pics : un petit studio



Hi Everyone -

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a very nice holiday. During the break, I worked on some photography and started to learn how to take full advantage of my camera's capabilities. There's a corner in our bedroom where I work on still life photos as it offers the best natural light in our apartment for a good part of the day. However, trying to quickly set-up un petit studio (doesn't everything always sound better in French?) with a white background as a foundation has been a challenge.

First, I want to mention the wonderful tutorial Tartlette wrote for My Cooking Hut about the A-Z on her food photography from set-up to processing. Thanks to Helen, I've learned a lot and I'm now shooting on aperture vs. automatic settings, which makes a big difference.



We have a small folding table I previously covered with a vintage quilt and it works well. For a white surface, I've been using an extra shelf from our computer cabinet covered on one side with paper leaving the other side a natural oak and a foam core board. Together, they work ok, but there's always a shadow on the horizon line. I've also used white fabric, but constantly needing to iron it is a pain.



Then, I had an idea - a white window shade! It's similar to professional backdrops, but much smaller (37" wide), inexpensive and easy to store. I also have a yard of black chalkboard fabric for use in the same way. I fold the bottom-end over the white vertical board and drape it down. Other backgrounds can then be added - voila!



Since taking these photos, I noticed that the white of the shade had a gray tone, so I attached a piece of white fabric that gets rolled up - no wrinkles.



A white or ivory foam core board is placed on the right side to reflect the light and I'll experiment with a silver car windshield visor purchased from the 99¢ store as a second-type of reflector. [Note: The visor works great, I clip it to the foam core board! I bet foil paper would also be a good choice as it comes in different colors. I'd love some gold. Even tin foil might work? The key is to keep costs down and be easy to store.]



A change of the dark curtains and removal the lace curtain might add more light, but I like both and can pull them to the side. I think the lace provides a softening filter, especially in the summer. The new system seems to be working out pretty well and gives me enough space to keep the shadowed areas out of the shot and takes about 5 minutes to put together. Now, if I could just figure out a way to control the sun ;)?

xo, Cindy

36 comments:

aimee said...

cindy, do you take photos for magazines? if not, you should!

please sir said...

I loved reading her photography tips and now yours! I get so sad because my apartment doesn't have a great light source (on the wrong side of the building). Plus I'm at work all day during the light hours - boo! But I will def. take these tips in consideration for the future - love that you are exploring!

onesilentwinter said...

I love your curtains in the bedroom!!! happy new year!

cindy : quaint said...

aimee - thank you so much, wouldn't that be neat?

diana - there is always hope, i just read this great tutorial on one pretty thing about how to set-up a light box
http://www.oneprettything.com/?p=2740

nadia - thank you!

design for mankind. said...

LOOK AT YOU GO! These are gorgeous, Cindy!

Cicada Studio said...

Happy New Year, Cindy! Thanks for the link to Helen's tute. It's a great reference. I like bright little studio. How nice to have so much natural glow!

L'Atelier said...

this is great- i got to get my act togehter with stills- have to take photos of my jewellery. so will go and learn from you and her, thanks!

Your photos come out really beautiful by the way!

Krissy said...

Happy New Year Cindy! Love your photos- you are doing so fantastic you talented lady!

The Lil Bee said...

That is a really smart solution, Cindy! I love it!

Grace@PoeticHome said...

What a gorgeous arrangement Cindy!! Your photography looks beautiful, and no one would guess it is a corner studio in your bedroom.

jess gonacha said...

they look GREAT, cindy!! and so professional-- i would have no idea they were taken in a corner like that if you didn't way so!

cindy : quaint said...

you guys are so making my day! i love that you're saying you wouldn't know i was standing in the corner so to speak ;).

SimplyGrove said...

Happy New Year Cindy!!! Great photos!!

a print a day said...

is that a section in your house? pretty pretty! i love your photos as well dear.

cindy : quaint said...

thanks, ladies! my sleep specialist would have an absolute fit, but it's in our bedroom.

there's a second great light box tutorial here
http://www.oneprettything.com/?p=2747

Elizabeth said...

OO la la!! Very nice photos Cindy :) Happy new year.

Michelle said...

Wow this is petite! So crafty lady!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That window shade is a fabulous idea, the photos turned out amazing. And what a gorgeous room!

Tartelette said...

Oh Cindy you made my day!!
I am so glad the tips helped you and gave you something to branch on and make your own! Look at that bottom picture!! Absolutely gorgeous!!

Happy Happy New Year! 2008 as good because I finally "met" you but I am so looking forward to 2009 here on your blog!

Cheers!

Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk said...

Wow Cindy!!! Look at you. These look great and I love your tutorial. I will have a lot of catching up to do once I get my new camera. :) Thanks for sharing.

Michelle Brunner said...

I just love your little corner! The room is so light and airy! Your photographs are just beautiful...they make me happy:)

cindy : quaint said...

thanks you guys - the encouragement is so meaningful! i've also embraced my tripod, literally, but more on that another day ;).

Julia said...

What an incredible introduction to your studio and the techniques you're using! I'm enthralled. Now I have to save my pennies for a new camera!

please sir said...

I thought of you today when I made my post - the whole photography and getting things setup!

julie king said...

i'm so impressed, cindy! not only are your photos wonderful, but you've found a creative way to take excellent photos in a small area. i want to start working on some ideas like this. you've inspired me!

nichole said...

Perfect! Taking photos can be so frustrating, but when you nail it, the bliss is divine.

Mrs.French said...

love it! I have yet to try anything similar to this...I tell you my camera still terrifies me...xo t

Do it yourselfer said...

oh, thank you! i just recently got a nikon d60 and am so thankful for all your tips!

mary said...

I absolutely love this post. What great tips....I'm bookmarking!

P.S. I am very much in love with your blog header!

cindy : quaint said...

i'm so happy you've found something helpful in here as i'm still learning myself :)!

Claire, said...

Product photography is not an easy skill to master. Your photos are so pretty. I adore your banner.

Pascale said...

Thank you for your tips! As I am a novice to digital photography they were really helpful. I used a piece of bristol paper as a background, and already my pictures are getting better! I had really fun today taking pictures of small objects in this new setting... Next thing I'll try is the light box. Many thanks!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

this is so great--i loved helen's tutorial and have it in my bookmarks--she explains things so well and you have taken it to a whole new level!! i loved ton petite studio!
(I may have to hire you...hmmmm!~)

hmstrjam said...

nice set up!

Anonymous said...

I love the window shade idea! And how clever to utilize something that already exists in your home for placement. Great ideas!
Diane (Blogger wouldn't allow me to post correctly)
http://albertaphotography.wordpress.com/

SierraMoon said...

excellent !!!
I'll certainly put that to practise very soon !
thank you !