Photo Shoot Setup

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As the title suggests,  this article is about my new photoshoot setup for taking figures of my precious…figures that is ^^;  I’m not 100% finish with the set up as I’m still testing and tweeking the setup to make it better, and some parts are make-shift parts right now.  I decided to go about setting up this photoshoot area after reading a couple other posts here and here.  Those articles along with articles from Dannychoo.com really gave me great pointers on how to setup a nice photoshoot area without breaking my wallet  ^^”  I’ll post updates on this setup as (which can be found right below this) as I continue to make things better.  The “Stage”, the Reflector, and the Adidas box will go and more permanent fixtures will come in the coming weeks.

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So here’s a list (including photos) of what’s needed for my photoshoot area.  First off, we’ll start off with 2 daylight bulbs which I got from a local big box hardware store for under $10 Cdn.  They are the most expensive pair of light bulbs I’ve ever bought, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a must have if you want to shoot nice photos indoors with a compact digital camera.  As suggested, the bulbs I got were of the 6500K variety in colour temperature.  This number can be found on the plastic area just above the screw-in part (the area where you see the “Caution/Warning labels” on the bulb).  This number can also be found on the package, but it wasn’t the case for me, so I looked at the label on the bulb itself.  All daylight bulbs (in my area that is) is packaged in clear plastic containers so it is possible to read the labels on the bulbs.

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I also got this accent light fixture at the same store for $12 Cdn.  Desklamps works fine too, but I do have limited space in my room, so I prefer this fixture for its compact size for easy storage.  The tilt on this light is adjustable so you play around with it get different lighting effects.  The height can easily be adjusted by adding boxes underneath the fixture.

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I opted to build a dedicated space for my photoshoots which can also be folded up and stored away when I’m not taking pictures.  I just happened to have 2 extra Ikea Lack tables (retailing for $15 Cdn ea) sitting around, so I took the table tops from them and screwed some door hinges on it so it can be folded up to save space.  An added bonus of using the Ikea Lack table is that I can attach its legs to it when there’s nowhere to put this setup on top of.

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First I pre-drilled a couple holes on the side for the door hinges to go on.

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Then I put the screws in.  Pre-drilling holes makes your life much easier ^^

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Make sure the holes on the hinges matches perfectly with those on the table side, otherwise you’ll have a hard time ahead of you ^^;

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Forgot to mention that I had to buy the door hinges and screws from the hardware store as well.  I had screws at home, but didn’t want to risk them not fitting and having to make a trip back so I got them there anyways.  The door hinges were $1.50 Cdn each, and the screws was $.70(?) for a pack of 20.

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This is how the finished product looks, and it just took 10 mins to make.

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Here is a list of other materials used to create the photoshoot area:

  • diffuser = Adidas (box = $0, shoes = 6,880 yen), cover of a binder
  • reflector = other cover of binder, tin foil
  • stage = marketing text book ($100 Cdn), 2 sketch books ($8 Cdn ea)
  • background = 17″ LCD monitor (non-reflective surface)

Here is a list of future modifications to be made on the photoshoot area:

  • A permanent diffuser, reflector, and stage
  • A hinge locking device to hold the back board upright so it doesn’t fall and crush my LCD and figures
  • Clips to hold background paper in place (when I don’t use the LCD as background)

Here is the result:

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So why did I choose to make something like this instead of following the ideas on the articles mentioned earlier?  The answer is simple, I do not have that kind of space in my room to have a dedicated area for photoshoots.  So I wanted to build something that is portable, and storable, which I can move anywhere and have the same results everytime.  With this setup, I do not need to find a wall, a background, nor a surface to setup on.  I can just open up the table, set up the lighting and shoot-to-my-hearts-content.  Although some setup is needed when using the LCD as the background,  it is only mere minutes, and the versatility of using the LCD (inspired by Danny Choo) more than makes up for the minutes for setup.

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