Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

  1. #1

    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Hello everyone!
    this is my first post in this forum,

    My friends asked me for help about setting up a studio for photographing cloths on doll's for online shop,
    the space i have to work with is a tiny 4x2.2 meters (13'x7'),
    I've received some very nice suggestions from other forums, and would like to ask for more opinions on whether this can be done.

    Option 1:
    building a light box using opaque white panels as reflectors, and using single light, looks like this:
    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.
    In theory, the white panels would soften the shadows but will flatten out the output too much

    Option 2:
    Using a LastoLite Hilite illuminated background as a sidewall giant-softbox which would give head-to-toe even illumination, but also allowing me some hard contrast (because its on the side of the wall)
    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    I haven't seen a studio in my life...so i would really love to hear the opinion of anyone with experience in studio about those options as they seem very plausible to me.

    Thank you!
    -Ros

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    17,885

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Welcome to CiC! You might want to add at least your first name to your profile and the location where you live. Once you do, that information, which can be very helpful, will be displayed along with your screen name on the left side of each post.

    Your post mentions that you'll be photographing dolls but your diagrams indicate that you'll be photographing either people or manikins. Perhaps English is not your native language, so I'll mention that a doll is a miniature of a person, usually a children's toy. A manikin is a life-size depiction of a person. Please clarify what you'll be photographing, as the response you receive will be very different depending on the situation.

  3. #3

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Hi Mike!
    Your right, i'm reffering about a Manikin (a very big dolls with clothes on )
    The specific location would be in Singapore,
    Thanx for your response!

    P.S
    this is my reference site:
    http://www.net-a-porter.com/Shop/Clothing/Dresses

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    17,885

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Now that we've got that straight, unfortunately, I'm no help. If it had been dolls that you plan to photograph, I could have provided some advice.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Hi Ros,

    Ideally, one needs space between the subject and the background so that there isn't cross-contamination between the two light zones. I shoot in a 10 x 8m studio -- and at times I'd even like that to be be bigger! So I think that your lack of space is going to be challenging.

    If you're going to be only sticking to white backgrounds - and the mannequins won't have any fine hair - then it'll probably be OK. Here's a couple of things to think about though ...

    1. If you want the background to be white then it needs to be lit separately. If you did that the traditional way (with a light each side) then you'll probably run into problems with that light spilling on to the subject - and if you try to avoid that by putting the lights REALLY close to the background then you'll probably have issues with the evenness of the illumination. So the Lastolite HiLite background is a good idea - but - (a) it means you'll be limited to white backgrounds only (which may be perfectly OK for catalog shots) and (b) because it's an active light source (as opposed to reflected light) you need to be careful not to use too much power as it will cause problems around the edges of the clothing (not too hard to get right though -- where it REALLY stuffs things up is where hair is involved).

    2. Illuminating your subject is the next challenge. For portraiture then normally you'll want uneven lighting - so typically a single softbox in what we call the 45/45 position is a good starting point (45 deg off centre and 45 deg pointing down), but for product photography USUALLY people want even lighting - and for that I use full-length strip lights ... one each side.

    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    When a freind set up his studio he didn't have enough height for the formal wedding groups he would be shooting so he had a carpenter freind build a curved horizonless ceiling as diagram. But due to the different angles any light would be reflected off the 'cieling' it might have been a problem to get even lighting.
    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.
    I never heard if he had any problems with it and I didn't notice anything the one time I used it.But I was looking elsewhere.

    Hesitate to comment on Colin's post becuase he has much more experience than I but I am a keen believer in snoots on lights to stop their light going everywhere and for even lighting of a flat area, and this applies to backgrounds and copying large paintings etc ... when the area gets bigger you need to use more than one light on each side and ideally the strip light like Colin if it is powerful enough ... only ones I have used were flourescent 5ft or 6ft tubes in black and white days. A manikin doesn't move I guess so longer exposures to compensate for lower light- levels works AOK

    I gather that there are grids which fit on the front of broads to control spill.
    The Inverse square rule is usually considered in relationship to the direct light-to-subject distance but in the case of 'even lighting' there is also the angle away from direct and resulting fall-off from the increased distance and reflective properties of the background with different angles as with the curved cyc drawn above a 'bad case'.

    One point about your first diagram .. the sides at right angles to the back will more than likely reflect the light onto the background rather than the model .. if the single light is in line with the camera they need to be at about 45 degrees from the background not 90 degrees. They are working like mirrors.
    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.
    Edit ... in fact a mirror might not be a bad thing to help setting up the sides though not for actual photographs
    Last edited by jcuknz; 15th December 2012 at 01:45 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Hesitate to comment on Colin's post becuase he has much more experience than I but I am a keen believer in snoots on lights to stop their light going everywhere
    A moderate grid (eg 20deg) works well for containing spill (but there is still a tradeoff between "yay" the grid stopped the spill" and "boo" the grid gave me uneven lighting). Snoots on the other hand are vicious little b^astards - giving a very hard light ... not normally something I'd consider using for mannequin photography (but one can use them to break the rules for some cool-looking results )

    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

  8. #8
    allenlennon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland NSW Australia
    Posts
    572
    Real Name
    Allen or "Lurchy" is fine

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Never shot a manikin, but i do have a makeshift studio. All it is a backdrop stand i made from PVC, and three softboxes. The dimensions i would say is roughly the same as the one you described as the set up and space i work with in a shed that has stff around it.. But with poles in the middle, lol. And since its for a online shop, that would be all i would think you would need. I do have manikins in the shed(use to be a museum) but never tried.

  9. #9

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Hi everyone
    Many months have passed but i wanted to thank you all for your great help,
    I've managed to build the studio and have good results
    Thanks again everyone you helped alot!

    Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Studio - Minimal space for studio question, from a complete newbie.

    Returning to this thread I am glad it is working out for you. My experience is of using a white bucket as my 'studio' and getting the soft results you mention in your first post which I fixed in editing but today as I read that first post my mind thought of if white walls are resulting in too soft a light then one answer is to change color of a wall .... which is akin to adjusting lights in a larger studio. In the case of the bucket another time I would play around with shades resting against the outside of the bucket.
    It was very soft because the bucket itself was lit by extremely even light itself ... my workroom has windows for walls on three sides. A 'belt and braces' situation which was very hard to correct in editing

    EDIT ... with the hard light of a snoot on a light ... if the light itself is electronic flash a soft result was/can be obtained with a facial tissue in the snoot
    Last edited by jcuknz; 11th June 2013 at 09:34 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •