13 Aug New Photo Setup For My Pop-Up Cards
Up until recently, my photo shoot consisted of my couch and a floor lamp. Whenever I finished making a card, I would put the card on my couch and try to find the best angle where you couldn't see the mess in my living room. Luckily my couch is relatively wide so I could usually find a way to get a good shot with nothing behind it. So, you'll notice a nice beige texture under my cards in my older pictures. During the day, I could use lighting from the window, but I couldn't control the shadows. So sometimes I had to use a floor lamp to add some fill in lighting. Usually, I had a camera in one hand and I had to awkwardly hold this rather large floor lamp on an angle (it's an indirect lamp that directed light to the ceiling) to get a decent picture. If I had to take pictures at night or early morning (which was often the case), I had no choice but to use my floor lamp for lighting. For my videos, I put a black cloth over my chair and used my desk lamp for lighting. Here's what my old “photo studio” looked like:
So, instead of having to clean up my living room and risk dropping my lamp, I decided to invest in a little photo studio. Here's what I bought:
- 800 Watt continuous lighting boom soft box
- Manfrotto tripod
- Picture frame matting (red, blue, beige, black)
Here's what the set up looks like:
I wanted some soft lighting that I could easily manipulate. The soft box on a boom worked perfectly. My cousin, who is an avid photographer (he takes great scenic pictures) gave me his old tripod head (Gitzo Magnesium ball head), so I was forced to get a decent tripod to put it on. Since I wanted a light travel tripod, I got the Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod. Then I went to Michaels to buy some colored card stock. Most of what they had didn't work out. Their card stock section had colors I didn't like and were too small. They had some foam board, but I wanted the board to curve so I could have a gradual transition between the table and the background. I was luckily to run across some large matting board used for mounting pictures in frames. These worked out perfectly. I used an old fold up camping table to put my subjects on, and the same black cloth as a table covering. Here's a test shot of my first model. I don't think Val liked being in the spot light because he kept running behind the matting board to hide. I had to lure him out with some food. He's so shy.