Monday, February 11, 2008

DIY Photo Studio

I'm catching up on reading my favorite blogs and ran across two very interesting posts about creating a photo studio to photograph small articles and collectibles.

Nikki-ann wrote Photo Studio about purchasing a professional studio that her cat developed a fondness for immediately upon being unpacked and set-up. Nikki-ann takes absolutely beautiful photographs, many of which I'd love to have framed and hanging in my home.

I on the other had could be classified as "high performance camera, low performance photographer." I am interested in photographing my collectibles for posterity and insurance purposes. Of course one of my major considerations is money. Being a low performance photographer should I spend the money for a professional set-up only to find my skills just don't match?

The answer came from Becky Wiseman at kinexxions writing a DIY article called Photo Studio - Light Tent. The article is filled with excellent information about creating something that functions basically the same as Nikki-ann's setup, but costs much less. Becky points us to three very excellent articles about creating our own photo studio. Note: One of them she mentions is the blog post I discuss below, Strobist.

While lounging by the pool sipping margaritas this past four weeks, I read an excellent article about the same thing in the December issue of MacWorld magazine. The article is titled DIY Photo Studio - How to get pro lighting on an amateur's budget, by David Hobby, and it can now be found online. It is an expanded version of his blog post.

I mention this article for the addition of three points to the very fine articles written by Becky and Nikki-ann.

In David Hobby's MacWorld article he says,

"Want to show off? Try floating the object in your photo. This is especially easy with small items, such as coins."
He then tells you how to build the box with the ability to float an item. I think this would be really good for some of the pieces of jewelry I have inherited. I'm going to give it a try.

Secondly, online he adds something to the article not found in the magazine - Kill troublesome reflections.

"If you’re shooting a highly reflective object and the lights cause unwanted reflections, try this tip that not even all pro photographers know: you can eliminate the errant reflections . . ."
This is a great tip, well worth reading.

And last, but not least the article tells us that David Hobby is a photojournalist at the Baltimore Sun and blogs about flash lighting techniques at Strobist. Following the link to Strobist you'll find a blog filled with hours of tips, tricks, and information. Try this blog, I think you'll enjoy the vast amount of information David shares with his readers.

FYI - check out a walkthrough on how to do an advanced product shot with your cheap new macro studio. You gotta love this guy!

Thank you Nikki-ann and Becky for some really great information and for getting me moving in the right direction!

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Blogger Terry Thornton said...

Thanks, Maven, for this informative post. I've learned about gobos and how to use them, thanks to you and the article you linked.

February 11, 2008 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Janice said...

Oh, so you were sipping margueritas... I suppose Dr. Webster mixed those for you! lol

Thanks for the great article.


February 13, 2008 at 5:20 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Oh, Dr. Webster mixed quite a few cocktails for me. Just don't remember them that much.


February 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

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