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Yueri
01-06-2006, 11:30 AM
Hello people who know a lot about photography as opposite to me XD

Ive come here completely clueless o.o i dont take care of any of the pictures that I have ( my boyfriend is my photographer) but some dasy ago I talked to a friend, she was showing me some really studio pics of her.

Then she tells me its not really a studio, she made like a small one at home got some fabric and lights and stuff. But the pictures look really cool :)

So i want to know, what do I need (and then what do I do ) to have a lil home studio? I mean, what kind of fabric do I get or where do I put the lights or stuff?

Please help T.T

Overall thankyous in advance n.n

Efecss
01-07-2006, 07:04 AM
So i want to know, what do I need (and then what do I do ) to have a lil home studio? I mean, what kind of fabric do I get or where do I put the lights or stuff?

Please help T.T

Overall thankyous in advance n.n

Home studios are as simple or as complex as you want.

background. You can get background paper, which is like a huge, limp posterboard roll, about 10 feet long, and unrolls about 150 feet. It comes in many colors. Ofcourse, the best thing for it would be to get a special stand for it. But, holding it up with 2x4s and something solid in the middle, like a pull curtain, would be fine. Or, just unroll it, cut it to what length you want, and tape it to the wall.

Fabric. I would suggest something like a light blue, or something pastel. White would be an almost no-no, since it reflect light back. I got some cheap acid green material, which is 10 feet wide, and was only $3.00 a yard once at Wal-Mart. Ofcourse, you can sew some short widths together, and try and workt he seam out.

Also in fabric, make sure you know how long you want. You basically want to have enough fabric to go from the edge of the ceiling, down to the floor, and out about four feet.

Lighting. This is a tricky one. You can get some pretty good professional protable lighting off of ebay, or at yardsales. But, if you can get these clamp lights, which is basically a lamp socket with a toggle switch, a long cord, and a wire squeeze clamp attached, with a directional dish for pointing the light at what you want. I got three, and I paid like about $6 to $9 each. And regular house lights are not the best for this. They can be used, but I boughtm yself some specially made lights for this. They are chemically treated to produce a pure white light. They are called Fotoflood lights. And they look almost like regular light bulbs. They have a short life span, but are studio quality. Just don't touch them directly with your bare hands.

Now, they can mount on the backs of chairs, but you'll wnat to use something taller than a coat stand. You may even want to put some hooks in your ceiling to mount them.

I got a peice of PVC pipe, wedged it in, and mounted them on. I had to tape the clamps together, but it worked.

I hope this helps a bit.

:cheers:

natsukoarts
01-07-2006, 07:46 AM
yes, we like the clamp lights!

Yueri
01-07-2006, 01:36 PM
Efecss thank you so much!! I thought no one would reply. Thanks for telling me about the fabric, I was totally gonna buy white XD and Ill check out more about the Fotofloods and stands n.n If you come up with any more ideas be sure to tell me!!! n.n

Thanks again!

Efecss
01-07-2006, 04:34 PM
Efecss thank you so much!! I thought no one would reply. Thanks for telling me about the fabric, I was totally gonna buy white XD and Ill check out more about the Fotofloods and stands n.n If you come up with any more ideas be sure to tell me!!! n.n

Thanks again!

Well, you have the basics, and unless you plan a career in modeling, this is what you ned.

Unless you want to go into reflectors. Which can either be a white peice of poseterboard, or a cardbord with tin foil over it.

But, for the camera, I would really suggst to get a UV filter to getout the harshness that ultra violet light will cause.

Other than that, its up to you.

Ami Yuy
01-07-2006, 06:23 PM
Awesome stuff, Efecss. I've been wanting to set-up one of my own when I get the chance and figured this is the kind of stuff I'd need, but it's cool to be verified. ^^

Yueri
01-07-2006, 08:18 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but.......

Where do you put reflectors??

Efecss
01-07-2006, 11:42 PM
Something else you can use for background is draipery.

Awesome stuff, Efecss. I've been wanting to set-up one of my own when I get the chance and figured this is the kind of stuff I'd need, but it's cool to be verified. ^^

I've seen small home studios, and I've been on Hollywood sound stages, so I'm glad to share what needs to be shared.

Anothing thing to think about is air movers. I am currently trying to make some wind machines with home fans, and make a cowl (Like on a jet fighter exhause) to direct the flow to like somone's hair. Ofcourse, using a leaf blower is just as fine. But I would suggest really cleaning it out beforehand.

(I did set up a mini studio in my hotel room form TimeCon back in 89. WIsh I could do it again for other cons. )

Forgive my ignorance, but.......

Where do you put reflectors??

Basically what it sounds like. It mainly reflects light. Like if you hve heavey shadows on someone's face, and can't angle light from above to get them out, you just set up a reflector to bounce light up, or to the side, to fill in those places.

There are lights called "kickers" which are basically lights that are at ankle level and you "kick" them around to where you want them.

There are professional reflectors which are circular, and fold up. But they are over $50. But they have a white/silver side to reflect pure sunlight. And the other is golden to make a sunset like effect.

Now, also for lighting, I would look into diffusion skrims. Basically like covers for the lights that go on the cowls, and kind of spread the light around and not make them as bright. But, you may want to wait to figure what you really want, later.

I hope I'm not getting too technical for you.

And most of this I have to admit, I have only done with my action figures, props, and for stop motion animation.

staereo
01-08-2006, 06:38 AM
hmmm..

Just curious what kind of camera youre using?

I'd like to know before I make a reply thats unhelpful.

AgentSakur9
01-08-2006, 02:50 PM
Don't forget Ventilation... Most studio lights (whether you're using Pros or Homemaders) tend to increase the temperature of the room. You can use electric fans and what not... to cool the model. You don't want make up and stuff to melt off either!

Also you can use fans to create different looks as well.

photoguy47
01-08-2006, 09:23 PM
Go to Home Depot and get a few worklights......usually 2 lights on a stand......mine are switchable, so i can go 250, 500, 750 or 1000 w......

a lot of experimenting.

I use black cloth. you can get it at any fabric store. If your handy with a sewing machine, run 3 strips of cloth together about 20 to 30 feet long........experiment, experiment, experiment.

have fun

Efecss
01-09-2006, 06:34 AM
Don't forget Ventilation... Most studio lights (whether you're using Pros or Homemaders) tend to increase the temperature of the room. You can use electric fans and what not... to cool the model. You don't want make up and stuff to melt off either!

Also you can use fans to create different looks as well.

Ah, good point. But, I usually do mine t night, so its pretty cool anyway.

But still, cross venting is still good. You know, open a window, set a couple of fans in the doorway and let the air flow blow out the heat through the window. Because you might circulate the heat around the room.


Go to Home Depot and get a few worklights......usually 2 lights on a stand......mine are switchable, so i can go 250, 500, 750 or 1000 w......

a lot of experimenting.


Are you taling about the haleogen lights? Because I tried it once, an found the haleogen to be kind of harsh. But, still, with the right filter....

And yes, experiment, experiment, experiment. If you find these lights too much, you can still use them for other opportunities.

Tyrus
01-09-2006, 12:34 PM
I would recommed going to your local bookstore and browsing through the photo technique books. You should be able to find several good sources on lighting, and the better ones will have examples with charts showing how they set up lighting for different shots. Then experiment on your own. Unless you have a photographer handy that can teach you experimentation is the best way to learn.

You don't need fancy studio lights, any of the ones listed here will work, though strobes are nice if you can find a decent used set. If you use more than one light though, try and use the same kind. Different lights have different temperatures, which means that on film they will have different color casts. If your whole photo has a blue cast its easy to fix later but if its mixed its a lot more difficult. Keep in mind over head lights too, try not to shoot under florescents.

Also, be careful if you use hot lights. Not to scare you, but the brighter fotoflood bulbs run really hot, so I try and keep a small household fire extinguisher handy when I use them. I've never needed it, and hopefully never will you, but if a light gets knocked over or too close to a backdrop they can start a fire very quickly. Always better safe then sorry.

deleriumx
01-23-2006, 05:55 PM
Seamless background paper is not that expensive and looks MUCH better than fabric. fabric will always be wrinkled no matter what you do and wrinkles detract from the subject. try www.adorama.com and you can get a roll for less than 20 bucks. they come in many colors too.

Lighting books can be helpful, but they can also be discouraging when using home made lights. Many of them will deal with equipment you dont own making the techniques near useless. Some of them will have diagrams showing their lighting set up which make LOOK helpful.. but if you take a closer look at them they will mention, for example "This setup was created using a large softbox on a boom arm and a strip light behind the model" Things like this are nearly impossible to achieve without the right equipment. So a lot of those books really wont help the casual photographer

Try to find a book on how light works rather than specific lighting set ups. i think it will help you a bit more. otherwise you will be reading about light ratios, light modifiers and other such things that home made lights can't achieve easily.
Also checking out different lighting styles would be good. (such as Butterfly, Rembrandt, or Loop lighting) http://www.studiolighting.net/portrait-lighting-styles/ this site can help a little but finding a book with visual examples will help tremendously.

Ami Yuy
01-23-2006, 06:39 PM
Seamless background paper is not that expensive and looks MUCH better than fabric. fabric will always be wrinkled no matter what you do and wrinkles detract from the subject. try www.adorama.com and you can get a roll for less than 20 bucks. they come in many colors too.

Thanks for the link. I was wondering where to get some of that, and it being so cheap is nice too. Although, the support for the paper seems to be a bit more expensive (cheapest I found as $60) but it's a start at least. ^_^

Efecss
01-24-2006, 12:58 AM
Also, one resource that no one has said is a dedicated photography shop. And I'm not talking about one in the mall. I mean someone who has been in business for a few years.

I am fortunate that I have three places to go for great information and stuff like this with people who have been selling, repairing cameras and processing film for over 50 years. You talk with them, and they won't steer you wrong.

Hasu
01-24-2006, 02:43 AM
I'm just putting in from lame home experience, but it might help...

I noticed that when I used some sort of slinky/lycra stuff it worked great as a backdrop. It can either pleat or be perfectly straight and it's pretty friendly with light. (See my Kakyuu pics for example...)

And yeah, ventilation...not much to say but that it's vital. I've overheated without proper air....-.- With my genepool and diabetes I turn red easily. And sweat on costumes= very bad.

Try a curtain rod, or even using your bathroom for something low-budget to hang your backdrops. (i.e., hang your fabric in front of the shower curtain.) Then most likely you'll have some overhead lights for starters too.

These tips from the self-made-up Guide To Making a Home Studio For Those With No Money/Cosplayers/Those Who Hate Professional Photo Studios.

Efecss
01-25-2006, 06:27 AM
Good stuff, Hasu...

Also, if you want to get cheap curtains, or props that might look expensive, go to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. I have found a lot of crap....

Uh.... I mean... Things of beauty. Even some light stands, and some viewing items. Like light boxes and screens.

You can get some cheap rugs to put down for your studio, and get a lot of fans for under $1.50.

You might get lucky and find some lighting items.

bob1968m
01-25-2006, 08:32 AM
I've been looking into creating a small home studio as well, that could also be taken on location if need be. Though I'm going a little fancier as I'm doing more than cosplay photography. For starters, christmas money bought me a nice muslin background that folds up into a circle for travel.

Here's a test shot I did of myself.

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/1961/dsc6575web2gp.th.jpg (http://img12.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc6575web2gp.jpg)

next i'm going to pick up a two umbrella/strobe light set from Alien Bees. I'll probably add a large softbox pretty quickly after that, since i've seen them in action and was really impressed.

http://www.alienbees.com/digi.html

staereo
01-25-2006, 03:46 PM
Alien bees are absolutely FANTASTIC.

for quality AND price.

Yueri
01-25-2006, 04:05 PM
Omg I just found the perfect space in my house to hang fabric... its in the kitchen (which is a little weird) But there are light sources everywhere and theres enought space to let the fabric reach under my feet and beyond XD

I had a question to ask also. Once I tried to use a blank wall my pictures ended up looking all... yellow..ish...
you can look in my Tifa gallery if you want to see what I mean...
Its like the beige wall made everything beige and the yellow lighting didnt help.... XD

Efecss
01-25-2006, 08:25 PM
Its probably your flourescent lights. The UV will do that. (Atleast that's what my photography professor said.)

He gave me a UV filter for my camera. Sometimes you got to invest in some serious stuff to get the best out of your equipment.

Not always. But some things you can't get around, I have found.

staereo
01-25-2006, 10:48 PM
yellow is usually tungsten. typically flourescent shines green i believe.

in any case, filter, or better yet, white balance change can fix this.

there are a few ways to do this, but, read about processing in this forum for some ideas, particularly about grey/Whibal cards on around page 3.

Bruce

bob1968m
01-26-2006, 09:32 AM
when you have two+ sources of light, such as your flash lighting your subject, and the room lamps lighting the background(i.e., the wall), you can get those odd color casts, since you can only have the WB set for one which would typically be the flash.

I haven't actually played with them, but there are colored pieces of plastic called gels that can go over the flash to match to the ambient room lights so that the "color" of the light is all the same. WB would then be set to the room lights.

As an alternative, I was messing arround with a technique called "dragging the shutter" I just read about. Basically it's using a really slow shutter speed in combo with a narrow aperture (big number) with a flash to balance the exposure so that subject is lit by the flash, but the rest of ambient light comes through.

For example, I was trying to take a pic of my parents recently redone livingroom wall without washing out the lamps, but also lighting up the couch and upper portion of the wall enough with flash. I arbitraily picked 1/15 sec & ISO500 in shutter priority mode and I spot metered the shade of the lamp to see aperture i would need without any flash. it gave me f14. This would expose the lamps fine but the rest of pic would be completely dark. So i then put cam in manual, set it at 1/15,F14, and turned on my flash. I then spot metered the couch, and took a shot. I had to boost the flash output a bit since i was bouncing with diffusion dome on, but bless the sb-800 which did its thing cause this is what i got with minimal PP for noise and sharpening. My mom said the color was spot on.

If I had taken this shot with just the flash, it would have had none of the warmth provided by the incandescent lamps. If i do it again, i want to try bouncing the flash more to reduce the glare off the clock and wedding pic.

This was handheld at 18mm (27mm equivent) focal length. the flash head was pointed up 45degrees with the diffusion dome on.

In this case the Whibal didn't work. I did another shot with the whibal card and when i tired to readjust WB based on the flash lighting of the card, the lamp light ended up being too "cool", I had the cam wb set on its flash preset, and that is what i ended up using in this case.

Christy McGrath
02-20-2006, 01:22 PM
Erm, just a quickie guys, but:

Get a plain coloured bed sheet.
Tape it to a wall so it's flat.
Position model far enough away to avoid cross-shadow.
Use 2 - 3 table lamps plus umbrella lined with aluminium foil for reflected light.
Choose great poses.
Take pictures.
Experiment.

Easy when you're a beginner... :P

Photorusse
03-01-2006, 04:37 PM
Great tips, guys! I think the best one is practice, practice, practice. You can also try photograpytips.com in their forums section for help. It's free to join to post on the forums but you have to pay to get access to the other sections.

staereo
03-01-2006, 07:56 PM
i have a subscription there still if anyone wants to know about it

Elemental
03-03-2006, 07:00 PM
Question: How opaque are the paper backgrounds from http://www.adorama.com?

If simply taped to a wall- such as a hotel- with the standard half-wood moulding (wood goes halfway up, then a light cream upper) would that be visible behind the paper and affect the shot?

I'm hoping to set up an inexpensive background to take prom-esque shots at a Cosplay ball, but can't afford the set up out of pocket. XD

And any advice from those who have done this would be much appreciated!

staereo
03-03-2006, 10:16 PM
seamless paper, i didnt click link, so i assume youre looking at seamless paper, is opaque. completely. and is great as a background. i can give adive or links as to best ways to use if you decide to maybe get some.

Bruce

Elemental
03-03-2006, 10:22 PM
I am seriously looking at purchasing a roll- so advise away!

deleriumx
03-04-2006, 10:49 AM
the paper will be completely opaque, but if youre taping it to the wall you might have a problem with lumps if the wall isnt completely smooth. i would order from b&h instead of adorama. www.bhphotovideo.com same brand of paper, but their customer service is much better. when i ordered paper from adorama they neglected to tell me the color i wanted was backordered until i called them wondering why it hadnt come yet. then it didnt come into stock until 6 months later. that irritated me.

oh and if you do decide to get it, watch the size. the cheapest kind they have is really very narrow and i find it hard to work with. i didnt realize how narrow it would be until i had ordered it. it is really only useful for headshots and stuff, not full body. especially if you plan to take pics of more than one person. here's a test pic i did ages ago to show you how big it is: http://www.seventhstranger.net/paper.jpg

Elemental
03-05-2006, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the heads up! Esp. on the width!

How durable is the paper? Will it last more than one shoot of people walking on it?

deleriumx
03-06-2006, 06:39 PM
yes it will, as long as you dont let people trample all over it. just tell them to be a little careful. its easy to poke a hole in the paper if you arent on a smooth, flat surface. as you can see from my photo, i have carpet.. so i have to put a piece of wood underneath for the model to stand on. otherwise, the paper will tear. but the good news is they always sell the paper in a roll that is pretty long, so when the bit the model is standing on gets too dirty, you just cut it off and roll it down again. so far, i have done about 5 2+ hour photoshoots on mine and havent had to cut it yet.