So today I set up my home studio out of a kit I purchased on eBay for around £30. The kit included backgrounds of three colours; white, black and green, poles to support them on and clamps. I was surprised by how much I got for my money but the downside of this was the quality of the materials. the poles were flimsy and the backgrounds were not like the rolls of paper we have in the studio at the uni. Instead they were folded backgrounds made out of some kind of man made material and the folds could clearly be seen. I set up in the dining room at home as it had a large amount of natural light coming in through the main window and a large over head light in case it was needed.
Unfortunately there was a rather large dining table in the way which made moving around a bit cumbersome but I used the table for the shoot. I used my travel tripod instead of my full size one which just about worked as it is designed to hold 1kg but the lens and camera together are slightly more than that and it kept wanting to lean forward. I solved this by putting a leg of the tripod under the lens which gave it stability and let me change the angle of the camera. I also used the speedlite to give even lighting and tried to use it without the Flash Bender in place, but even with the settings turned down it was still too harsh, so this was left on. I also utilised a flag on the window to try and block out some light. The curtains themselves do not close to I did what I could with what I had. It was just enough to stop some harsh reflections bouncing off the packaging.
All this was set up so I could photograph the box of the Paul Smith masks and the label they are sealed with on the back that says they are not medical masks. The folded background that came with the pack was challenging but more challenging than that was my idea of using the branded tissue paper as a background for the boxes to rest on. I used the old box I had purchased and the tissue it came with as well as a new box and the tissue it came with. The tissue was branded with the company logo and I tried to make sure this was visible. I wrapped a cardboard box with it but this didn’t look good or professional so I laid out the tissue on the table and photographed from above it.
The light on the images here looks reasonably even but another flag would have been helpful, as would another pair of hands so I could get better results, another light would also have been beneficial. I am not keen on the end results but as an exercise in home studios I am pleasantly surprised by them. The only downside to my experience was the fact my almost new laptop really didn’t like shooting tethered and crashed, but fortunately all my work was fine.
I also did this to figure out if product photography has a place in my work and I think it may, but only because the narrative of the work itself has to have a more coherent message going throughout it. I will have another go at product photography, perhaps with the masks themselves rather than the boxes and using the university facilities now they are open. I will also consider editing the pictures I took in Photoshop and see if that adds anything to them.