Photo Studio Upgrade
The garage photo studio got a huge upgrade last night. In fact, I’m tempted to go all Idiocracy and call it an “Upgrayyedd” (the double D’s are for a double dose of pimpin’).
Back when I first got back into modeling, I had a very simple setup consisting of two clamp-style work lamps and a sheet of posterboard.
It worked well enough in 1/48, but even smaller 1/32 kits bumped up against the limited size of the posterboard, and I had to be careful how I shot to avoid running out of backdrop at the edges of the frame.
With the move in the fall of 2011, I upgraded somewhat, with a dedicated space in the new garage. This setup expanded to four lights, but the same old posterboard.
And in time came to incorporate a light tent.
This setup got me some great shots, particularly on black and silver backdrops, but running out of backdrop was still a big issue, particularly as I’ve been moving more and more into 1/32. When you start hitting wingspans of 15″ and up, a 20″ wide backdrop becomes somewhat limiting.
So for Father’s Day, the better half gave me permission to splurge on a dedicated photo table…basically an aluminum tube frame supporting a 40×80″ sheet of slightly translucent plexiglass.
I got it built last night.
Overall, assembly wasn’t bad, but flattening out the rolled plexi was a pain. Working slowly and swearing a lot I eventually got it mounted to the frame. Then, after an epic session with the ShopVac to clear away spider webs and other debris, I got the new setup, um, set up.
The diffuser bags on the main lights are awesome photographically, but big and annoying from a placement perspective. I had to get creative with the one on the right…
Underneath, the two work lamps soldier on, providing underside illumination.
As for the results…well…
The table is also big enough that I can photograph multiple subjects next to each other.
I still have some dialing in to do in places (namely white balance), but so far I’m in love. This table makes it easy to get killer shots, and it’s more than big enough for even larger 1/32 kits like the Hobby Boss P-61 or HK B-25 Mitchell. Goodbye, days of doubling up posterboards and killing the seamlines in Photoshop!