Sunday, August 16, 2009

DIY Studio - Natural Window Light

Every once in a while, when things get slow, I get the opportunity to experiment a bit and try out some new things. When I took Zack Arias Photo 101 workshop, we worked only with natural light. His studio has these large windows and I was amazed at what could be accomplished using natural light through a window. So I thought I would try it out myself in my home. Little did I know that I had a room at the front of my house that works perfectly for this kind of scenario and now I think I've discovered my own studio to work from.

I have this large 6 foot window with some semi-transparent shear curtains and a second set of curtains that help to completely block out the light. Although I lacked a subject for this little experiment, I put the camera on a tripod and set the timer for some self portraits. The idea was to blow out the white curtains and create a solid white background. Then use reflectors (32" & 42" Impact reflectors & Impact light/boom/reflector stand) to bounce back light towards the subject (me). I spot metered and then then over exposed by 3 stops. Wow, I'd seen Zack demonstrate this, but didn't realize how easy it was to replicate. I could also use the second set of curtains to help control some of the light.

Another item I lucked into was a stool that I already had. I purchased it a while back from Ikea for the office. I've got an office chair, but I also need another when I'm collaborating so they can sit beside me and get a clear view of my monitors. It tucks away nicely under the desk and I use it as a footstool when I'm surfing online. Anyway this works great as a posing stool as it is completely height adjustable and is actually fairly inexpensive compared to those found in photography stores. The cheapest one I found online was $60 and that didn't include shipping. If you have an Ikea store in town, you can pick one up for $50 and it looks a lot better than the ones sold in photography stores and is available in red/black and gray/white.

Anyway below are a couple of the images I took. So if you're looking for a similar look for head shots, contact me. I've got a couple more ideas for my little studio. As I set those up, I'll post here.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

No comments: