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17 January 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: My Home Studio

After using the light box and learning more about how to improve the quality of my pictures, I realized it will not accommodate any sizable artifact. I have shirts that I'd love to photograph on a dress form, trophies that are larger than the light box, Homecoming mums, and many other large objects. I want quality pictures but how could I do it.

I came across a fabulous series of blog posts called Studio @ Home at the DIY Photography website. I was so inspired by the series knowing there could be a solution to any space challenge with regard to a home studio set up. I also loved how inexpensive the solutions were as well.

I was able to conquer the light box solution without my husbands help to create it. Now, I wanted his ingenuity to help create a seamless back drop set up that would be collapsible, potentially portable, and adjustable for varying sizes of backdrop needs. I found endless options and he came up with something that was beyond what I could have conceived on my own. It's so nice to have such a talented husband.

In any case, here is what his solution was to create a frame out of PVC pipes. He cut the pieces in various sizes so I can have a small backdrop stand or a large one. I purchased white muslin material. For the most part I like it, except for the ironing part. As you'll see in this set up, the muslin wrinkles QUICKLY. So if you don't have a way to keep the material smooth, perhaps a different material would work better.

White muslin draped over PVC frame.
White foam board reflecting natural light.
The wrinkles aren't pretty but you needed to see what muslin will do.

Here's the first rough shot of the flowers in this set up.

I switched to spot focus and tried to down play the wrinkles a bit. 

I lowered the tripod, play around with a few settings and came up with this. Some wrinkles are still apparent, but at least now it's not to terrible.

I would suggest ironing the wrinkles out.
But you can still take interesting photos.

Since I am an amateur photographer, I don't mind sharing what I learn. There are a lot of websites that tell you that you can 'do it yourself'. And that's wonderful. But what the DIYer's sometimes forget to tell you is the durability of some of the options.

So there you have it. I do have a DIY seamless backdrop using PVC and muslin. When I really want to make a splash, I have to iron the wrinkles out of the muslin (or find a way to store it). Otherwise, I work with the wrinkles and call it good.


  1. Hi Devon,
    I read your post with interest, it looks like I have been struggling with the same issues as you have been when taking pictures of objects, I have had some terrible outcomes, but I'm a toddler in this skill so falling over is part of learning. Reading your post has given me some ideas. Thanks for sharing
    Cheers, Sandra

  2. Sandra,

    I'm glad to be of help. I figured that many folks were like me... toddlers (what a great expression). I figured if I shared my "learning as I go" experience, then perhaps we can all learn together. Check out my Photo Friday links and the Treasure Chest Thursday links for more of what I've learned so far.


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