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Thread: Setting up home studio - what size room is considered minimum?

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    Setting up home studio - what size room is considered minimum?

    Hi board members.

    I trust this post is correctly placed or should it be in General Help?

    I am setting up a home studio and am wondering if I have a large enough room?

    I have an option of knocking down a wall between two rooms which will give me a studio space of 6200x3700mm with a small wing not in that rectangle of 2100x2100mm which would be the foya/entrance area.

    Does the depth of 6200mm sound large enough to shoot and still provide adequate space between subject/s and background?

    I think the width 3700mm is enough for the a 3000mm backdrop and space for light stands.

    Give me your knowledge please...
    .
    Cheers, Mal

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    Hi Mal,

    Have you placed the light stands in the space? with 3 m back drop that only gives you 350 mm on either side. the light stand feet when open would be closer to 500-600? placing your light head righ on the edge of your backdrop. Are you using softboxes or umbrellas? Its about the same size as my room and it works but seperation of lights is an issue. Very hard to do artsy stuff. On this forum you can see some pregnancy photos I did recently. The one with the black background was taken in my studio space but not without much mucking around with lights. Patience and trial and error is the key (and a willing model to help you get it right). Depth should be ok but ideally placing the subject 2 metres from the backdrop does tend to leave you a bit short on one end. Limits the lens you can use. So after all that. Yes it will work . Oh, whats your ceiling height. That can be a real issue. A standing subject in a normal room doesnt leave much space overhead for hairlights etc. You do the best you can with what youve got.
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    Gear: Nikon D80, D300, Nikon 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 105mm f2.5, 18-200 VR, 70-200 VR, Sigma 28-70mm f2.8, Sigma 50-500, Tonkina 12-24 f4, SB-600, various YongNuo Strobes, various umbrellas, 6 x 300w studio flashes, various softboxes, reflectors, stands, transmitters and receivers.

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    Adrian, ceiling is a lovely 2800mm. Quite adequate I'm sure.

    I wonder how lights would go if you could arrange a wall mounting setup? Just thought of it then. It may be hard to work out a flexible system so light placement could easily adjusted. Any thoughts?

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    Yeah, enough room i would say. Most home studios I see are in a room usually the size of a double garage at best (mine is anyhow)

    Not sure about wall mounting - Im not sure that will be succesful - though roof mounting a hair light would be pretty useful
    Darren
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    For head and shoulder portrait shots with an apsc camera and a short tele lens you should be fine with those dimensions.
    As soon as you start getting adventurous and want to do any full length body shots you are going to quickly run out of height first off if you want to keep the subject away from the backdrop and then the narrowness of the room will start limiting your lighting placement options.

    I consider this space a bit cramped at times and the backdrop stand is about to under go modification to raise it to 4m high.
    If that doesn't work I am simply going to turn one wall into a 5.6m x 4m cyclorama.



    Andrew
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    Wow Andrew, what a wonderful studio - I feel like giving up and not wasting my time now.

    You could just about take any person shot you wanted with this studio - you lucky person you

    Adrian and Kiwi, can you take full length shots of 3 ppl in your studios?

    A collective thank you for your advice/s.

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    Yes....

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    in my studio...3 people sure...one after the other...
    serioulsy though. Not tried three but 2 I have and full height but no waving arms over head. Generally I get up on a step ladder and shoot down a little to compensate for the lack of ceiling height. (mine is about 2.2 metres).

    Andrew is that at your place or is it a lease or owned faclilty somewhere else. Or do I remember correctly you saying in a post at one point that you built this? If so care to share dimensions and construction hints? Like how did you span the ceiling?
    Last edited by Adrian Fischer; 07-03-2011 at 4:39pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Fischer View Post
    Or do I remember correctly you saying in a post at one point that you built this? If so care to share dimensions and construction hints? Like how did you span the ceiling?
    Yes, we built it ( didn't even own a nail gun till very late in the construction phase ) and the side wall in the pictures is about 7.8m long ( can get to 10m away from the subject if I stand by the fridge, which is handy on a hot day ) and the loungeroom studio is about 8.7m across by 5m high at the wall edges.
    The roof / ceiling is spanned by your ordinary every day prefabbed trusses, 15 degree pitch on the outside and 10 degree on the inside. Roofing iron inside and out puts a fair bit of stiffness into the whole lot and there are substantial steel uprights and cross members in the frame design.

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    Adrian, what size is your studio? 2200mm high (in the garage, right?)

    Kiwi, what size is your studio?
    Last edited by mal from cessnock; 07-03-2011 at 5:13pm.

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    Andrew, Council approved?
    Last edited by Adrian Fischer; 07-03-2011 at 5:23pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Mal, sorry for getting a little off topic with the description of studio building but the main point I want to emphasise is that the taller the subject + the more background to subject separation + the longer the lens used is where you start to run out of room first.
    A 1.8m tall person 2m in front of the backdrop not only needs quite a bit of height for lighting from slightly above but focal lengths over about 50mm start having framing problems with the backdrop ending and blank wall / ceiling showing if you want even a small amount of foreground to the shot. Of course, post processing can take care of that to a degree if that is the way you want to go with "filling" the area not covered by the backdrop.
    Shorter focal lengths and shooting slightly downwards ( as Adrian suggested ) take care of some of the issues but then the natural distortion factor comes in to it. It is all a delicate balance and that is why as far as studios go, size matters.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Fischer View Post
    Council approved?
    Yep, all done to specs and approved. We aren't in a cyclone zone as far as building regs go but the engineering comps in the steel work would probably pass in Northern areas.

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