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Small home studio

andypitstop 13 90 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2012 8:33PM
Hi everyone,hope this fits the lighting forum..I am thinking of re-working my conservatory into a small studio,for general portraits etc. I'll give you my idea and all thoughts/ coments welcome....
Firstly it's 14ft long,10ft wide and 8 and a bit ft in height raising to 9ish feet.Its south facing with an 90% brick easterly facing wall ,20% brick 80% glass southerly facing wall and the same on the westerly wall ,the north wall is brick with a double door in it leading to the lounge .the roof is tinted glass.(all the windows have white blinds on them)the floor is hard laminated wood.
I was thinking of a stand/backdrop set up on the easterly facing wall (as it's brick anyway)and it could be a choice of background ,with two elinchrom 400s softbox set ups for the lighting.
The main reason for the post is that i think i will need some more light control for the natural light entering as the roof glass is seperated by dividing bars which i think will be a nightmare for shadows , and also i think there may be too much light especially in the height of summer! I was thinking about a complete sheet of white muslin across the whole upper roof as it would still let some light through and also refect it down !
Hope that makes some sense....

Thanks for your time


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1 Dec 2012 11:57PM
Hi Andy

The space sounds great, but the concern is the light coming in, even with blinds. Natural light will cause all sorts of exposure issues with any studio or flash lighting, and would also be very variable with weather, time of day and season
andypitstop 13 90 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 9:25AM
Hi Paul thanks for the reply..do you think a better idea would be to use black out material to go the other way and stop most of the natural light..?
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 9:35AM
I think black out material would be the best way to control strobe lit work,
however, it would be great to make it easy to remove certain sections, enabling you to use natural light when appropriate.
andypitstop 13 90 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 9:55AM
Thanks Andrew...i'm thinking two set up's... one blackout with each wall section/roof sections (two part or even 4 part) removable and one white muslin the same...almost a tent within a room sort of thing..some tent poles ,materials and velcro me thinks and blue peter how to book mite help..Andy
andypitstop 13 90 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 9:59AM
Does anyone think or know if the white muslin would be a good balance of light diffuser and thick enough for even light penetration...or any other material ideas would be greatly appreciated..Andy
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 10:34AM
Andy, if the muslin is too thin, double the muslin!!! Muslin is good in giving you softer light and can be very effective. In the summer months though, you may have to use more muslin to defuse the light more. You will have the added problem of the sun/cloud moving and maybe casting shadows. I hope your wife is in on this Blue Peter photographic studio of yours, otherwise you might be making your own Blue peter coffin!!! Wink
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 10:53AM
From what I've seen, muslin comes in different weights, so it would be worth going to your local fabric shop to see what's on offer - as well as other alternatives.
If you have a speedlite and a light meter, take them into the shop to test how much light is actually diffused with each fabric.

Fabric shops also sell the double sided white/silver reflector fabric, so that would be worth getting, as well as diffuser and black-out material - the list grows bigger.... Smile
andypitstop 13 90 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 11:19AM
Think i mite have sorted the internal frame problem..i have found a 3x3m gazebo frame with a semi flat roof with a black cover.the cover mite solve the light problem if not black out material to suit ! Andrew which shops for the white/silver reflector cover..? and Stephen yes the wife is in on it !!Wink
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 1:26PM
I use a shop in Guildford called C&H Fabrics.
The silver/white reflective fabric is sold by the metre, and is approx 1.5m wide.
Just had a look online and unfortunately, cant find any direct links Sad

Re back-out material, I found black fleece to be cheaper than cotton, but again, see what suits your needs.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2012 12:00PM
In the past we have rolled out a bamboo screen over our the top of our conservatory to reduce light/heat in the summer. lovely shady light.
I'd also though go for removable full blackout as this stops 2 hours of flashes in your garden annoying your neighbours too Wink

I screw hooks into my ceiling and hang the backdrop bar from those as this saves using and tripping on background stands.

thanks Arhb for that Fabrics name, i never though about buying my own reflective fabric - the Guildford store is 15mins from me.
Is this the shiny ones you are thinking of:
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2012 12:59PM

Is this the shiny ones you are thinking of:

Hard to tell from that image Stuart -
I bought the same fabric used to make the quality silver/white pop-up reflectors.
andypitstop 13 90 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2012 6:07PM
Thanks for the coment Stuart.. i was gonna tell them it was lightning..lol

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