Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 9 - My Low-budget "Home Studio"

For this week's photo project, Raynan and I arranged a low-budget "home studio" for portraits. And since we both are interested with utilizing just one light source for photography, the following comes out with a budget.

1. One light source (speedlight) - We bought used Nikon SB-25 in EBay. The model mainly serves high-end old school SLR however works perfectly with the modern DSLR. Only difference is the no stroboscopic function (I think??) and could not be used as a commander flash. Price - $135 including shipping costs (AED496).

2. Flash Trigger - We bought in EBay a new wireless radio remote flash trigger compatible with Nikon D40, D90, D5000 etc. models. This includes 1 trigger, 2 receivers. Price - $49.99 free shipping (AED183).

3. Diffuser - This is another great improvise we did. Raynan bought a 33" White Umbrella (from DAISO @ Madinat Zayed Shopping Center).  This is used as a studio light soft diffuser. Price - AED6.

4. Light Stand - for now, I borrowed from an officemate. Kuya June was kind enough to let us use his stand for quite sometime. Price - AED0.

5. Backdrop - I bought an ordinary black cloth that would work as a backdrop.  Place where to get these is within area of Cloth Souq in Hamdan Street, just within the alley near the Al Mariah Cinema. Price AED5/yard. Bought 4 yards a total of AED20.

To sum up the costs of my low-budget "home studio" = AED705

Just in case you wonder where we post the backdrop...... bedpost is the answer. And here are the results of our improvise gadgets:

Settings: Nikon D40, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G DX , f9, 1/200sec., ISO 200
Post process: convert RAW to JPEG file & watermarked with Picmarkr
Settings: Nikon D40,  Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G DX, f8, 1/200sec., ISO 200
Post process: convert RAW to JPEG file & watermarked with Picmarkr

Every dirham well spent.... =)


  1. Nice photo equipment basics. Good share from you again. I'll bookmark your blog from now on.

  2. I like your supply list.

  3. Cool stuff at a bargain...


  5. Paps, kuripot ka talaga... =)
    How did you do this?

  6. As usual, I've posted my weekly project on NEM's forum for their well appreciated comment... I will do their advice as I want to improve. Here is what they say:

    "Good color. Good not blowing out the whites. Good sharpness. Good catchlights. Good flash work. Good Shot!

    My only nits are he is very centered- probably could afford to lose just a bit off the bottom and left side. You lost his black hair against the black background (though that's understandable). Maybe a reflector on the right to lighten his hair up?" - Doc

    "his expresion is cute and the capture is very well achieved. I don't know how to feel about the black backdrop though. The floaty feeling is fun, but he's in a dreamy pose of relaxation, I would have liked to see some other background color than black; but this is my personal feeling though.... or as Doc pointed out a bit of separation w a light pointing onto his back would have brought another dimension!! I'm sure there must be a happy family delighted with this beautiful picture!!
    well done!!" - pixhunter

    "Very nice overall. I found myself wanting to lie on my side to get a better feel for his face. It almost begs you to tilt your head. K for you." - MrB

    "Doc... I also feel it's too centered.... I'm really bad at cropping..

    "Pixhunter... I'm the mom and I will be delighted to hang it in our wall : but to think of it... you are correct. a total black doesn't fit the pose...
    MrB... I actually find my subject difficult to shoot... A lot of unpredictable movements... Next thing I know he's knocking the umbrella down and then hiding on the backdrop... But it was fun! Thanks everyone.." - paps (Imelda)

    "Tell me about it!!!! It's fun and demands lots of patience" - pixhunter

    copy paste the link to your browser to see actual comments:;topicseen

  7. cool.... studio on a budget...

  8. Very informative! Thanks for the post.