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I\'ll show you mine if you show me yours!
Old 06-09-2005, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This turned out to be one of the more popular threads on one of the other photo boards, so I thought I'd start it out here on GG.

The subject is STUDIOS! (what, you were thinking something else? Get your mind oudda da guttah!)....

I've been using my current studio for a bit over a year, now... and it's been me paying the rent since January. I rent it out on a daily basis and it looks like I may be getting some studio partners, if everything works out well for them... so far, not enough income to pay for the rent, but sometimes ya gotta pay to play!

The studio is a 25x50 commercial space in an older strip shopping center in Keller, a suburb of Fort Worth.



Shot #1 is looking from the back of the shooting area. Behind me is a makeup area with daylight-balanced makeup table lights, a dressing area, and the restroom.

I use a combination of pack heads (Novatron D1500) and monolights (Buff and a Novatron).

This shot was before pulling the white seamless for some 'catalog' shots I was going to do with a model yesterday. The mirrored plexiglass on the floor is where the model will be standing on the seamless (gotta keep those heels from punching holes in the seamless. Well, that's the plan, anyway.. didn't work, yesterday (sigh). The plexi is about 40" wide and is about 10 feet away from the background when the paper is rolled down.

In the background, you see "The Box" in front of the red background. It's out a bit farther than I'd use for 3/4 length shots.. wanted to try some full length shots with the model.



A bit more wide-angled than I'd normally shoot, this gives you a good idea of the illumination pattern of The Box. It's really a nice, smooth light.



Here's the resulting image from yesterday's setup, exactly as you see it in the second picture... the model is Ashley-Diane. I used a bit of a longer lens, the 80-200 was pretty close to cranked all the way out, but you can see why I really love this simple light. Thank you, Rolando, for showing me the way.. and thank you Mike for building the sucker for me. I'm so all-thumbs that I'd still be working on making it stand up!



It gets a bit cramped when you're needing so much room to separate the model from the background on this high-white shots...



I've included this shot to show the reflector on a stand setup that Casey was asking about recently. These are fabric, silver on one side and gold on the other, held taught by flexible poles attached to the middle thingie that bends in all kinds of directions. These are great for in-studio as long as the fan isn't blowing directly on them... but outside, be sure and take some sandbags or an assistant!


Also shown is the large-sized Photoflex Multidome softbox that's my workhorse.

So, there ya go. I realize I'm extremely lucky to be able to work in such an area, especially when photography is not my major income-producer. If you're working towards having such a space to work in.. keep at it. Dreams do come true!

Warning: Commercial plug upcoming:

Oh, and since the studio rental section isn't up and working.. if you're of need of such a working space in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, give me a call. I'm pretty flexible on rates, and all the equipment is included in the rental along with an assistant, if ya need me! Commercial plug *-off-*

OK, I showed you mine... now, who's next?
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Re: I\'ll show you mine if you show me yours!
Old 06-09-2005, 03:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was wondering if you might care to elaborate on "The Box"?

Thanks.
E
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Re: I\'ll show you mine if you show me yours!
Old 06-09-2005, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good idea...this is one of my favorite threads in one of the other forums...I am looking forward to seeing and sharing here!

I always forget to take pictures of my setup...I will try really hard next time to get a few shots to post. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Re: I\'ll show you mine if you show me yours!
Old 06-09-2005, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, The Box is an array of eight daylight-balanced flourescent lights mounted in a 4'x4' square. In this case, there's a wooden frame that holds everything up, but you can also jury-rig such a thing using duct tape and a couple of light stands.

The advantage of this thing is that it's a continuous light, allowing you to see what's there, unlike a strobe system, where the modeling lights show ALMOST what you're going to get. Being daylight-balanced, it's requiring little to no color correction. And the light that's produced, because you're shooting through the 4'x4' opening, surrounds the subject quite nicely.. like this:



The models love it!

The disadvantage (if you call it that) to this light setup is the highlight of the four sets of tubes produce a squarish-light in the model's eyes... often known as "Alien Eyes". Some people find it to be distracting. And, the light output from the rig is not what you'd call high powered... I usually shoot with my camera tripod mounted because there's no way I'm getting a sharp image at 1/40th of a second at f4 or so, handholding my D100 and an 80-200 zoom!

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