Today’s lecture was by the photography technician Jamie Collier, who gave us a guided session on how to create a home studio. Coming from a photography background, I am fortunate to have most of the equipment I need with me at home already, however he did give some good tips on using natural sunlight. As part of our task, we are asked to collect A3 white or coloured paper, blue tac or tape, a camera phone or camera and to download the layout app and the Snapseed app. Using the lighting coming through the window Jamie showed us how to create a backdrop by creating a scoop effect with the paper and some tips for controlling the light shining through the window. By placing grease proof paper or plastic polythene over the window, it diffuses the light and helps to prevent harsh shadows showing on the white backdrop. If the sun is very bright it will be harsh and cause unwanted shadows. He then showed us how we could create our own reflectors by covering pieces of cardboard with tinfoil. Using reflectors helps to fill in any unwanted shadows as well as adding light to darker areas.
Creating a home studio is something I started doing this month as I had products to photograph for one of my clients. Originally I did not having any lighting equipment so I had to adapt and work with what I had at home. Using just my camera, natural window light and photo shop on my laptop I managed to improvise and capture product shots for one of my clients. Making use of the large dome window on the roof in one of the bedrooms of my house, I used this as my source of light. Underneath the window was a tall wooden wardrobe, so I climbed up a ladder and used the top of the wardrobe as my workspace. I also used large pieces of white card as a reflector to fill in some of the darker shadows. Shown below are some of the final images from this photo shoot. A few weeks after I took this photograph Jamie gave his lecture on creating a home studio. I decided to photograph some miniature bottles of whisky my mum had in her cupboard. Using the domed light on the roof I applied the same approach.
Domed window set up:
(Galloway, Essential Oils, 2021)
My experience of photographing on location has allowed me to learn how to respond and adapt to difficult situations that may arise and has taught me how to best control my light. Working under the pressure of deadlines and collaborating with other creatives in busy locations has taught me how to think on my feet and work with what I have. I think these experiences have prepared me for the challenges I have faced over this last year of the pandemic and allowed me to make this transition to a new way of working.
The task set my Jamie was to set up a home studio using the materials listed above. Fortunately, I now have lighting equipment so I will be able to use artificial light for my future shoots at home.
Galloway, L. (2021). Essential Oils [Photograph]. Leeds
Galloway, L. (2021). Untitled [Photograph]. Leeds