Tip - Moving Indoors
Since starting to contribute to Dreamstime, I've been driving all around this past summer and fall looking for people, places and things to photograph.
Now that the leaves and temperature have fallen and the sky's are gray, I've started moving indoors and have been experimenting with a DIY home studio in a spare bedroom.
My supplies include a roll of white paper from Staples, black and white poster board and some 300 watt CFLs I found at Home Depot. Lately I've added a new flash unit, found my old flash unit from the Olympus OM-10 of my youth and shoot through umbrella.
My latest addition was a set of flash triggers from iShoot that I purchased via Ebay. They work great to set off my flash units and cost under $40 which is a lot less than the Pocket Wizards I've read about.
My results haven't been the most consistent but digital "film" is cheap and experimenting costs nothing but time and is a lot of fun. Here are a few of my favorite images from my studio experiments:
White wine bottles - I experimented with red and white wine bottles. The white wine was easier to shoot. The wine seemed to absorb the light while the red bottle reflected it and showed lots of hot spots. I created this final image in Photoshop to show the outline of a wine glass between the two bottles.
Robot - I like how this guy came out. I shot from below to give it a little more menace. The lighting was a happy accident using my patented "hit or miss" technique. ;-)
Tea Bags - Here we have classic natural light provided the sun and a big window. I'm lucky to have a corner in my house that has a window on one side, a sliding door and sky lights. Certain times of the day the lighting in that spot is perfect. Here I used the excellent macro capabilities of my Lumix LX5 point and shoot that I've talked about before.
One interesting thing I've found is that while I'm not spending money on gas for these indoor sessions they are not typically more productive. Seems like my outdoor trips could produce say 10 good shoots per trip, while I might only get one or two good results from my studio sessions. But eventually I'll get the lighting figured out and increase my productivity. Maybe I'll even go against my natural tendencies and slow down, start keeping a record of what works and what doesn't.
Photo credits: Peanutroaster.