Wednesday 8th February 2012 – Clubnight – Studio


On the second Wednesday night of the month we try to hold a studio night to give club members experience of working in a studio environment and understanding the use of their camera  on Manual settings.

From the experience of the previous studio night when a crowd turned up expecting a ‘model’, expectations were moderated a bit for tonight.  However it was decided to split the room into two sessions.  One session using full studio lighting and backdrops and the other using a Light Tent (Light Cube) which can be purchased on eBay for around £12 or with lights for around £24.   I also set up a shoot through umbrella on a stand with a Canon 580EXII Speedlight with a wireless trigger.   Umbrellas, stands, brackets and triggers can also found on eBay at reasonable prices.

Mark brought Chester, his Italian Water Dog and Darren, Carrie,his Spanish Water Dog, as models for the evening.   After setting up the lights and background I left them with Mark and Darren to experiment.  Meanwhile at the back, I demonstrated the setup in the Light Cube which is a great asset to those who sell stuff on the aforementioned  auction site.  Basically we had two speedlights on their stands with wireless receivers firing into the side of the fabric of the tent thus giving the effect of a large surface softbox.  I found that its best to place something under the backcloth to raise the subject matter up a few inches from the base.  If you are deciding to buy a tent, choose one which has a closing front flap with a slot to insert the camera lens, otherwise there will be reflections of you and the camera when shooting reflective products such as glassware.    Nigel kindly loaned me his wireless transmitter for Nikon users.  It fired my Canon Receivers ok.

Subjects from collection boxes, mobile phones, golfballs and sandfilled bottles were used as subjects.

After this I demonstrated the use of the shoot-through brolly which again acted as a softbox.

On Tuesday afternoon, despite freezing weather I ventured to Portaferry and set up my camera and tripod adjacent to the ferry ramp and shot 240 photos at 5 second intervals and managed to capture the ferry leaving Strangford, crabbing across the outgoing tide, docking unloading and reloading and finally returning to Strangford.   Peter Gibson, his wife and daughter appeared at the dockside during the shooting cycle.  He was heading onwards seeking subject matter.  As soon as I finished, I was back to the car with full heaters on.  Now I understand the joke about brass monkeys!

Back home it was a straightforward matter to load them all into Lightroom, adjust the first one, crop to 16:9 ratio then synchronise it across the remaining 239 shots.  In the slideshow module, I exported them all using the 24 frames per second plugin (as shown in Gavin Coey’s video tutorial in the Tutorials section of this Blog).  In 10 minutes or less I had a very interesting Timelapse Video.

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