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I would like to discuss how you can create a simple and affordable DIY studio.
Let’s go through the equipment list for today’s shoot.
I strongly suggest that you shoot tethered. Tethered shooting means that you link your camera using a USB cable, link directly to your laptop and then you would shoot into an application like Lightroom or Capture One. This particular cable is from a company called Tether Tools. You will find these on most professional photoshoots. And I think it’s particularly useful because it’s orange. Be warned: these cables can be a notorious tripping hazard. A bracket is important to protect the USB port from the camera. And some camera manufacturers create and produce these brackets. This one is from Nikon. But you can also buy a tool called a “jerk stopper” that is going to stabilize the USB port. And last but not least, a good roll of gaffer tape. I like to use the one with a matt surface. The one with the shiny surface can sometimes leave a really nasty residue on all your equipment.
I created a very simple still life setup to show you how all this equipment looks like in action.
We have a soft light achieved by pointing the speed light towards a corner of the room while zooming out. This creates a large light and a hot spot in the corner of the room. There is a very simple rule in lighting that says, “The larger the light source, the softer the light.” So because the area that is lit is relatively large, we get very soft light. If I take the softbox off, then the light is going to become much harder because of the size of the light shape with much more pronounced shadows because the light source itself is small. We are still working with the Speedlight zoomed-out in the 24-millimeter position.
Now, when I zoom in to 105, it will create a very distinctive light hotspot and a very distinctive vignetting to the top and to the bottom of the frame. That is because I zoomed in. So that means that the Speedlight is only going to create a small, very pronounced light hotspot.
It is not about your budget, it is not about the amount of space that you have, it is all about controlling the equipment. If you would like to learn more, we can recommend the Pixpa Guide to Building a Photography Studio.