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Instruction Manual Molly Pinner
Studio A photographic studio is used when a photographer wants to be able to control the environment in which they are shooting. Some of the equipment includes: Backdrops, flags, Infinity curve, Infinity cove, Tripods and Lights.
This equipment is able to be used inside a studio room, however many can also be used outdoors in the desired location. This maybe due to the photographer wanted a specific style of lighting, only able to guarantee this through studio equipment. Some photographers may also use backdrops similar to the ones used in studios but outdoors for the use of the natural lighting. This is why studio skills are so important as they can be transferred to support many different types of photo shoots.
Backdrops Backdrop can be as plain or elaborate as you wish but standard backdrops are usually large rolls of different coloured paper. This allows for damaged areas to be cut off and replaced easily. They usually come in white, black and grey. Red is also a popular colour as it gives a true grey when shooting in black and white. Other colours can be brought depending on the desired effect.
Flags Flags usually have one black side to absorb and block excess light and one white side to reflect light. They are large but light weight so can easily be moved to help enhance the lighting effect. They are predominantly used to block large areas (mainly the backdrop) from being effected by certain lights. If the subject has one lighting set up and the background another, flags are used to stop light slipping onto the wrong areas.
Infinity Curve and Cove Infinity Curve and Coves are similar structures and are both usually used for still life images. They’re both white and create an effect of on going white space. The curve however can be it from behind, creating a glow lighting effect from under the object.
Tripods There are many different types of tripod with different uses. A standard tripod is used for cameras, it is light weight, easily moved and adjusted. Then there’s a heavy duty tripod which is used for much heavier and larger cameras, such as a 5X4. They can also be used when placing cameras in more awkward positions, such as high up or upside down. There are reflector tripods, these are useful when you don’t have an assistant for the shoot and have a static subject. Then there’s light stands to support portable light heads. You can also get floor stands for when you need a light to be as low as possible.
Lights Many studios will differ in model of lights but the basic rules will still apply. Studio lights have two separate bulbs, one is the modeling light (inner bulb). The modeling lamp is a constant source that is used to check how the light falls on the subject and the flash only goes off when it’s triggered. The strength of the flash depends on the amount of power you send to it, you can lower or higher this by stops according to your light meter reading and desired effect. The lights can be triggered using a radio trigger or sync lead, extra lights can also be set to as slaves to the main light.
Attachments There are various attachments that can be added to the light heads for different effects. Depending on where the lights are placed, each light fitting can give a different effect. The more concentrated you want the light the narrower you want the light fixture. The most commonly used light heads are: soft box, tulip head and snoot. Extra equipment includes: honey combs, umbrellas and reflectors.
Soft Box Soft boxes are used when a gentle light that covers a larger area is wanted. The light can be adjusted slightly by adding or removing layers of fabric which defuses the light. It is a flattering light which is useful for beauty shots and full length shots.
Tulip Head Tulip heads are used for a more concentrated light, it gives slightly heavier shadows with a smaller spot of light.
Snoot The snoot then gives stronger shadows with a smaller point of light. This can be useful for Film Noir or product photography.
Honey Combs Honey combs come in different densities and can be fitted to different size light heads. They are used to funnel the light through smaller holes, making the light more concentrated. Often attached to a tulip head or snoot.
Umbrellas Umbrellas are usually attached to tulip heads and can be adapted for a few different purposes. There’s a black and silver layer and a white layer. Each can be removed or a combination used depending on the desired effect. The white layer defuses the light like a soft box, the silver layer reflects it and the black absorbs it.
Reflectors Reflectors come in different colours, gold, silver and white. Depending on if you want a warm, cold or softer reflection. They can be used to soften shadows and are easily moved and manipulated to make small adjustments.
Light Positioning Lights can be set up for the main subject matter, they a separate lighting effect can also be set up for the backdrop. This give the image more depth and involves the use of different equipment, such as flags, to keep the two set ups separated.
Pinhole To make a pinhole camera you simply need a light tight box with a hole. Metal cans are very effective as pin hole cameras as when you pierce the metal you can make a very smooth, fine hole. However you may want a larger aperture in which case cardboard can be useful, creating a softer image. Once you have a light tight object with a hole you need to load it with photographic paper in the darkroom. With something covering the hole (electrically tape is useful as it is easily removed and reapplied) you can then expose the paper. Depending on your camera (distance between the hole and paper) and the conditions of where you wish to expose, your time for exposure will vary.
Pinhole Photography Pinhole photography is much more effective outside as the paper reacts better to sun light and therefore takes a much shorter amount of time to expose your paper. Once you have the correct exposure time for your negative image you can then create a positive copy. You do this by placing the negative print facedown on top of another piece of photographic paper which is shinny side up. You place a piece of glass over the two to keep them flat so the new copy is sharp and expose it.