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Making a photo studio

Making a photo studio
Saturday, 24 March 2007
4.8/5 rating (4 votes)
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    As this tutorial is already getting old, some of the products presented here are no longer available for sale at the suppliers linked to.
    I've thus updated some product links to other equivalent or even better products. I've decided to prepare a second version of this tutorial, a simpler and more efficient one.
    In the meantime, you can still use this tutorial, which will still give you useful instructions.

    You've just finished your last piece and want to share it with the rest of the planet, but... your pictures aren't really good...

    The point of this tutorial isn't to teach you how to take pictures, some have done that better than I have HERE, but to show you how to build a small (easily transportable) photo studio, in order to get the best result.


    We'll start by making a support.

    This is made using foamcore 70 cm long by 20 cm tall (as it has the advantage of being able to be cut cleanly and being of a white tone that reflects light) but it can also be made out of regular cardboard or even out of wood, if you're handy.

    studio2


    2 flaps of 20cm by 20cm are cut and strengthened with scotch tape, which will double as hinges. We'll use these two flaps as reflectors.

     

    We'll put double-sided scotch tape on each flap.

    studio3.jpg


    The reflectors are stuck to the flaps. In this instance, they've been made using leftover isolation foam, but they can be made using tinfoil. You can even leave the cardboard as is (if you've used white foamcore).

     

    studio4.jpg


    Our studio starts to take form.

     

    We print out a background with a blue to white gradient (you can download one in the Goodies section of the site). Print it out in high resolution and on matte paper. A shiny paper will reflect the light and will ruin the pictures.

    The background is held in place here by a sturdy binder clip, but you can also use bluetac.

    Avoid taping it, it would damage the cardboard when getting replaced (oh yeah, and it gets dirty after a while sm_wink.gif).

    You can see on the picture that I've made a small 10 cm high support, so that the spots (see following step) are at the right height. It's simply made with a plank and two wooden planks.

    There, the studio is ready!

    studio5.jpg


     

    The hardest factor when taking good picture is the lighting! After much research, I've finally found what I needed – "daylight" bulbs. These are especially adapted to photography and aren't too expensive! You can find them at a reasonable price over HERE!

    Another clipped spot, that I had lying around, is placed above for zenithal lighting. It's fitted with an energy saving "white light" bulb (not easy to find  ). But I've found for you  over HERE.

    spots.jpg

    This kind of light bulb is perfect to paint and is easily adapted to all types of desk lamps (I advise you to order a number of them, as they quickly become indispensable!).

    ampoule6400K.jpg


    studio6.jpg

     

    As you can see on the photo above, the shadows of the subject are clearly showing and that the light is too direct.

    So we'll make masks to filter the light. 2 rings are made (1 for each mask) with a simple piece of plastic 12 cm in diameter (cardboard will also work quite well).

    White nylon is glued on the plastic ring at this point (two layers of tracing paper can replace the nylon).

    A small piece of wire is placed, in order to keep the mask on the spot yet keep it from the light source, because since the spots are halogens, they HEAT UP! And risk burning our mask...

    studio7.jpg

    There – the mask is in place.

    studio8.jpg


     

    As you can see, the light is better diffused over the subject and the shadows are now nearly nonexistent.

    For the zenithal spot, a double layer of tracing paper is used as diffuser. Since the lamp heats very little, it can be placed almost straight on the bulb.

    studio9.jpg


     

    Here you've got a picture with the distances that I use to take pictures of my miniatures. Be careful – these are just there as guidelines, as they can vary depending on your camera.

    Refer to the tutorials I linked to at the beginning for better instructions regarding shooting pictures.

    mesures.jpg

    There, I hope this short tutorial will help you put your work in a better light !

     

    Tutorial translated by Eric HARLAUX

Comments (14)

  • JP

    JP

    28 July 2007 at 01:10 | #

    Très bon tutorial, je m'y suis inspiré pour réaliser mon mini studio photo et les résultats sont encourageants.
    JP

    reply

  • Anakron

    Anakron

    29 July 2007 at 00:15 | #

    Content que cela t'ai aidé ;-)

    reply

  • azazel

    azazel

    26 November 2007 at 23:52 | #

    Même chose, j'ai utiliser votre tuto comme inspiration pour ma propre "boite a photo" et ça change tout. merci en tout cas pour ce tuto et pour le site.

    reply

  • Karine

    Karine

    24 January 2009 at 16:04 | #

    Trop mignon tout çà !

    reply

  • Fredo

    Fredo

    11 February 2009 at 14:37 | #

    Félicitations pour le site, on sent le Pro!; je viens seulement de découvrir le site et le petit studio, vraiment très bien et tellement facile à réaliser.
    Encore bravo.

    Fredo.

    reply

  • Lobwick

    Lobwick

    20 March 2009 at 21:10 | #

    Salut,
    J'ai regardé ton tuto et je trouve ça super (comme le reste du site) mais j'ai une petite question :
    Si la partie centrale faisait 40 cm sur 20 cm afin de pouquoi replier les panneaux latéraux dessus cela changerait-il quelque chose?

    reply

  • Anakron

    Anakron

    20 March 2009 at 21:50 | #

    Non, tu peux sans problème le faire de 40cm si tu veux le replier.
    Je prépare d’ailleurs un tuto sur le version 2 du studio.

    reply

  • Lobwick

    Lobwick

    23 March 2009 at 21:37 | #

    Et sera t'il toujours transportable ou avec plus une forme de boite? Je demande car j'envisage la création d'un studio de photo. Et il sera disponible dans longtemps ou pas?

    reply

  • Anakron

    Anakron

    23 March 2009 at 21:47 | #

    Ben c'est exactement le même, mais dans les 2 volets sur les cotés, des ouvertures sont découpés (en laissant 1cm sur le contour) et des papiers calques sont fixés sur les ouvertures, pour filtrer la lumière (efin de remplacer le filtrer positionné sur les lampes).
    Quand à la disponibilité du tuto, il faut que j'ai un peux de temps... smile

    reply

  • rousseau

    rousseau

    12 December 2009 at 12:35 | #

    Merci pour tous ces conseils "éclairés"
    C'est très bien fait et très pédagogique.
    Une vraie leçon de cuisine photo !
    Continuez à "illuminer la toile" ainsi.
    Cordialement.
    rousseau

    reply

  • Elodie

    Elodie

    24 February 2010 at 10:16 | #

    Bonjour,

    J'aimerai savoir où tu avait trouvé le spot zénithal? Car malgré mes recherches, je ne trouve rien... Merci.

    reply

  • Anakron

    Anakron

    24 February 2010 at 11:27 | #

    Ben c'est un bête spot à pince, mais n'importe quel autre lampe peux faire l'affaire. Si c'est de l'ampoule que tu veux parler, j'ai mis le lien dans l'article pour en trouver.

    reply

  • Duck

    Duck

    14 April 2011 at 22:58 | #

    Bonsoir,
    grâce à vos indications fort utiles, j'ai pu trouver une adresse où j'ai fait l'achat d' un mini studio dont l'utilisation m'a procurer de grandes satisfactions et le plaisir de photographier mes figurines dans des conditions acceptables, enfin!
    Merci pour vos judicieux conseils.
    J.D.

    reply

  • BananeDC

    BananeDC

    11 August 2012 at 18:58 | #

    Bonjour,
    J'attends avec impatience depuis plusieurs mois déjà pour l'achat de mon studio photo, votre tutorial m'ayant bien motivé. Malheureusement je n'aurait pas du attendre autant, les liens sont presque tous morts, dur dur de trouver des remplacements...
    Les pots par exemple sont plutôt chers mais surtout par rapport au modèle initial on ne peut plus rien accrocher dessus :(
    Help ! :)

    reply

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