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• pictureperfect.co.za DIY photo newsletter

Small studio? Go black!

So you're spending a lot of time in the studio, but not happy with your lighting on subjects? Does everything look flat and uninteresting?

Mine did, when I moved my studio to a smaller premises and first started shooting portraits. I was puzzled, since I used the same technique as before. But the pics did not lie - they were plain uninteresting.

Then it dawned on me that my studio was so much smaller that all light from the studio heads reflected off the walls and effectively killed any atmosphere I was trying to induce. A quick test with black cloths on both sides of the subject changed all that, and I was back in business!

My studio is 5m wide, and the white walls had a marked effect on the images. Solution? Put curtain rails on both side walls, buy some queen size black bedsheets and make curtains out of them. Even better, buy black velvet (they suck light like crazy!) and make curtains out of them. Or, if your significant other will allow it, buy a tin of matt black paint, and simply paint the walls black.