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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 14 Mar 2007 (Wednesday) 11:56
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Can I build a studio? Advice please.

 
Mr ­ O
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Mar 14, 2007 11:56 |  #1

Hi all. I'm after some advice (apologies in advance for the long-ish post).

I'm wanting to turn my garage into a studio (for portraits). The problem is....space. As it's not a huge garage I would like to know if it's worth doing. It's not so much the length or width that bothering me, it's the height from floor to beams which is only approx 7' 3".

What I'm gonna do is plasterboard the walls, plaster them and paint them. Also platerboard over the beams to make a ceiling but with holes in for 4 to 8 downlights I'm gonna wire in. Once completed, I don't intend to use the front garage door, just the side door.

So...my question is...will it work? I've added some pics and dimensions. (Ignore the mess, I'll clean that up. ;)) Thanks guys. :)

IMAGE: http://www.aubp27.dsl.pipex.com/photos/garage/height.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.aubp27.dsl.pipex.com/photos/garage/floor.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.aubp27.dsl.pipex.com/photos/garage/IMG_0040.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.aubp27.dsl.pipex.com/photos/garage/IMG_0044.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.aubp27.dsl.pipex.com/photos/garage/IMG_0047.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.aubp27.dsl.pipex.com/photos/garage/IMG_0051.jpg

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FlashZebra
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Mar 14, 2007 12:14 |  #2

You will be fine for a studio where you can take headshots and upper torso shots of human beings. But, if you want to take images of entire human beings you do not have enough room.

Adding drywall will make it even smaller.

The height is really limiting.

Enjoy! Lon


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TMR ­ Design
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Mar 14, 2007 12:20 as a reply to  @ FlashZebra's post |  #3

I've seen instances where people were able to remove those cross beams and rework them to still be structurally sound and correct in architectural design and gain some more height. I don't know the details and I'm not a carpenter but it might also be an option.

Otherwise Lon is right. I have a small space with an 8 ft. ceiling and it has its limitations. It's proving to be wonderful for head shots and 1/2 or 2/3 shots at most, and that is pushing it.


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FlashZebra
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Mar 14, 2007 12:29 |  #4

I would suggest you look for a camera club in your area that has studio facilities.

Enjoy! Lon


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milleker
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Mar 14, 2007 12:38 |  #5

I use my basement at the moment which is about the same height. As mentioned head and 2/3 shots are do-able. Hair light is possible if you have them seated. The good thing about your unfinished ceiling is that you might be able to mount yourself a hair light up there.


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StealthLude
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Mar 14, 2007 12:40 |  #6

londuck wrote in post #2870152 (external link)
I would suggest you look for a camera club in your area that has studio facilities.

Enjoy! Lon

I agree. Use someone elses space or rent a studio if need be.

Thats space is pretty small for a studio. At the absolute most you might be able to have a portrait studio, and I think thats still pushing it.

I am using a 2 car garage, It has a lot of space, but the height is also an issue. I cant really raise lights very high up. What you see if a 10 foot x 20 foot backdrop. I find it just the right size to shoot a family of 5. Any less and I dont think it would work very well.

2nd Shot is a 1300 sq/ft warehouse with a 16-20 foot tall celing. I get to use once in a while. Its not occupied but the owner is a family friend so on a good day, I can setup inside and shoot cars if I wanted to.

What type of lighting and background were you thinking of using? You might be able to get a small setup going, but its going to be limmited. If you are into product photography, that space might work well for you. Shooting models and such I think you are going to run into problems. One of the reasons I say that is because I like to use longer lenses in the studio, I never use wide angle lenses due to distortion.


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TMR ­ Design
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Mar 14, 2007 12:48 as a reply to  @ StealthLude's post |  #7

Since the OP stated that he wants to turn the garage into a portrait studio I was just looking for alternative solutions for him to do that and point out the limitations.


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StealthLude
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Mar 14, 2007 12:56 |  #8

TMR Design wrote in post #2870226 (external link)
Since the OP stated that he wants to turn the garage into a portrait studio I was just looking for alternative solutions for him to do that and point out the limitations.

It sure is possible to turn what he has into a studio, but there are a lot of limmitations.

The space was my biggest thing. You know how we talked in the past about only having an 18% gray drop, and turning it back or white with the use of a background light. I found the only way to do that is with distance... Its just a lot more versatile, but again, my first studio setup was in my bedroom (which is small). And while limited, allowed me to learn a great deal.

If the OP is making this setup for self satisfaction and learning, then I say GO FOR IT!.

But if the setup is for making money, or trying to bring in customer and shoot. Then I would say the setup is not ideal, and might not be worth his time.


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Mr ­ O
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Mar 14, 2007 13:24 |  #9

StealthLude wrote in post #2870256 (external link)
If the OP is making this setup for self satisfaction and learning, then I say GO FOR IT!.

But if the setup is for making money, or trying to bring in customer and shoot. Then I would say the setup is not ideal, and might not be worth his time.

Thanks for the replies. It is really for learning and also taking photos of friends & family (although the better you get, the more friends and family there seem to be that want photos ;)).

I currently have to use my living room to set up all my gear and it's getting a bit of a pain as I'm taking lots of pics. I take a lot of shots of children, so hopefully the height won't be an issue there.

I think I'll give it a whirl (should only cost be a few hundred to get done) and hey, if it's a major problem, I can always take up product photography. :)

Thanks again for all the replies.


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StealthLude
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Mar 14, 2007 13:31 |  #10

Im not sure what type of lighting or lights you plan on using.

But with the ammount of space you have, a Speedlight studio would be pretty cool.

Hotlight are always an option, and since you are in the UK, D-Lites are in the same league as Alien Bees. If you are going to get a backdrop, I would paint a wall or get some seamless paper.

Good luck to you, learning studio stuff is pretty fun.


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Tareq
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Mar 18, 2007 16:40 as a reply to  @ StealthLude's post |  #11

Interesting Thread.
So i have internal room in the house i was looking to turn it to a small studio, will that room be enough?

The dimensions are: L: 5.70m X W: 5.00m X H: Triangle[2.30m one side up to 3.40m opposit side].


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Mar 18, 2007 16:49 |  #12

StealthLude wrote in post #2870193 (external link)
I agree. Use someone elses space or rent a studio if need be.

Thats space is pretty small for a studio. At the absolute most you might be able to have a portrait studio, and I think thats still pushing it.

I am using a 2 car garage, It has a lot of space, but the height is also an issue. I cant really raise lights very high up. What you see if a 10 foot x 20 foot backdrop. I find it just the right size to shoot a family of 5. Any less and I dont think it would work very well.

2nd Shot is a 1300 sq/ft warehouse with a 16-20 foot tall celing. I get to use once in a while. Its not occupied but the owner is a family friend so on a good day, I can setup inside and shoot cars if I wanted to.

What type of lighting and background were you thinking of using? You might be able to get a small setup going, but its going to be limmited. If you are into product photography, that space might work well for you. Shooting models and such I think you are going to run into problems. One of the reasons I say that is because I like to use longer lenses in the studio, I never use wide angle lenses due to distortion.

You're lucky. I have 8 cubic foot at my disposal for the setup and client, and only temporarily after moving some furniture. Needless to say it's only good for passport mugshots. Fortunately I can step back to use non-distorting focal lengths.


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milleker
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Mar 19, 2007 22:09 |  #13

This sounds like a great space, 5.7m is roughly around 18' which is what I use right now for everything except full length shots. 5m wide is about 15'. I currently use 12' but really would like two or three more feet. Height isnt much of a problem here, completely workable.

Tareq wrote in post #2891720 (external link)

So i have internal room in the house i was looking to turn it to a small studio, will that room be enough?
The dimensions are: L: 5.70m X W: 5.00m X H: Triangle [2.30m one side up to 3.40m opposit side].


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Tareq
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Mar 20, 2007 01:44 |  #14

milleker wrote in post #2898853 (external link)
This sounds like a great space, 5.7m is roughly around 18' which is what I use right now for everything except full length shots. 5m wide is about 15'. I currently use 12' but really would like two or three more feet. Height isnt much of a problem here, completely workable.

ok, thank you very much.
Then i will take care of this room and i will make it a good indoor studio


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