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Thread: Home studio ideas?

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    Home studio ideas?

    So, I go to the bank and they say, yeap you can have way too much money to buy your new home, Sweat, but there's a catch, you have to repay it.

    OK.

    So, wife settles on the new pad, great, spare room, 5.5 x 5.5 fourth bedroom, well, luckly where not having any more kids,

    SO.

    I would like to setup a studio so to speak. I have 1 x Nissan Di 866 and no off camera lead as yet (Will have tomorrow). I was thinking of shooting obsecure objects and or children on a chair against a plain white or black backdrop. Smoke from insence sticks and stuff like that, models that don't move or argue, well, maybe not the kids. So I'm thinking of a second flash to light from both sides or side and back, a drop of either wite or black and a chair.

    What else would you recommend as essentials for me to start out with please. My budget is not that of the top end, but I have more than $20.00 in my pocket.

    Main body will be my New Toy 1DMk2N, back-up is the ever faithfull 50D. Lenses as per my signature.

    Thanks in advance

    P.S. If I had say $500.00 to spend on a prime, what would you recommend, don't care about brand (Darren, aslong as it's not N@Kon G@@dness) LOL, won't fit the better bodies I have.
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    assuming the objects in question are small...perhaps a lightbox is more your thing.
    as for backgrounds when shooting smoke etc. cardboard works a treat.
    for portraits...you have everything (once that cord arrives) to get started. don't forget that you can modify your light with the shutter. white walls can appear black for low key shots just by increasing your shutter speed 5 or 6 stops.

    things like reflectors, brolly and additional speedlites will give you more flexibility for sure but far from necessary. attractive shots can be achieved with just a single speedlite and a plain background.
    a light stand will make life easier....that's about it.
    I wouldn't worry about the other stuff until you're comfy with single light portraiture.

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    Have a look at AP site advertisers ProTog, Fotogenic, Hypop, JJCPhotography who all specialise in well priced studio gear.

    I agree with Tony, perhaps look at reflectors, and using speedlights, with brollys rather than a full lighting kit. There are some reasonable, cheap lighting kits out there these days, but read the menu, they are usually low output (light level) and getting replacement globes etc can be frustrating, if not impossible, unless they are generic and can take some of the better known brand bulbs.

    If you do want to go beyond single light portraiture, a kit with 2-3 lights is good. Use them as one for main light, second for side highlights and third for hair spots (get a snoot). Really you can make up quite a good lighting kit for much less $$ than you could even 4-5 years ago.

    Also look at expandability, some kits, come as-is, and there is not scope to add things, like using wireless triggers, etc as they don't have the connection sockets. They are built as a single kit, and that is all, this is more the cheaper options out there.
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    Agree with both posts. If you buy another speedlight, brollies, reflectors use cardboard as flags, make snoots from Pringles packets and grids from drinking straws and cardboard, you can develop technique and understanding without a big outlay. Then if you decide on purchasing studio equipment do the homework and buy good quality gear that will exceed your current requirements and will last. With your off camera flash equipment you will be able to produce nice quality strobist images on location if you want to try that. But most of all practice a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunny6teen View Post
    assuming the objects in question are small...perhaps a lightbox is more your thing.
    as for backgrounds when shooting smoke etc. cardboard works a treat.
    for portraits...you have everything (once that cord arrives) to get started. don't forget that you can modify your light with the shutter. white walls can appear black for low key shots just by increasing your shutter speed 5 or 6 stops.

    things like reflectors, brolly and additional speedlites will give you more flexibility for sure but far from necessary. attractive shots can be achieved with just a single speedlite and a plain background.
    a light stand will make life easier....that's about it.
    I wouldn't worry about the other stuff until you're comfy with single light portraiture.
    Cheers Tony, I have or should say that my Nissen came with a post mount, so I can mount to tripod, but them I've only got one tripod, so I loose it for shooting. Cardboard, woukldn't have thought of that, cool, will give them a crack. My thoughts wher to start out with some easier to manage props, Ie, insense and the like, try to get some form of a technique.

    Cheers,

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Have a look at AP site advertisers ProTog, Fotogenic, Hypop, JJCPhotography who all specialise in well priced studio gear.

    I agree with Tony, perhaps look at reflectors, and using speedlights, with brollys rather than a full lighting kit. There are some reasonable, cheap lighting kits out there these days, but read the menu, they are usually low output (light level) and getting replacement globes etc can be frustrating, if not impossible, unless they are generic and can take some of the better known brand bulbs.

    If you do want to go beyond single light portraiture, a kit with 2-3 lights is good. Use them as one for main light, second for side highlights and third for hair spots (get a snoot). Really you can make up quite a good lighting kit for much less $$ than you could even 4-5 years ago.

    Also look at expandability, some kits, come as-is, and there is not scope to add things, like using wireless triggers, etc as they don't have the connection sockets. They are built as a single kit, and that is all, this is more the cheaper options out there.
    Wouldn't have thought about the globes Rick, would have thought you could just get replacements, so thanks, will look into the site sponors for sure. Had to google "snoots" I guess they are getting a more dirrect light to target, I would guess you need to play with power setting them to stop over flooding the subject?

    Quote Originally Posted by reflect View Post
    Agree with both posts. If you buy another speedlight, brollies, reflectors use cardboard as flags, make snoots from Pringles packets and grids from drinking straws and cardboard, you can develop technique and understanding without a big outlay. Then if you decide on purchasing studio equipment do the homework and buy good quality gear that will exceed your current requirements and will last. With your off camera flash equipment you will be able to produce nice quality strobist images on location if you want to try that. But most of all practice a lot.
    Thanks Andrew, will take those ideas onboard.


    ? How does the room ambient light affect the overall, do you prefer to use the old tungsten globes, or the new style whiter longlife fluro's?

    Or does the speedlight over take the lighting anyway? or do you have a very small ambient light source in the room?

    I noticed in a couple of posts in "People" "Formal & Posed" some people had even used desk lamps, so it's a matter of seeing what works I guess.

    Thanks again.

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    Whatever mixture of lighting you use, try and not mix tungsten and flouro and flash.
    The mixture of different colour tempoeratures can play havoc with your white balance.

    Try and use lighting that has a similar colour temperature.
    Flash ansd flouros work together OK, as does natural light and flash.

    If you know the room you will be using, don't rule out using natural sunlight either, as this can give you some great, soft light in the studio.
    Try and set up your table, chair or whatever to take maximum advantage of the natural light that is available.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunny6teen View Post
    . don't forget that you can modify your light with the shutter. white walls can appear black for low key shots just by increasing your shutter speed 5 or 6 stops.

    .
    Just a quick correction here - in the studio environment your shutter speed is usually set constant { close to flash x-synch speed) and has very little to no affect on exposure/background. (Unless there is a strong ambient source (window light etc)} The exposure will usually be coming from the flash and will be controlled by aperture, ISO and the power setting of your strobes, as well as the particular modifer in use and the light to subject distance.

    Changing a white background to black is a matter of making sure the light falling on your background is significantly less than the light falling on your subject. it also helps if your background is dark to begin with

    This can be achieved by moving your lights closer to your subject, (as you move the lights closer - you will have to reduce their power setting to maintain a correct exposure on your subject), controlling their spill/falloff and increasing the subject to background distance.

    Read up on the Strobist 101 and 102 blog like above posters have said and you will learn about the Inverse square law and other confusing sounding laws that will help you understand all the stuff.
    Last edited by kaiser; 08-11-2011 at 5:59pm.
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    Product photography should be easy to accomplish. Likewise headshots and half body shots. The main limiting factor you are going to find is room size and how it creates issues with your control of the lighting.

    Ceiling height will limit how high you can place your lights for full standing shots, and the walls/ceiling are going to bounce light everywhere. Of course there are lots of DIY workarounds to this which you can find on the interweb.

    As I'm beginning to find discover - it's just as important what you don't light in a portrait as what you do light.

    Sometimes the extra bounce light will be beneficial, sometimes you may not want it if you are trying to create a high contrast or low key image etc. I'd suggest experimenting with flags, snoots and grids to help control the spill of your lights - it will give you more creative control over where you want shadows. Black sheets on the walls will also help to soak up a lot of the light in these scenarios where you don't want extra bounced fill light everywhere.

    cheers,


    matt.

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    I probably failed to clarify in my previous post. increasing the shutterspeed will reduce the ambient light. ...and your background is being lit by ambient.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    Just a quick correction here - in the studio environment your shutter speed is usually set constant { close to flash x-synch speed) and has very little to no affect on exposure/background. (Unless there is a strong ambient source (window light etc)} The exposure will usually be coming from the flash and will be controlled by aperture, ISO and the power setting of your strobes, as well as the particular modifer in use and the light to subject distance.

    Changing a white background to black is a matter of making sure the light falling on your background is significantly less than the light falling on your subject. it also helps if your background is dark to begin with

    This can be achieved by moving your lights closer to your subject, (as you move the lights closer - you will have to reduce their power setting to maintain a correct exposure on your subject), controlling their spill/falloff and increasing the subject to background distance.

    Read up on the Strobist 101 and 102 blog like above posters have said and you will learn about the Inverse square law and other confusing sounding laws that will help you understand all the stuff.

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    No worries Tony. I just took from the OP's original post that he wanted to use his Nissin flash in this set up and without getting into HSS and all that hoo-haa- his shutter speed is going to be limited to his max flash x-synch speed. Hence he won't be able to close the SS speed down 5 or 6 stops.

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    Primes - For $500 you could get both EF 85mm F1.8 and a 50mm F1.8.
    85mm is good for portraits and is an ideal basketball (or similar) sports lens.
    50mm at $100 is a steal just to have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post


    P.S. If I had say $500.00 to spend on a prime, what would you recommend, don't care about brand (Darren, aslong as it's not N@Kon G@@dness) LOL, won't fit the better bodies I have.
    A prime for what? If you mean for just for studio I wouldn't bother. What you have is more than sufficient and the zoom will be more flexible in a confined room. You usually shoot with them stopped down a bit too where they all perform pretty well.

    If you meant a prime for another purpose, please clarify your questioning to receive better answers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    Whatever mixture of lighting you use, try and not mix tungsten and flouro and flash.
    The mixture of different colour tempoeratures can play havoc with your white balance.

    Try and use lighting that has a similar colour temperature.
    Flash ansd flouros work together OK, as does natural light and flash.

    If you know the room you will be using, don't rule out using natural sunlight either, as this can give you some great, soft light in the studio.
    Try and set up your table, chair or whatever to take maximum advantage of the natural light that is available.
    Thanks Benny, I was thinking of more so no natural light source, but will be open to any experiences had and passed on. So what should you set WB to then, something close to the "Natural/Ambient" light source or the harsh light of the flash?

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    A prime for what? If you mean for just for studio I wouldn't bother. What you have is more than sufficient and the zoom will be more flexible in a confined room. You usually shoot with them stopped down a bit too where they all perform pretty well.

    If you meant a prime for another purpose, please clarify your questioning to receive better answers.
    I was looking at may be getting say the Nifty Fifty to start with as to work with-in the confines of the room in my house, maybe portraite, maybe to shoot abstract images and the like, but if it's not warranted, and I can use what I have, I'll get a reflector and another flash, or something else needed.

    Cheers

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    Best way to check your white balance Roosta is to take a shot and check it out on the camera and adjust from there.
    Canons allow you to adjust WB while looking at a shot from the camera.
    To start with, make sure you take your shots in RAW and you can then adjust the WB on the screen, taking note of the best settings, then you can use the colour temperature to adjust the whilte balance in camera to save you going through all of that again.

    A terrific little lens for shots of smaller products is the Canon 60mm macro lens, which can be picked up used for around $350 or new for under $450 grey.
    There is also a good ring-flash that screws straight onto the front of this lens which you can get for around $130 from some of the Chinese web sites.
    I use this combo quite a lot for shots of smaller products like jewellery and small leathergoods and the ring flash works a treat with excellent even lighting without shadows.
    The ring flash is also good for close portraits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    Best way to check your white balance Roosta is to take a shot and check it out on the camera and adjust from there.
    Canons allow you to adjust WB while looking at a shot from the camera.
    Didn't know that, but I usually try to preset WB for each situation, this is going to be all new tho.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    To start with, make sure you take your shots in RAW and you can then adjust the WB on the screen, taking note of the best settings, then you can use the colour temperature to adjust the whilte balance in camera to save you going through all of that again.
    Always shoot RAW, and depending if I'm with a friend that want's some shots I've taken, I'll have Sml or Med JPEG set aswell for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    A terrific little lens for shots of smaller products is the Canon 60mm macro lens, which can be picked up used for around $350 or new for under $450 grey.
    There is also a good ring-flash that screws straight onto the front of this lens which you can get for around $130 from some of the Chinese web sites.
    I use this combo quite a lot for shots of smaller products like jewellery and small leathergoods and the ring flash works a treat with excellent even lighting without shadows.
    The ring flash is also good for close portraits.
    Cheers, I was thinking of the Nifty Fifty or the 50mm f1.4 and I've also read on these pages that a 100mm NON L Macro f2.8 will work well. I'd love the 200mm F2 L, but hard to find under or around $500.00 LOL

    Thanks for the tips mate.

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    The only way in my opinion to get correct white balance is to take a reference shot of a grey card (and pure black and white) and shoot RAW and use that reference photo in post to do a batch wb adjustment

    I don't think using your led is going to be accurate at all
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    The only way in my opinion to get correct white balance is to take a reference shot of a grey card (and pure black and white) and shoot RAW and use that reference photo in post to do a batch wb adjustment

    I don't think using your led is going to be accurate at all
    Grey-white and black card, will have to get them.

    led = lcd ??

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