Photo Booth

My wife and I live in a cave. Ok, it's not really a cave. We live in a lovely apartment that has the same lighting characteristics as a cave. Without strong natural light, it's a real pain to take lovely product photos and since we both have businesses (you can see my wife's lovely items here), I thought it best to create an amateur photo rig. She posted a few photos of the results on her blog: http://thishumbleabode.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-lighting-rig.html

I was inspired by this article at Craft but decided that we needed a strong white background against which to take our photos. So, I put a little something together.

I started with some scrap hardboard I had lying around. This particular hardboard had a fake wainscoting routed into one side but I was never able to really use it for anything so I went ahead and cut it down.

I made the first cut with my jigsaw. The 2x4 is clamped on there to act as a guide for my jigsaw. But honestly, no matter how careful I am, the cut always comes out all wonky. I made the second cut by hand, just following a straight line I'd marked and it came out way better. But I was careful to make sure that I would have at least one edge that was cut at the factory, so I could be sure to have one true, flat line as the base of my background so that it wouldn't be all wobbly. 

Here are the three pieces I cut. The next step was to apply some hinges. Since the hardboard is only 1/8" thick, I used machine bolts capped with nuts on the other side to hold the hinges on. If I had tried to use plain wood screws, I don't think the hardboard would have been thick enough to give me the hold I needed. The last thing I wanted was to get all the hinges on there only to have them rip out. 

Once I had the hinges on, I slapped on three coats of flat white paint.

Now, I have a free-standing background. I taped a piece of white paper to the back and picked up a few photoflood bulbs from a local photography store. I placed these bulbs in those clamp-on light fixtures I got at a hardware store. Results so far have been mixed. Jenny got a few really great shots of her ties but my towels and totes have been a different story. It's hard to photograph white and off-white fabric against a white background. It may require a few more lights to get it right. So, we'll keep trying.


We Stand In Front, In Video Form!

When recording the final track for the Twelve Songs Project, I decided to go ahead and make a video too. Last time I did this, my recording engineer got on my case for not turning the actual audio from the video recording up a bit to give it more of a room sound. So, I did that this time. Oh, how I wish I'd taken video of me playing the guitar solo too. Playing guitar solos makes me feel like a real badass!