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Studio Stage, opinions #35033
05/04/11 08:54 AM
05/04/11 08:54 AM
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st. petersburg, florida, usa a...
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Visceral Image Offline OP
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I am considering construction of a studio stage; roughly 9 ft wide and 8 ft deep, about 18 inches high; animals would be on the stage and I would be on the concrete in front. I like the option to get low to my animals and many times I shoot alone; so shooting with a table or other support is not a good option. Rarely do I ever photograph people; I do some commercial work (food photography) but the stage would not be a problem with that work. My studio size is roughly 30 ft. long by 15 ft wide.

I understand something this massive becomes pretty permanent.

What are the opinions of other pet photographers here on this forum about a stage.

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Visceral Image] #35034
05/04/11 09:01 AM
05/04/11 09:01 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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I had a 24" riser at BTCA Nationals and LOVED it. I've been toying with a platform in the studio for some time now.

My thoughts are for a scaled up version of Helmi Flick's setup. I think Preston uses basically the same thing.

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Jim Poor] #35035
05/04/11 09:16 AM
05/04/11 09:16 AM
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Visceral Image Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Jim Poor
I had a 24" riser at BTCA Nationals and LOVED it. I've been toying with a platform in the studio for some time now.

My thoughts are for a scaled up version of Helmi Flick's setup. I think Preston uses basically the same thing.


Yes, I have read about both of their setups, I like the riser in front and the ability to hide the background light behind the riser.

Jim; did you find 24 in. to high for small dogs if working alone; I do not want to endanger the animals. I spend a bit of time chasing them around the studio so I want them to be super safe if they decide to jump off the stage.

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Visceral Image] #35036
05/04/11 09:21 AM
05/04/11 09:21 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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At 24" I wasn't all that concerned. It's not really much higher than most couches or beds that they jump on / off.

Of course the floor below is a big factor. If it's slick, then I'd be concerned or put some carpet runners down.

I did find it a comfortable height for including the humans behind kneeling in a top 1/3 portrait. In my own space, I would need something more like 18"or even 12" because of low ceilings.

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Jim Poor] #35037
05/04/11 09:45 AM
05/04/11 09:45 AM
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st. petersburg, florida, usa a...
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Visceral Image Offline OP
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Jim; You say person kneeling behind, so I assume you would not make a stage that is 9 ft wide and 8 ft long, basically from the background forward. Sounds like you would prefer a 9 ft wide and maybe 4 ft deep so person can be behind, if needed.

My thoughts, I wanted a platform for the animal to be on that would allow the background to be continuous; I guess I could allow the background to go to conc. fl, over to platform, up platform and over top of platform and down front. Thoughts?

Last edited by Visceral Image; 05/04/11 09:45 AM.
Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Visceral Image] #35039
05/04/11 09:56 AM
05/04/11 09:56 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Jim Poor  Offline
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If you want to put the BG light under/behind the platform, your BG is going to have to be in two pieces.

The kneeling behind worked well at the event, but I don't think I'd use it for portraits all that often. Nice to have the option though.

If I build something, it will probably be 12 feet wide and 6 feet deep. I'd like deeper, but I just don't have the room.

I'll probably also build it with a white floor or even a white reflective floor so I can do my hot white work with only BG paper to mess with.

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Jim Poor] #35042
05/04/11 10:19 AM
05/04/11 10:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
st. petersburg, florida, usa a...
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Visceral Image Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Jim Poor


I'll probably also build it with a white floor or even a white reflective floor so I can do my hot white work with only BG paper to mess with.


I had planned on this, a white reflective floor

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Visceral Image] #35044
05/04/11 10:26 AM
05/04/11 10:26 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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How do you plan it?

I'd love to use the white tile board, but I don't know how well the seams can be hidden.

Sheet rock is easy to hide seems, but even with the most glossy paint, it won't be very reflective. It would also get dinged up pretty quickly I think.

Plexi would have to be replaced due to wear frequently, plus it has illuminating seams and is super expensive at the sizes needed.

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Visceral Image] #35045
05/04/11 10:45 AM
05/04/11 10:45 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
st. petersburg, florida, usa a...
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Visceral Image Offline OP
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Jim, I would use white tile board with the long axis of the boards parallel with the backdrop; two boards front to back with the seam of the front board slightly overlapping the back board. See this instruction piece http://www.zarias.com/white-seamless-tutorial-part-1-gear-space/

Re: Studio Stage, opinions [Re: Visceral Image] #35046
05/04/11 10:51 AM
05/04/11 10:51 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Yeah, that's the way I do it now (on the rare occasion that I use tile-board instead of plexi), but it's really not ideal for dogs or pets in general. I often end up missing a toenail or some such behind the lip of the overlapping seam.

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