Friday, 12 January 2018

Kitchen Table Studio

I came across the concept of a "Kitchen Table Studio" when I was doing my photography specialisation a couple of years ago. The basic idea is to turn your kitchen table {or dining room, as in my case} into a mini photo studio.

One of my professors set up a white cloth background & used little lump cubes as extra light sources & then set his camera up on a tripod. In his demonstration he photographed a few products, but you could use this set up for any type of photography you wanted. You can also vary the kit you use & go all out with different lights, colour backgrounds or maybe you'd prefer a more minimal set up, just your subject, your camera & maybe a back ground or small light source.

Table, iPhone 8 Plus Torch & Plants.


On Tuesday I decided to venture into the garden to take a few photos, something I've not done for a little while. however, it was so cold & the breeze wasn't helping the fact I wanted some Macro shots. I took a few shots & then I'd had enough of battling the wind & cold, so I picked a couple of Hydrangea petals, a sprig of Crocosmia & a Lily Seed Pod, all of which had seen better days.

I put them on my dining room table & decided to take my photographs there. Although I have soft boxes, one of which I use as a light for my room, I just turned on the ceiling light. My background was one of our black placemats, which I held in my left hand. I also have a tripod but I decided to stick with my usual handheld approach. I like to move around when I take photos, especially when my subject can't move, moving around also encourages you to change up your vantage points & try new angles.

Hydrangea Petal Veins

So I began to play with how close I held my background placemat, how much light I allowed on my subject, how it looked with the plant in silhouette & how sharp the shadows were. Playing with the angles & vantage points, even using a chair to try a "birds eye view" shot. As I was playing around with the Hydrangea petals, I realised when the light was behind them, you could see through them & seen all the veins & little sections they split into. So I grabbed my iPhone 8 Plus & turned on the torch. I lent it against the back of one of the chairs & used it to back light the petals & I also used this light source to make the shadows even crisper.

I am predominantly a black and white photographer, shooting in monochrome more than colour & doing conversions. However, I did switch a little bit to a colour setting as I was taking photographs of the Lily Seed Pods as I notices the light from my iPhone torch was picking up a golden tone from them even though the looked quite black.

Crocosmia Silhouette 

Overall I spent about an hour at the most playing around with my minimal "Kitchen Table Studio" & going through the shots later, I was really happy with how a number of the shots came out. I had a lot to go through but throughout Wednesday I checked & minimally post processed them. My first attempt at a "Kitchen Table Studio" went well, even if I did have a minimal approach to it. This type of photography set up is something I definitely want to do more often & I think will really help with a couple of projects I want to give a go in the future.

See Through Petal

Have you tried this "Kitchen Table Studio" set up? What kit did you use & what was your photography subject? Do you have any tips on how I can improve my set up {other than using my soft box & background} Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

On a side note, I'll not only be posting a selection of the shots to my Instagram in the coming weeks be adding my favourites to the "Macro Magic" gallery on my website & making them available to buy, so be sure to keep an eye on the site. {link below} If you follow me on Instagram & love a photograph I've posted & would like to buy it, just leave me a comment on the post & I'll add it to the site for you.

I hope you're all doing well & the cold weather isn't hampering your photography.

Take care,

Louise

Website: Lo Elizabeth Photography