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 ;)?