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Table Top Fotography

September 21 , 2011 08:19 AM
Ever had your camera in front of you and no idea what to shoot, how to compose the shot or even the desire to shoot at all?
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we face is related to motivation and consistency. In one word: Discipline. How do we refresh the 'batteries'? How do we keep things fresh and interesting? How do we get inspired or how do we come up with ideas of what to shoot?
One of the pivotal elements in our Digital Photography Workshop is the weekly assignments. After discussing theory, creative application and how to make those changes on each individual's camera, each week students get a specific assignment. The objective is for us to spent the weekend shooting with a concept in mind
During class a couple of months ago I was asked what to do after the workshop was over. So, I suggested to cycle through the assignments we had and re-shoot them in the same sequence. However, I ended up making a list of projects to use acquired Phographic skills: PAD (picture a day), a Blog where you write then shoot to illustrate your point, document family history, dedicate the weekend to shoot someone's hobby, shoot your valuables for inventory and insurance, shoot for online sales, and others
It was such an energizing meeting that when I got home I had come up with a new project of my own: Cleaning, organizing and sale as much of my 'junk' online as possible
In the past I had used my 10-foot backgrounds and lighting setup for product and commercial applications but I had the whole floor so space was not a problem. This time, however, as soon as I begun bringing all those unopened boxes (from the last time we moved) my home studio got cluttered. I had thrown my hat over the fence so I had to jump... I was not going to move those boxes again. So it became apparent that I needed a small setup to take pictures.
Frustrated and tired then I begun checking out accesories for table top photography. Some pretty cool stuff out there but despite their appeal (assuming I could decide on a model) they were not cheap and it would take a while for shipping.
By midnight my cleaning idea gave way to a new project: I was going to build my own Table Top Setup
Next day I begun sketching the requirements and specifications: Light yet sturdy, easy to setup and store, versatile and economic. I debated between wood similar to the posts I used to make some light stands but I settled on PVC because it was easier to cut and adjust without making a big mess (also cheaper). Originally, the table and the background 'holder' were going to be a single piece but I couldn't decide how far back the background should be so it made sense to make two pieces to separate them as needed. I was having problems deciding how tall, deep and wide it should be but the hardware store made it easy for me.
For less than $20 bucks we got:
They sell Plywood in 2x2
Precut 2-feet PVC40
Plexi glass 24x18 inches
10 ft regular PVC for the cross bars and the backdrop holder
A roll of Banner Paper which is also 24 inches (thanks to my wife Kari)
The kids helped on this project and a couple of hours later we built a 'table' that is 32 inches tall and the background holder stands 62 inches
And here is the whole setup shooting sample pictures to use in my Digital Photography Workshop
Here is a shot posted on an online auction
What do you think? ;)
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