Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Bathroom Photography Studio (Easy, Inexpensive Solution)

Hididng Behind The Camera - Tehachapi, California
I'm working on a project called A Photographer's Journey and I needed a studio to create some of the images. The solution was easy and inexpensive, and involved the bathroom.

A bathroom studio is so simple that you'll wonder why you didn't think of it earlier. Granted, you probably won't want to bring the Smith's in for their portrait session using this, but otherwise it is great.
Captured Determination - Tehachapi, California
A studio is essentially a controlled environment. You control the lighting, you control the background. A bathroom is a small enough space that one can easily control these things.

For the lighting, the above-the-mirror lights are perfect. You can control the brightness with different wattage bulbs, or install a dimmer switch. You'll have to take white balance into consideration for color photographs. A white sheet can work as a diffuser (just be sure it doesn't touch the hot bulbs), and your car's sun shade can work as a reflector. Since the lights cannot move, instead you can change the angle of yourself and camera in order to get the lighting effect you desire.
Double Negative - Tehachapi, California
For the background I used white and black t-shirts. If you need a larger background, a sheet will work well and probably curtains, too. You don't have to get fancy, but wrinkles can be a problem on lighter backgrounds.

I put the camera on a tripod and set the tripod on the bathroom sink. I used the camera's self-timer feature for self portraits. For the black background, I set exposure compensation to -1 and for the white background I set the exposure compensation to +1. Each camera will be a little different, so be sure to meter.
Eye Sea Read - Tehachapi, California
And that's it. Be creative! Vision is what matters most, not expensive equipment. No one will ever know that you used your bathroom as a studio.




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