Nice cameras tend to be expensive, and so it almost goes without saying that studio equipment is on the pricey end, as well. Not all of us have that kind of money to burn, and over here at LearnMyShot we believe in equal opportunity for all when it comes to photography. While we want the best of the best for each of our members, we’re also realistic about the burden of the cost of fancy studio gear.
The good news is, with a little bit of creativity, guidance, and some Macgyver intuition, expensive equipment can be replicated at home for much cheaper, and be used effectively, too.
Here’s how to make some commonly used studio equipment, so you can shoot professional work without forking out big bucks.
While natural backdrops can be effective at times, for clean and professional looking portraits, a solid backdrop is often necessary. A white sheet sometimes will do, provided you have the right lighting and minimal wrinkles – or you can do what this gentleman did, and create a smooth roll-up backdrop in your garage.
It can be immensely difficult to control natural light, especially without a photo reflector. Reflectors can be made easily at home, as this tutorial demonstrates, allowing you to control light and even simulate sunlight indoors.
Want to sell something on eBay, or take a picture of a jewelry, a toy, or small animal? Creating a light box will provide you with a miniature set with which you can shoot products for clean looking photos that will show off the product on its own, without any distracting background. It’s easy, and the results will definitely show.
Lens filters are great to have but by no means cheap. This tutorial takes a creative approach to filtering by using vaseline on a skylight filter to make the photograph look like an abstract painting. Great for those who don’t have or don’t use Photoshop.
A softbox light, used to cast soft light on subjects, can be made in several ways. This tutorial shows how to turn a regular lamp shade into a soft box for only $20. You can use tubes or cardboard box to start with before altering the box with fabric, bulbs, and aluminum foil to create a bright light with which to light subjects in your home studio.
Lastly, to soften light easily (without a soft box) creating a diffuser can be an incredibly effective way to minimize contrast between light and shadows, and lesson the apparency of your subjects’ textures. A light diffuser works like a soft box, and allows you to adjust the strength of the diffusion as you move it closer or further from the light source.
Do you have any photography DIY tips? Feel free to share them in the comments, along with photographs you’ve taken using this equipment.