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What's your photobooth setup?

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  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: Ontario, Canada
What's your photobooth setup?
Posted by gunner_chris on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:03 PM

What kind of photo booth do you have?

special lighting?  Special background?

Do you have a permanent setup or something that you rig up as required?

  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: NW Washington
Posted by dirkpitt77 on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:10 AM

I rig mine up as required, but it's not much. I have good lighting on my bench, and I just use a sheet of light blue poster board as the background. I lay it flat on the bench, then perch the back half up vertical against the wall or my toolbox, securing it with tape. This creates the infinite curve or the "horizon-less background"  behind the model. I'm considering switching to an outdoor shoot method, but I'd like to get my hands on some actual photographic backgrounds of airfields n such. Not sure how to go about that yet.

Chris

    "Some say the alien didn't die in the crash.  It survived and drank whiskey and played poker with the locals 'til the Texas Rangers caught wind of it and shot it dead."

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:36 AM

I am basically the same as Chris. I use my workbench for which I have two light set up anyway. I secure the top of my background, blue or white poster board, on a shelf about the bench.

I am hopeing to have a purpose built hobby shed next year and I may well set up a dedicated photo area.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Rothesay, NB Canada
Posted by VanceCrozier on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:26 PM

Well, in my small house, my photobooth looks suspiciously like my workbench. This is the same workbench which other members of the house are CONVINCED they should use as the kitchen table. Bang Head. I try to do my photos during daylight hours with the patio door to my back providing the outside light, and a desklamp offset to one side to add another source as needed.

On the bench: Airfix 1/72 Wildcat; Airfix 1/72 Vampire T11; Airfix 1/72 Fouga Magister

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:14 AM

I seldom use a "booth" as I am more interested in realistic photography using a natural scene or a photo backdrop.  However, when I do need a "model as art object" type photo, I did buy one of those popular collapsible "tent" things with two lamps.  However, I lost it and cannot find i.  I do have a south facing closed porch and the light there is pretty diffused, and I'm using that for those kind of shots till I find that booth.

For my photo backdrop shots I need natural sunlight, which means that here in Minnesota winter is not for photography.  I hope to grab a few shots of just completed models before the snow gets too deep in my back yard :-(

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:03 PM

I don't have a photo booth as such, but instead take pics at the bench.   I use two CFL lamps for lighting and have found the white balance for those lamps (5140K), which cuts out the color shift from the lights.

I beg people not to use a blue background unless they know how to properly white balance their cameras.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:50 PM

I don't have a booth, nor do I plan to. But this is what I set up to shoot my first finished model here. Pretty much same as I'd do for any still. It's just a piece of white portrait backdrop roll taped to the wall, then taped to the card table to keep it from rolling back up. :) Any large paper would work fine, the backdrop paper is overkill but I had it on hand.

Advantage is it creates a seamless curve at the bend.

I am fortunate to have to room to do this and lazily let it set there without getting yelled at. Stick out tongue Yet.

Apologies for the crappy pic, btw. Whistling

-Greg

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:03 PM

Greg, I'd hang that softbox from the ceiling (somehow) for overhead lighting and then use two large white reflectors (foamcore boards) close to both sides of the table to bounce some fill light back into the sides and underside of the models.

Get the distances worked out for the light and reflectors and you'll get a nice, flat light.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:09 PM

Dre, does the blue background make that much of a difference. I started out with a blue one at the end of last year but got a white one a few months back.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:30 PM

Hey Dre, what a great tip! Thanks buddy!

To be honest, I sat that one softbox there some months back, didn't rig up the pocket wizzies and shot a couple tests with the on camera flash/diffuser only. Was close enough for gov't work, never even got out the other softbox.

I will definitely try your suggestion one of these days. Sounds awesome, never thought about lighting from the top. Whistling

-Greg

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:39 PM

Bish, I think that it boils down to personal preference, but I avoid using anything colored within the picture that isn't the model.   Blue, and other color backgrounds, can cause viewer-perceived color shifts to the final photo.  Get the white balance wrong and a colored background can make color correction even more of a pain.  

Beyond the color shifts and perceptions, I personally think that a white or light grey background looks far better than a colored one, and is less distracting.

But..  as we often say to each other about the models themselves- do it the way you want to and are most comfortable with.   My photographic training and habits lead me to use the most visually neutral (boring) backgrounds in order to give the subject the best presentation because if I can't hook a reader in 5 seconds for a closer look then they've already moved onto something else on the page. 

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:48 PM

Greg, you've got another softbox??  

OK, both softboxes to the sides, equidistant to the model subject and a big reflector over head (but close enough to work) and a reflector out in front of the model (I tape one right to the edge of the table or tripod, whichever is closer).

Matt surface or super shiny reflectors can make a big difference in how much light gets bounced and how it looks.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:06 PM

One thing I don't have is any reflectors, Dre. Reckon I could use some posterboard, though.

It seems we are rigging up a booth, without the booth. Which I find funny,  but I see where you are coming from and  you are right. Smile

-Greg

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:08 PM

It does make sense what you saying. The next time I take completed builds pics, I might ell try it with both. But loking at the ones I have already done, I do prefer the ones with a white background.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:22 PM

So far, I am preferring a white background (so far) as well. Have thought about trying a light grey sometime, though, as Dre already mentioned.

That said, I've seen some shots online with light blue backgrounds that look kinda cool.

-Greg

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:23 PM

Greg, by reflectors I mean "foamcore boards or heavy poster paper" found at WalMart, not the spendy photo-specific reflectors.   They're far cheaper, more resilient and ultimately disposable than anything else I've used to bounce light around. 

We're not setting up a booth, but rather a "user-oriented photographic environment".   Big difference when you can describe it like that.Wink  

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, October 24, 2013 3:58 PM

Dre, of course so. Where was my head? I know where it was, but can't say on this family oriented forum. Wink

"User-oriented photographic environment". I love it, thanks for making me crack a smile. Feels like first time in 2 weeks.

-Greg

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:12 PM

You're quite welcome, good Sir.   If I can't get someone to laugh with me, then at least they can laugh at me.

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