Tip - Moving Indoors - Dreamstime

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.

Ornaments - I've had success with "on black" images. Lit from the side with a single 300 watt CFL (2700 K) or flash unit in shoot through umbrella, in front of a dark utility room with hanging black cloth. Black level tweaked in Adobe Lightroom 3.

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.

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January 04, 2012


Thanks for this nice article ... This comes in a great time when I have been planning to have a indoor setup and have been experimenting multiple things.

December 13, 2011


Some good ideas ! Just shows what can be done on a tight buget !

December 13, 2011


I like the elegance of the first shot as well as the last one.

December 01, 2011


My favourite photo is of the tea bags. Very beautiful. Ewapix

November 30, 2011


You've done very with these, I like them all! The indoor studio stuff is extremely challenging for me too. Really really tough, lol! Good luck and keep at it!

November 30, 2011


I like the robot! )

November 28, 2011


Thanks! Too warm here in sky country New Hampshire - slushy wet snow and gray sky. Yuck! I think its all the hot air expelled by the politicos who have invaded our state lately.

November 28, 2011


Nice images. It looks like you've been very productive indoors! It's unusually warm here right now, but like you I'll be setting up a temporary studio (usually my dining room table with a backdrop and my Elinchrome strobes) soon as the weather is due to turn chilly any day now. It's dark before 5 pm so shooting time outdoors is less even with the lovely unseasonably warm weather.
Nice job with minimal lighting costs. I somethime get my best results with a little light tent and some contractor lights with 100 watt equivalent daylight balanced flourescents. I have a long list of studio shots to keep me busy over the winter too.

November 28, 2011


I very much liked the first and last works.

November 28, 2011


Thanks for sharing with us !

November 27, 2011


great tips... thanks for sharing.

November 26, 2011


Really great shots.... Thank you....

November 24, 2011


Thank for sharing!!!

November 24, 2011


A nice reading, thank for sharing. You are right we should focus on what is effective and what is not for us.

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