I really wanted to have a ceiling fan in the basement studio, but the ceiling is only 7.5′ high. I didn’t want to keep catching my light-stands on it every time I set up to do a portrait shoot. Therefore, I made a non-rotary, low-profile ceiling fan from six computer fans and a super-low-profile, high-output LED light. It’s only 4″ from the ceiling at the tip of the light dome. It’s not perfect, primarily due to the fact that I used scrap birch plywood and a Dremel to do most of the cutting; but it’s quiet, creates a noticeable breeze, and was built for less than the price of a cheap ceiling fan.
Posts Tagged project
I decided this past week to attempt to travel via air with a decent approximation of a portrait photo studio packed neatly into my standard luggage. Since the airlines limit standard baggage to 50lbs it was a challenge. I was in Milwaukee for an auto show for ten days and had to pack normal clothing and supplies for that time in my checked luggage too.
Utilizing a bit of creativity, I was able to fit the following into my checked luggage: six t-shirts, ten boxer-shorts (answers that question), 11 pairs of socks, two pairs of dress shoes (required by contract), two vests, five dress shirts, two pairs of jeans, one leather belt, a set of scrubs with lab coat (always good to have on hand), track pants, slippers (a bit of home), and a dopp-kit. That wasn’t a surprise. What is a surprise is that I could fit in all my tertiary photo equipment: two light stands, a 24″ softbox with mount adapter, 18″ octagon, 48″ 5-way bounce, reflector clamp arm, 24″ 5-way bounce, 2 light-stand flash adapters, a wired mouse (for comfortable editing), and laptop tray (so I don’t overheat my baby while processing huge files). The whole checked bag, when packed, weighed in at only 46lbs and could be tossed around or stacked during transit without damaging anything. The interesting part is that the Dakine bag weighs at least eleven pounds when empty.
In my carry-on pelican case I packed all the secondary equipment like the tripod, secondary flashes, clamps, modifiers, adapters, batteries, chargers, and laptop. I also carry a Tenba Ultralight in which I pack my primary camera and gear including a secondary body, three lenses, my favorite flash, and a king size black sheet to use as a temporary backdrop or light flag. I packed the black temporary backdrop under the assumption that the hotel I was staying in would use white sheets, and that I could scavenge one to use as a white backdrop. The pelican case weighs in around forty pounds and the backpack is easily thirty. In case I have to gate-check the case, due to the jet’s size, I can remove the laptop and lock it. Everything else tumbles without damage.
I really only brought the equipment as a trial to see if I could. I figured it was better to try it in a no-pressure situation before committing to a future client (like you? ). I know I could always shoot on-site without the extra flashes, stands, and such by utilizing a local setting and daytime lighting, but there are no guarantees in weather forecasting.
At the top is one of the test shots I took of myself on the black background. I was just getting a bit goofy. Thankfully, I told my coworkers, in advance, that I planned on bringing my gear. I had a couple willing volunteers to test the set-up in exchange for free photos. As of writing this I haven’t touched up everybody’s favorites (’cause they haven’t picked them yet), but Heather of HeatherSkipper.com has agreed to let me use one of the shots as an example of the travel studio when used on someone more beautious than myself.
Hopefully, I’ll see you on the road in the future. I’ll be in Minneapolis this coming week and many other locations in the following months. If you’d like to discuss any photo projects you might need a shooter for, let’s talk. Just send me a note by way of the e-mails. email@example.com
A while back I wrote a post in which I was describing my attempt to build a workable basement office from scratch. I sort-of finished the structure (noting that I totally sucked at doing drywall) and went on to construct a console/desk from which to let my creativity and alien shooting abilities flourish. I never did provide adequate reference photographs for this console, so I’m including them here, enjoy!
One of the most exciting stages of the creative process is what I call “lost time”. If you’ve ever gotten into “the zone” or were “on a roll” you know what I’m talking about. “Lost time” for me is a period of time in which the process of creating becomes the only focus, free from mental or physical distraction, where time is forgotten. This is usually the most productive time I have on a project.
On the flip side, something to watch out for is the same “lost time” occurring when focussing on non-project activities such as social networking. Yes, these activities get labeled “distractions” later, but the truth that nobody seems to like admit is that often more time is spent getting lost in distractions than actually focussing on the project.
Good luck in your creative process and have fun.
For the past few months, whenever I was home and not ill (had the flu one week), I’ve been pouring time into creating a finished office space in my townhouse basement. As I’ve assembled the elements to expand my photography professionally I’ve wanted a space to consider my office and start taking the work from home idea seriously. Granted, my “day job” has me on the road and out of town almost every week, but on rare occasions I have time to process images and such at home
The basement space was unused, and I had already built a workshop space into the back corner; so I needed to split the basement into equal parts for office and workshop. The following images show the progress to where it is thus far. Today, I put up a few more framing strips for insulating the stairwell and closet, but those images will have to be added later. I intend on putting in the drywall this weekend. Hopefully, if I stick with it, I’ll have the whole thing done by next weekend.
The office will have sconces on each wall for mood lighting (I’m making LED bulb based Steampunk themed sconces when this is done), electrical outlets at least every seven feet, CAT6 and Cable wall outlets, an under-stair storage closet with coat rack, and a full 38″ width door to access the workshop area. I also wired the office space for integrated 7.1 surround sound to future proof the audio space. The interesting part here is that the room I just put together is more “up-to-code” than any other space in the house. I’m going to seal the flooring with a few coats of sealant, but I think I’ll just use area rugs instead of spending on the flooring right now. I got a couple big grey area rugs at Lowes for $30 each. Eventually I’ll be building a desk and bringing in a coffee table and futon for the space too.
The past couple weeks I have had an abundance of time… don’t ask. The hazard of having time is the trap of thinking “I have time.” I had a multitude of home improvement projects to complete in the past couple weeks, and while they are now completed, I have realized in retrospect that I, likely, could have accomplished them in less time with the motivation of “I am running behind.” I know that lots of people out there are ultra productive when relaxed and chill, but unfortunately I am not one of these. I seem (though I hate the thought of it) to work better in the final hour than in the preceding time. I’m working to correct this; but there it is.
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I let a whole week slip by again?
This past weekend was a wonderful non-project day. Last week was a transition into a faster pace at work and as such I was a bit tuckered out by Saturday. I slept-in until 730pm on Saturday “morning”. Yep, 19hrs of sleep straight through. Never done that before. Some practical home projects like painting and packing have been eating up my spare hours as of late, but I promise to delve into a whole slew of new graphics, sculpting, art, photography, and woodworking projects this coming month after the move. For those waiting for the movie posters they’re plodding along and I hope to have some pre-views up by next Saturday.
In the mean time I put up two more double-wide (2880×900) desktops in the desktops page.
Anyhow, that’s the update.
Project Saturday 6 has come and gone. The contest voting ended Friday night, check out the winners, if you like. The artwork will be up in a bit. The project this Saturday was one of packing. The loft I put up over two years ago was taken down and all the stuff I could possibly pack for this month is packed. I have a lot of work this week to continue the pre-moving process, but that loft was a big step in the right direction. I’m starting the in depth search for an inexpensive NYC apartment with space for Jean and I, post wedding. I’ll be moving in first on Sept 1.