Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PhotoStudio version.2 (PS v.2)

Photo Studio version 2 (PS v.2)
PS v.2 also means Photo Studio version.2

A repost for the benefit of those who have asked me how I take my toy pictures and the setup I use.


I have previously constructed a miniature protoype light tent based on this design which I would consider it as just a light tent and not a photo booth. Nevertheless, will refer to it as version 1.
PS v.2 is actually an improved version of the earlier. PS v.2 is a light-tent integrated photo booth. PS v.2 is also a meaner and full-scale actual product.

Materials
1. Corrugated paper carton boxes from the office since they were intended to be discarded. I have chosen this mid-range size for the PS v.2 project since the dimensions were just right.
2. Materials like the background paper was acquired from Art Friend. I have chosen Canford A1-sized 80gsm Dreadnought Grey for the standard background.
3. Mahjong paper was acquired from my neighbourhood stationary shop.
4. Plastic disposeable table mat was acquired from neighbourhood sundry store by neXus.
5. 2x table lamps with daylight bulbs.

Construction
I had made this similar to the way I have made the version 1. I have cut 3 windows with 2-inch borders, into the left, top and right side of the box. I have also made a narrow window on the top near to where the cardboard bends, forming the back. This is to allow clipping of the background paper with paper clips.

After the construction, a simple materials test was performed to decide between: mahjong paper and table mat. Stikfas G2 Alpha was test subject. All camera conditions were set manual and kept constant throughout the test.

Plastic Mat Diffuser

From Top to Bottom Row, Left to Right with plastic mat as diffuser:
1. Left Lamp + Right Lamp + Ceiling Light
2. Left Lamp with Ceiling Light
3. Ceiling Light Only
4. Ambient light (no particular light source)


Direct Flash

From Left to Right with plastic mat as diffuser:
1. With direct flash
2. With macro mode flash.


Without Diffuser

Left Lamp + Right Lamp + Ceiling Light (without diffuser).

Mahjong Paper Diffuser

From Top to Bottom Row, Left to Right (with mahjong paper as diffuser):
1. Left Lamp + Right Lamp + Ceiling Light
2. Left Lamp + Ceiling Light

3. Ceiling Light Only
4. Ambient light (no particular light source)

Mahjong Paper Diffuser + Exposure Compensation

From Left to Right (with mahjong paper as diffuser) with all lamps:
(left) +0.3 exposure
(right)+0.7 exposure

Looks like mahjong paper is too opaque and less translucent than the table mat.
The construction was done with a double layer table mat. The bottom layer of the mat was fastened to the frame with double-sided tape while the top layer was not joined.

The PS v.2 is complete after the simple construction procedure.
Here are some images of it.

PhotoStudio verson.2

From Left to Right:
Front
Back



From Top to Bottom Row, Left to Right:
1. The rear slit window

2. Pull over top layer
3. Top layer can be pulled over to the front while bottom layer stays affixed.
4. Photographer can go 'under' the booth if diffusing the ambient light is necessary.


From Left to Right:
1. With the ceiling light and two side lamps
2. The narrow slit near the rear of the top, with background paper held by paper clips.

The Photoshoot
Camera: Canon Ixus 40
Settings: Manual, Custom WB (fluorescent), ISO 200, no flash

Subject: 1/100 RX-78 NT-1 Alex (modelled by sty)

Setup

From Top to Bottom Row, Left to Right:
1. With three light sources (Ceiling, left and right)

2. With ceiling and right only
3. With ceiling only
4. With left and right only

The Model on Dreadnought Grey Background



RX-78 NT-1 Alex
No better way to perform a test shoot with a kit modelled by sty long time ago.

The Model on White Background



From Top to Bottom Row, Left to Right with white background:
1. Setup with three light sources (Ceiling, left and right)
on white background
2. With three light sources
3. With left and right lamps only
4. With left and right lamps only
5. With left and right lamps only


Conclusion:
At the cost of no more than S$8 and a little bit of time, a not too fancy but extremely cheap light-tent is constructed. The PhotoStudio version.2 (PS v.2) works as well as professional light-tents used in product photography. The only flaw of PS v.2 is that it cannot be collapsed for storage. The easily interchangeable backgrounds makes product shooting with the PS v.2 endless creativity and fun!

4 comments:

wiLLy-LucifeR said...

hey there!

willy-lucifer from cs forum. =]

nice read on the basic table top setup! n i realised smth.. i'm actually using the exact same lamps as urs. haha. i guess great minds think alike! =p

cheerioz.

WILLIAM TAN said...

hi,

these pictures were taken sometime back in 2006 at a friend's place.
i myself am using Ikea table lamp, but is not good as well.
back then photography skills really suck. haha

thoo2 said...

is there a need to set up another light at the top?

didn't know you blog turns into a photography blog.....

WILLIAM TAN said...

hi thoo2,

there is definitely no need,
but having the light over the top will give a more balanced illumination of the subject in the tent.

haha, yes, i am moving towards taking a more serious involvement into photography.
so naturally, a day in the life of a bearbrick is no longer 'a day' but still is about me.