Friday, January 13, 2012

Creative Live Home Studio Class

Here are some of the images created during my creativeLIVE workshop on setting up and working in a home studio. They start out with an unintentional self portrait as I tried to photography my X-rite Colorchecker Passport and got my head in the way of the shot.

During the class I did headshots of Troy using strobes. For this set I had a 46" Photek Softlighter II on camera right and a 24" square softbox camera right, slightly behind Troy. White seamless paper background that goes gray because there were no direct lights on it.

Then I made some head shots of Trin using fluorescent lamps. Here I had two strip lights (12" x 50" and 12" x 35") with 150 watt fluorescent bulbs forming an inverted-V over the camera lens. For the first two images shown below there was no light on the white seamless backdrop. For the third image I added a strobe on the background to give a cleaner white background.

And then I went back to strobe for these photos of Trin. Here I used a Westcott 7-foot parabolic umbrella (white with black cover) overhead with a home-made reflector under her chin. I also added a head next to the lens with a 7" reflector with a 20-degree grid to add a little more sparkle to the eyes. Background was orange seamless paper with no extra light on it. We also added a sheet of black foam-core as a background in one of the shots to see if it changed the skin coloration, testing to see if the orange background was affecting the skin tone. Finally, we played with some props.

I finished up with a group photo using two lights. On camera left there was a 60" Photek Softlighter II and directly behind the camera was a Paul Buff 7-foot shiny silver PLM parabolic umbrella.

Here is what the last set looked like when using each of the two lights individually. Camera was set to JPG mode to make tether transfer faster for the class. White balance was set to manual and 5700 degrees Kelvin.

Just the Photek Softlighter
from camera left
Just the Paul Buff silver PLM
from camera position

Here is the gear list from the class:
  • Canon 5D mkII body
  • Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS lens
  • Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS lens
  • Manfrotto CarbonOne 441 tripod
  • Arca-Swiss P0 Monoball tripod head
  • Speedotron 805 strobe power pack
  • Speedotron 202 heads (with 7" reflector for the Westcott umbrella and for the grid)
  • Speedotron 102 head (with no reflector for the PLM)
  • Speedotron Force V monolight with 11" reflector (background light for Trin on white)
  • Speedotron 7" grids
  • Pocket Wizard MultiMax radio triggers
  • Manfrotto Auto Poles for the wide white background
  • Savage Porta-Stand background stand for the smaller set
  • Westcott 12x50 strip box
  • Interfit 12x35 strip box
  • Interfit 24x24 soft box
  • Photoflex Starlite-QL lamp heads
  • Photoflex 150-watt compact fluorescent lamp bulbs
  • Westcott 7-foot parabolic umbrella, white with black backing/cover
  • Paul Buff 7-foot silver PLM parabolic umbrella
  • X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
  • Various light stands
  • Savage seamless background paper
  • Foam-core reflectors
If you have questions about the class you can ask them in the creativeLIVE forum and if you missed the class you can purchase the videos (download or watch online) from creativeLIVE to get more details.




  1. Thanks for putting this together John! It was a fantastic day of learning ... :)

  2. Thanks for following your class up with this post. I appreciate getting your perspective on these key points.


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