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Wednesday, 10 January 2018


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Couldn’t agree more. This is what I’m missing. I have plenty of gear, including lights and stands and booms, etc., but no place to work with them right now. (I even have a darkroom and an adequate computer station.) I may end up using my own garage and the cars will just have to sit out for a while. Oh, the sacrifices we make for art.

I'd like to expand your definition of a studio to something even smaller than you describe. I often photograph small objects in my cramped woodworking shop. It has a steel ceiling low enough to touch.

I use strong magnets to hang clamp-on lights and the PVC framed Photoflex diffusion panels from the ceiling. The panels and seamless paper nestle up against the ceiling when I'm doing shop work. The diffusers and seamless take just a few minutes to deploy when I want to photograph. The low-tech lights are a mix of daylight LED and CFL bulbs in cheap hardware store reflectors. The magnets are easily movable to change the lighting.

This animated GIF file shows the Photoflex panels in shooting mode and in wood shop mode...

Here are a couple of sample photos made in my "studio".

I use the smaller 39" x 39" Photoflex diffusion LitePanels available from B&H for under $25 each.

While not as functional as a studio in a larger space, it lets me explore lighting and have a lot of fun.

Bill Schneider
Claustrophobia Studios & Woodworking

Glad that you enjoyed the video Michael. And I had to laugh about Bill's 'Claustrophobia Studios' - in my case it's mostly our living room which gets used as a studio from time to time, with one of the studio strobes hanging over the dining room table on a boom stand with a 20" white beauty dish (Jinbei) most of the time, for quick portraits across the table, or 'table top' photos. Mike showed an example portrait once, to demonstrate a stepped-down Olympus 45mm/1.8 lens.


Luxury! My 'studio' work is done on a 14" x 19" table in my living room, lit by a large window and a small (20" x 16") white reflector.

A sample?

Title: And the difference is?

Bill---I always admire demonstrations of creative response to cramped quarters, so nice going; looks good.

Don't forget that you can often put a polarizer to effective use when doing small product photography. It would knock that reflection off the shiny metal front on the wood plane and generally enhance detail and color saturation. (It would also cost you significant light loss; you'd have to compensate.)

Bryan Geyer

The studios is not so much a space and equipment but also a state of mind; a space dedicated to one' specific use. By analogy, many bathrooms become a darkroom, that is until your wife wants to bathe. My old laundry room, no longer used, blacked out, with tables, plumbing, venting, lights permanently placed, and equipped; now THAT is a darkroom.

Yet it is not the fancy-schmanciness that brings the darkroom to form, but the dedication of space. With the dedication of space it is, of course, always there and near ready.

In like fashion a studio anticipates photography as a matter of course, unlike my dining room table. It is steady, controllable, with understood capabilities and claimed for use, allowing things to be left standing for further work as time allows or dictates. It takes a place in the mind as a locus for posibility and limitations. It becomes the repository of experience and growth.

It is also a great place for a party.

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