Setting up a small home studio (advice needed)

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
It is just a tool Forum Member • Posts: 68
Setting up a small home studio (advice needed)


I would like to set up a small photostudio in my house to explore product and macro photography.

I already have te following;

  • table
  • Godox XPro trigger
  • Godox TT350
  • Sokani X21 LED Light
  • tripod with umbrella's (to hold de flash)
  • small studio box with 2 halogen lights (don't think I'm going to use it much)
  • camera and lenses

I'm missing a background and maybe another light (or 2).

As a background i'm planning on buying a white perspex sheet at the local hardware store.

Can someone can give me some beginners advice from his/her own experience? Thanks, I appreciate it much.

Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,327
Re: Setting up a small home studio (advice needed)

If you are just starting then KISIS - Keeping It Simple Is Smart.

Pick one type of lighting. I recommend you settle on either tungsten lighting or strobe/flash lighting so you are dealing with only one WB for your lighting sources. LEDs with a CRI of less than about 95 are not going to give you colors that are as accurate as you get from tungsten and strobes/flash units.

What setup is needed depends on what level of quality of lighting you want.

A cheap light box such as the one below plus some extra lights, white and black reflectors, mirrors, and flags can work for simple images. Many of the images on Amazon/eBay are done with even less flexible lighting. Sets of two or four extra lights are also available - just search. - LimoStudio 24" Folding Photo Box Tent LED Light Table Top Photography Studio Kit, AGG1071 : Photo Studio Shooting Tables : Electronics

If you are after higher quality lighting and images then don't use a light box, especially if you want a seamless white background.

Here is a simple but very nice lighting setup for food photography by professional photographer Ed Shapiro.

DPReview - lighting for food photography - Ed Shipero

If you want a seamless white background use a light table.

Set Shop Tutorials: "Learn How To Build A Light Table" Featuring Steve Sint - YouTube

Back light the background but don't turn on the background lights.

Set up the subject and light it to the exposure you want then set the camera to that exposure.

Do NOT separately light the floor. If you add enough light to make the floor go pure white then you will be overexposing the subject.

Turn on the camera's Highlight Alert.

Turn on the background light and adjust it until the background is NOT blinking when you take a test shot. Increase the power of the background lighting until the background is blinking.  A blinking halo around the subject is sufficient but as long as the lighting is even the more area that is blinking the more even is your background lighting and the better off you are.

It only takes 1/3 stop of overexposure to make the background blink and to make it pure white. Increasing the power of the background lights more will cause you problems.

Adjust the position of the camera so that the light from the background bounces off the shiny floor around the subject and the floor will also be pure white. You will get a nice looking reflection, not a shadow of the subject.

What is important is to make the background surrounding the subject pure white.  If the edges and corners of the background in the image are not pure white it only takes a couple of seconds to paint them pure white in post.

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Living and loving it in Pattaya, Thailand. Canon 5DS R & 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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