posts tagged with the keyword ‘studio’


Basement Photo Studio

Recently Steve asked about my setup for the photos I take. So I thought I’d show a few behind the scenes shots.

The setup consists of a table with a white sweep. There’s a roll of white paper held up by a few pieces of wood and a length of PVC pipe. This lets me unroll the paper to replace it as it gets dirty and worn out. A few spring clamps hold the paper in place at the edge of the table.

Basement Photo Studio

The camera sits on a tripod and there are two light stands with flashes and umbrellas. The flashes are old, and fully manual. One of them does have a dial to adjust the intensity, but the other does not. I end up moving them closer or farther a lot to adjust the light. The stands make it easy to move them around and raise and lower them. (There’s also some sandbags holding them stands steady.)

Basement Photo Studio

The flashes are fired by a set of wireless triggers, and even though I’ve had them for years, I’ve rarely had to replace the batteries. The flashes are a different story. I’ve got a set of 12 Sanyo eneloop rechargeable batteries and two chargers. Each flash takes 4 batteries and they tend to eat through them pretty quickly!

Basement Photo Studio

I shoot with a white background most of the time, but if I need black I’ll toss down some black fabric, or more likely, a piece of black posterboard. I’ve also been known to use hot pink posterboard, or yellow, or blue, or whatever I pick up at the dollar store.

I’ve got a few folding reflectors as well, but often I’ll just grab a piece of white foamcore board to use as a reflector. (Cheap foamcore is also available at the dollar store, though I tend to use the better stuff from a real art supply store)

I also shoot RAW images, which gives you a lot of room to adjust things when processing the images. Oh, and right now I’m shooting with a Nikon D3200, and for lenses there’s a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 that tend to get used the most.

That’s the basic setup. Any other questions?


The Milwaukee Strobist group on Flickr met at Z2 Photo on June, 23rd 2009… Here’s a time-lapse video of the event.

(This video is also available at and at Vimeo and is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License.)


I’ve been interested in the strobist technique of photography for a while now, but just haven’t found the time to really get into it… and the fact that my flash died at PhotoCamp certainly didn’t help things…

So when I heard about the Milwaukee Strobist group on Flickr I had this cunning idea… Invite them all out to Z2 Photo for the meetup! This was one way to ensure I’d be able to make it. :)

And come they did! We had at least one guy from Chicago, and I think a few from Madison… We had RSVP’s for about 15, and I’d guess we had about 30+ photographers there, as well as 5 models. (Here’s a group shot we did quickly at the end, some people had already left, but we got a good majority of the group.)

Milwaukee Strobist Meet up 06.23.09

And hey, I even got a few shots that I was happy with… (Thanks to everyone who loaned me equipment. Someone gave me a SB-600 to use, and at least once there was a lens on my camera that weighed 3 times as the body itself, and probably cost 4 times what my camera did!)

Milwaukee Strobist June 2009


I sort of felt like “well done lighting” plus “experienced models” made it easy to get above average shots… I know that when I’ve been left alone with lights and someone who needs a portrait, it’s a lot tougher, and good product photographer can be even more difficult. Walking into a situation where it’s all set and you just snap the shutter takes about 90% of the work out of it. :) (But hey, I’m not complaining, this was still a great experience, even if all you did was watch how other photographers do things, and I did ask a number of questions, and get some really good information in the process.)

I’m hoping at the next meetup there’s a bit more talk of “why” the lights are set up a specific way, and the many factors involved in getting a good portrait shot. Still, this was a really good experience, and a lot of fun.


Final Mixdown

It’s February 28th, 2009 and I just completed the final mixdown (I hope!) of my album for the RPM Challenge.

I’ve been at the board for over 5 hours, after working all day, and I’m tired, and I hope it sounds good…

Next, some sleep, and then to do the album artwork in the morning…


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