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Photography: Studio Lighting Study

I've been wanting to find a corner of the house where I can set up a make-shift backdrop and some utility clamp lights. I settled on the spare bedroom, which coincidentally has some of the best natural light. Between the closet door and the main door I hung a queen size bed sheet up and let it drape a little in the middle. The clamp lights are a great cheap alternative if you're just starting out (like me) and if you pair them with flood bulbs or spot light bulbs you can really get some great effects. I have been using these things since college when I needed to photograph drawings or packaging designs for my portfolio. They are pretty bright but you can move them around easily or diffuse them even more with mylar or thin fabrics. For this session I ended up not diffusing them since I was trying to figure out how to best direct the light.

I chose to practice with a stationary object first and then moved up to one of the dogs and finally my boyfriend (who did not need any pose prompts from me apparently). The settings took some practice and after alternating between a few different lenses I actually settled on the kit 18-55mm lens. Note: I didn't try the 50mm or the wide angle for this so check back later for updates. Once I had the settings down for the first subject the rest were much easier to follow.

Then came the challenge of keeping the focus sharp while the later two subjects fidgeted and changed poses. I have learned to be a little more weary of my ISO getting too high so to compensate my f-stop was as low as it would go and I used a longer shutter speed. Photographing the other two animals with this combination would have been a disaster but I could see how this method might be applied to people and objects.

Now that i've experimented briefly I'm excited to see where I can go with my little studio and what else can be converted into a DIY to replace expensive equipment. Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe and follow on social!

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