• An understanding of the use of artiﬁcial light sources, camera and associated equipment in a studio environment.
• An awareness of the equipment and organisation required for the photographic control of lighting ratios, contrast and exposure.
• The study and observation of the importance of the studio in the production of photographic images.
• The compilation of reference and visual information inﬂuencing the approach taken to produce the photographs for each activity.
• To produce photographic images and collate information relevant to the technique and production of each photograph.
Studio Photography: Essential Skills
Studios range in size from small areas surrounded by black curtains to large film stages in Hollywood. The instant photographic booths found in many public areas are miniature studios. They are an area devoid of external light in which there is a controlled light source. This is the basis of any photographic studio. Size is not as important as eficiency. To set up a studio that will function within the requirements of this book need not be a complex or unachievable task.
A floor area for each photographer working with camera, lights and table-top set-up should be approximately 6m x 6m, with a working height of 4 metres. This is an ideal minimum. The reality is sometimes different. Whatever size can be achieved it is important to ensure the area
is uncluttered and free of anything that could cause injury. Bear in mind that other than the lit subject the studio area will be in almost total darkness.
After determining size the most important criterion is the supply of power. Ensure it is safe. Have a qualified electrician install suficient power (amount of current-amps, and number of outlets) for the equipment to be used. An imperative safety factor is the installation of circuit breakers (breaks power circuit at the instant of any electrical fault). Distribution boards (the supply is divided into multiple outlets) with overload switching facilities (breaks delivery of current to the equipment being used) is also recommended as an extra precaution. Also make sure the normal lights within the studio can only be turned on or off from within the studio and there is adequate ventilation.
The only light in a studio should be created by the photographer. To achieve this blacken out the entire work area. This can be done with dark heavy curtains over windows and painting the walls and ceiling a dark matte gray. Where possible the floor color should also be dark. The result should be an area with no external light entering and surfaces of minimum reflectance.
Work areas within a large studio should be separated from each other by non-reflective curtains so more than one photographer can be working at a time.
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