Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Studio of My Own

I've been accumulating photographic tools for a while with an eye to setting up a studio. Mostly I keep an eye out for things on sale at bargin prices.  One of my local independent dealers had Matthews stands on sale for $30, so I bought two of them. Another time they had the Matthews backdrop stand kit on sale for $80, so I bought it. Ten by twenty painted backdrop 50% off of $100.

I buy used whenever I can find good equipment that's been well taken care of at bargain prices. A pair of Bowen 400B Monolights in a case with stands, cords, sync cables (including a spare PC to Household) and 3 umbrellas ... $200. A pair of Paul C. Buff White Lightning 10000s with Bogen stands for $50 each.

Used Vivitar 285HV strobes and Quantum Battery 1s.
There's not much more than $500 in the whole setup.I put together a small, portable setup in my apartment.

Backdrop stands bracket my work table. Backdrop conceals the work table when I'm shooting.
Main light Paul C. Buff White Lightning 10000 @ 2/3 power shooting through a 30 inch umbrella.
Fill light is one of the Bowen 400B Monolights @ half power bounced off the other end of the room.
Hair light is a boom mounted Vivitar 285HV on a Wein optical hot shoe slave.
Background light is a Pentax AF 500FTZ (built in slave) sitting on the floor.

I've got a friend who patiently stands there while I pull focus & get the lights balanced.

... and the finished product.
I can see there are some things still to work out.

These lights are powerful for this size room. Even with them dialed down, I'm using a fairly high aperture, which increases depth of field. Throwing the background out of focus is going to take some work.

For those who care about the technical details: Pentax K10D, smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II @ 55mm, ISO 100, 1/180 @ f/11

1 comment:

Kathleen C Photography said...

Thanks for sharing your at home studio set-up. Just shows that you don't need to start out spending a lot of money.