Time in the Studio

photo studio

What is the artist without their physical place of expression? As a photographer, your studio is the territory of your perception, your vision. It is where you capture fragments of time itself, in light and shadow. It is deeply tied to your life as a photographer, and so it demands just as much attention to detail as the act of creation itself. The artist’s vision is theirs alone, no roads of creation are identical, or even similar. However, among other things certain of all photographers (like the indispensability of a camera), lighting is the basis upon which they build. The work begins with the camera itself, but then again, everybody can take a picture with their phone. The artist looks beyond, to the building blocks that are in front of them – light and shadow. You couldn’t ask for a more sublime duality. Think of the studio as space where these principles come into play.

But what makes a studio? The instruments themselves are again essential, as is the knowledge of how they are used. Lighting will be among the first elements that you manipulate whenever you take a photograph. Whether your subject is a person, or you wish to capture the beauty of objects, the proper use of light makes all the difference. As such, lamps are the first go-to tool at your disposal. You should start simple, to allow yourself experimentation. Two lights of about 90 watts each, for example, should give you plenty of options already. The angles at which they’re placed in relation to the subject is one of the more subtle skills you develop over time. This includes positioning the lights on the actual floor, as well as taking into consideration the height of the light source. Furthermore, diffusion can also make a huge difference, but it most certainly dependent on how you envision the photograph. For example, a pure white light could prove too bright when you take a portrait photo, and instead of bringing out beautiful features, you end up blurring them. As you experiment over time, you’ll find the lamp orientation that works best for each photograph.

There’s also another accumulation of equipment that is absolutely essential, but just as many photographers overlook the grip kit. All the little objects that will help you assemble a studio exactly how you need are held here. Many artists have in their studio a designated storage space for these items, ranging from multi-tools to duct tape and screwdrivers. Think of the grip kit as the ultimate bag-of-wonders to tackle any situation in the studio – in your place of creation. Challenges arise all the time as you perfect the space of your craft, and the grip kit is the indication of overcoming these challenges. Basically, every time you will encounter something new in your shooting sessions, you will most likely add some new item to the grip kit. Ultimately, it is a testament to your journey as a photographer, and it will become as unique as the style of your art.

So, what is a studio, after all? Your space of perfection, where light is manipulated in order to capture a piece of time. This space will grow just as you do, becoming ever more reflective of how much expertise you accumulate.



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