Do What You Can…

DSCF3848With what you have, where you are…. T. Roosevelt.

Today I took Uncle Teddy to heart and made a small product studio in my studio. The inspiration was, as usual, from Steve Sint. He is a wedding and commercial photographer in the US who has written in the past about how to best use  the same sort of equipment I own to do the sort of jobs i want to do. Call it shameless fanboy-ing if you will, but I read his books carefully and follow a lot of his advice.

Steve showed how to make a product table from two sawhorses and a sheet of translucent perspex. I found the sawhorses were cheap enough from Bunnings but the sheet of plastic was a financial killer! So I looked out the things that I already won in the studio and combined them. It’s like a feijoada but that is no bad thing.

The table is the standard table – made by my late father as a metal-framed dining table on wheels, it has served as the basic structure for the studio for twenty years. Every Hot Rod Honey shoot starts on it. It is backed up with a cheapola backdrop stand set that is even older – it was made by INCA – not a brand renowned for sturdy construction. It’s been repaired and shimmed and revamped over the years and does sterling duty.

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The paper roll is not the 135cm size from Superior – it is a hacked-down 275 cm size from Superior – the tag end of the roll that had dirty-footed dancers all over one side. Cutting it apart is easier than people imagine – you essentially cut with a sharp Stanley knife as you unroll it until you get to the core – then hacksaw it as well. I have two small rolls and will need no special plastic as a table.

The rest of the rig is perfectly ordinary – the studio lights and clamps have been used in a million projects. The beauty of this rig is that it will let me do better product illustration than the small box studio I used at my last workplace. As I hoe to do pictures on a contract basis, better images are a better selling point. Proof of the point is the car pic at the top and the lens pic at the bottom. Steve would have done better but he’s in New York and probably won’t encroach on my market.

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