, we can use it forever , so is profitable and always with different backgrounds . To properly use chroma key you need some advanced skills . Maybe i will write a blog about it .

only use
Nikon D7000 , Multiblitz studio light, Bowens studio light,

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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message posted at 12/10/2012, 11:30:25 AM by Chanevy
There are some really great ideas here. I changed direction and am in the process of buying an older arts and crafts home. Finding the right place to dedicate to photography will be harder in this home, but I think it can be done. And it has a beautiful interior to,work with. If the houses passes all inspections and contingencies, I will try to get some photos accepted here. Interior architecture will be a whole new lighting challenge for me to master.
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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message posted at 12/10/2012, 11:38:48 AM by Chanevy
Has anyone used Loewel? I've found a good deal on a used do light core kit 95. While it seems like a lot even used, I Am already having trouble with the cheap kit I have hardly used starting to break and fall apart. I don't want to go through that again. I am mostly looking for a set up to shoot portraits and maybe food.
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Chanevy
588 posts
71
Message posted at 02/11/2013, 01:00:20 AM by Chanevy
Here is what I finally picked for starters. Thank you for helping me know what to look for. http://www.adorama.com/HLIM1200KT.html
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