First 'studio' setup - need help!

bike21bike21 Registered Users Posts: 836 Major grins
edited December 13, 2013 in Accessories
Howdy-

I've been working with a buddy/client who is a rep in the cycling industry and he wants to start doing some product shots indoors. He is looking for some 'studio' style product shots for full bikes and accessories. I'm going to look at building or buying a lightbox for smaller items but was also hoping for some tips on affordable white backdrops. Also any comments on lens choice or focal length would be appreciated!

I have light stands/reflectors to get started so I should be fairly set on that front. Any tips on a first time setup would be greatly appreciated as I've never done anything like this. This was a shot we did outside the other day...

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Comments

  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 10, 2013
    Unless you use a bedsheet, you won't get much more affordable (or practical) than this:

    http://www.adorama.com/BD402SS.html

    There's a wider one, too, I believe. I use mine ALL THE TIME. They're not self=standing (I actually hang mine from a hook on top of a bookcase), but you don't need an actual background stand - you can just rig it up with whatever you have handy, securing it with work clips (or whatever)

    Other alternatives include the polypaper ones from www.lemondropstop.com. I have a couple of patterned ones, but for white I just reverse them and use the back; I'll sometimes hang one, and use the other on the floor, white side up - looks like seamless once it's shot. The material is ever so slightly shiny which helps getting the high key look; I find it easier to light to pure white than the fabric collapsible (I'm using speedlights, and often only one, so every little bit helps!)
  • ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,898 moderator
    edited November 10, 2013
    Get a cheap white bed sheet and use your lights behind that. If you need lights, Alien Bees or White Lightning (both are Paul C. Buff products) are reasonable cost.

    You can probably get by with small strobes too.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • bike21bike21 Registered Users Posts: 836 Major grins
    edited November 15, 2013
    Thanks for the responses! I think I'll go with some background paper from Adorama to start. It turns out the former owners of my buddy's house were photographers and there are some useful remnants of their studio still in the basement. Might be able to start this experiment on the cheap and go from there.
  • bike21bike21 Registered Users Posts: 836 Major grins
    edited December 4, 2013
    First session was today, no 'real' photos to share yet as I'm still working but here is a one fun one from the Inst-O-gram.

    1450309_10152094525767089_425696035_n.jpg

    We went for some paper from our local store and my speedlights are working well so far with silver umbrellas. Need to control the ambient light from the windows for the daytime shoots but at night we obviously have full control. So far so good! I'll share some pics soon...
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited December 4, 2013
    Control ambient with your shutter speed! If you're at maximum synch, it shouldn't have any impact on the image thumb.gif
  • ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,898 moderator
    edited December 4, 2013
    What she said :D
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • bike21bike21 Registered Users Posts: 836 Major grins
    edited December 4, 2013
    Hmm...so on the left side of the images I was getting some yellow daylight from the window. How else can I control that besides a curtain? Shutter speed somehow?
  • ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,898 moderator
    edited December 4, 2013
    I would probably make my ambient shot as close to black as possible. Then add flash back to build the shot. You can get an idea for mixing ambient with flash from David Hobby's Strobist article.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited December 5, 2013
    http://www.thewonderoflight.com/2009/09/controlling-ambient-with-shutter-speed/

    And if you keep your ISO low, you'll kill even more ambient. It makes your flashes work harder, but that's what you want in this case :)
  • Gary752Gary752 Registered Users Posts: 934 Major grins
    edited December 6, 2013
    ian408 wrote: »
    I would probably make my ambient shot as close to black as possible. Then add flash back to build the shot. You can get an idea for mixing ambient with flash from David Hobby's Strobist article.

    This is exactly what Scott Robert Lim taught in his "Crazy Stupid Light" course on Creative Live! ISO 100, 1/200 - 1/250 shutter speed, and f5.6, as an example, according to his flash chart, you would set your flashes to 1/8 power and you'd be in the ball park for a perfect exposure. He also said that shutter speed controls ambient, and aperture controls flash. So let's say you used the above settings and you'd like to drop the flash a bit, all you'd have to do is change the aperture to f8 and it would drop the flash power 1 stop, equivalent to 1/16 power. If you would like to view his chart for setting the flash power it can be viewed here.

    GaryB
    GaryB
    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
  • bike21bike21 Registered Users Posts: 836 Major grins
    edited December 13, 2013
    Ah ha, good stuff here. Sorry it took me a few days to get back to this thread, really appreciate the help. Starting to get a better understanding now for sure. Here are some of the initial images from the other day...

    i-5Kdv5KP-L.jpg

    i-FzZrsvL-L.jpg

    i-RK9WNR2-L.jpg

    i-FTrrvnK-L.jpg
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