How to Setup a Simple DIY Photo Studio

hey everyone michael ulm here so this week i'm 
installing a seamless backdrop into my garage   i am not a photographer i am a woodworker and 
i find myself photographing my furniture a   ton for promotional purposes for youtube 
thumbnails and i've been wanting this for   a while if you have a small space like 
a garage a basement a unused guest room   or something like that where you can hang stuff 
from the ceiling hang stuff from the walls   you can totally install this this is not very 
expensive it's not very hard to install and i'm   going to show you how all the products mentioned 
in this video are listed down below with affiliate   links those affiliate links help support my 
channel also this video is divided into two   separate sections the first is on how to install 
the seamless and the second is on how to use it   i'm going to cover a bunch of lighting tips and 
tricks and and ways to use the seamless that you   may not have thought of before so stick around 
till the end of the video and let's get started before i hang the seamless in the ceiling 
i wanted to show you how i typically do it   with c-stands i have two c-stands in my shop 
which are incredibly handy but they are pretty   expensive they come in about 200 a piece and then 
i can bring in my seamless roll i have to keep it   boxed up to keep it clean this is the super white 
by savage wide tone 107 inches long by 36 feet and   that's quite a bit of paper to wrangle i mean it's 
not super heavy but it is pretty awkward and i do   have to find a place to store it every single 
time i use it so um as you can see i tape it up   and then i can unfurl it and raise it up this is 
a bit of a pain because i do have to run back and   forth obviously if i had a second set of hands it 
would be a lot easier but it's still it's still a   little bit frustrating and i've definitely almost 
dropped these c-stands several times installing it   the other negative about installing it this way 
is it can just unfurl completely if you go too   quickly if you don't have enough paper on the 
roll so you got to be really careful about that so as you can see that is a totally reasonable 
option i've got a great backdrop here but   it is a bit of a pain to put together i also have 
to figure out where i'm going to store this roll   and the c-stands and every time i set it up 
i'm going to have to think about exactly which   color i want if i want multiple colors got to buy 
multiple rolls you can see where i'm going with   this it's kind of a pain so what we're going to 
do is we're going to build a rack for the ceiling   so i bought this kit off of the b h website i've 
looked through loads of different kits for the   ones with the best reviews as far as i can tell 
a lot of different companies sell this exact same   kit under different names and for different prices 
and this was the best deal that i could find again   this will be listed in the link down below so 
the kit is designed for three rolls and it has   the sort of chain fall mechanism the chains 
themselves mounting brackets as well as an   instruction manual the instruction manual leaves 
a lot to be desired it's pretty confusing the   diagram doesn't make a ton of sense and 
it's it's not written very well the kit   also comes with some mounting hardware i i don't 
recommend using this it's designed to mount just   into bare drywall which i i don't advise doing 
i'll talk about that a little bit more later i found this mechanism super interesting it's a 
way to tighten up inside of the tube and spread   the load so that it has a lot of traction it 
worked really well it takes a little while   there's quite a few threads on there but you 
want to make sure and get this nice and tight as i mentioned before i'm installing three 
different colors i've got the bright white   i've got thunder gray as well as ultramarine all 
three of these rolls are made by savage wide tone   i don't have any association with that 
company but i do like their product   and if you want to check out the links down below 
you can pick up some rolls they run about 60   apiece which i i think is really 
reasonable for for what they are so as you can see there are two different styles 
of inserts this one does the tensioning and the   other one sort of organizes the chain and and 
helps you hoist it and lower it i quickly double   checked the link to make sure it was exactly 
107 inches it was i should mention that they   come in a bunch of different lengths so 
if you don't have enough room in your   in your garage and your guest bedroom 
to hang 107 inches that's fine   you can use the same system to to hang 
whatever size you you need for your space since i'm hanging it in my garage there's 
definitely some obstacles and the main one is   the garage door track now i've solved this issue 
before with my light fixtures you can see i ran a¬†¬† 2×4 across and that way i can raise and lower my¬†
garage door and they don't get in the way at all   now not everybody is going to need to hang it 
over a garage door it's going to be way easier   if you need to hang it you know on a wall or on 
a ceiling you can mount it directly to the studs   but for me i had to find a mounting point and what 
i found was this sort of angle iron bracket here   this is integrated into my garage door and 
i thought by just putting a scrap piece of   plywood in it would be enough to support this 
this paper roll a little foreshadowing this is   not a great method i don't recommend it but i 
figured that other people may try this i also   imagine that a lot of people are going to be 
hanging these in garages the most convenient   spot is in front of the garage door like like my 
situation because it's so unused that you won't   have furniture in the way but i'll cover sort of 
this phase of it just so you can see my mistakes   and then i'm going to go into how how i figured 
out how to to get it plenty strong enough to   support these rolls now some of the steps 
are going to apply to both the correct way   to install this in an incorrect way one thing is 
to check to make sure that the garage door does   pass behind it um i actually had to shift 
my brackets a little bit in order to   accommodate that and then of course installing 
the brackets which you want to make sure that   this is nice and solid obviously this is the 
problem you can see how shaky it's starting   to get with just a little bit of cantilever 
and we'll see when the paper rolls go back on   another really important thing is to make sure 
the spacing is correct between the two brackets wow so close yes so i added about a half an inch between 
the two rolls extra on top of that 107 inches   because one thing that i've found is 
that if it's too close together it   can actually grind against the paper and 
cause your your edges to get messed up so now it's time to load up the paper rolls this 
is pretty easy to do but as you can tell every   time i put a paper roll on this bracket gets more 
and more bent in towards the center of the garage as badly as i wanted this to work it was just 
not acceptable and i felt like it was going   to continue to bend it was really wobbly 
and i needed to find a different solution honestly i have no idea why i tried to re-engineer 
this the best solution is the solution that i had   already come up with for the light fixtures 
before and so that's what i just went with i i   went and and cut some two by fours down and just 
spanned it just like i did for the light fixtures   now i have exposed rafters and so i just tied 
it directly into the rafters if you don't have¬†¬† exposed rafters you could totally mount a 2×4 to¬†
the ceiling along the stud and then then drill   this stud in this doesn't take a ton of weight i 
am using deck screws for this not drywall screws   i don't recommend using drywall screws because 
they will uh they'll shear they're not made for   for structural uh purposes but deck screws are 
pretty darn strong another little trick that i've   learned is is just setting up a little support 
block this this will be removed later but it's   a way that i can i can take this nearly 12 foot 
long board and install it without an extra set of hands i just went ahead and cut a couple pieces of 
plywood that are a little bit wider than those   brackets and this just makes things way simpler 
these are going to be attached directly to that   stud and it's just it's just a way easier solution 
one thing that i will say for those of you who   are not going to do this method of installation 
which i imagine is quite a few of you out there   um you can just mount it to the wall or the 
ceiling but i do recommend putting a scrap   piece of plywood that sort of spans two studs 
across it because there's a very little chance   that where you want this to be hung is going to 
be right where your studs are in your wall so it's   it's a really easy way to do it is to just mount 
some plywood to your wall or your ceiling and   then screw the brackets in there because that way 
you can just basically set them anywhere you want all right now i'm ready to reinstall the paper 
rolls and this was way better so much better   they're a lot more stable 
they don't shake around at all   and yeah you know sometimes 
you just have to build it twice here's a quick little close-up of how the 
tensioners lock into the rail and then   you twist this little thumb screw that's you 
that's your tensioner that's the tension for   the whole system so if that's not tight enough 
the rolls will just completely unfurl so you   want to make sure everything's locked in that 
it's registered properly in those brackets and   then it's time to install the chain i read a lot 
of reviews of this kit online and the biggest   complaints were about the chain that the chain 
wasn't strong enough to support a nine foot roll   all sorts of things this is a pretty affordable 
kit so it's not surprising that it's made of   cheap plastic but in my experience with these 
chains i actually wasn't planning on using them   at all because i read the reviews and i'm like i 
could live without it i could climb up a ladder   but these worked fine and i mean if i have 
failures down the road i'll let people know   about it in the notes but so far this seems 
to work great it's got this little weight   that just allows it to sort of stay 
in the right spot and you can adjust   the length of the chain but i didn't this 
was this was perfectly fine for my space so now i was ready to test out the rolls the main 
thing is to just release them other thing that   i did was i made sure and cranked down on the 
tensioner as well as that star knob because i   didn't want it to slide around at all again they 
can completely unfurl if you're not careful the   initial tests went great really no no issues one 
thing is the the paper still needs time to relax   like i said and i also i had to assist it a little 
bit just to make sure that it stays on track   i'll probably continue to have to do that just 
to make sure that it doesn't get off at all the last little thing to do is to find 
a home for these chains i don't want   them hanging out in the middle of my 
space so i just put a hook into my wall   all right so there it is that is the seamless 
backdrop and it looks awesome i am so excited   to test this out and that's what i'm going to 
do next i'm going to test out some lighting   scenarios some different uh sized objects 
the first one we're going to go with is the melting table i still have this 
sucker uh you may have seen the video   on it if not i'll put a link up on 
one of the sides and i'm just going   to lay this out and we're going 
to take some beautiful shots of it so once again i am not a professional photographer 
but i will share my basic lighting kit this is not   a professional lighting kit by any means but this 
is enough to get the job done i've got a couple   of these yn216s i really like these lights a lot 
they are sort of spotlighty so they have a pretty   tight focus on them they're great for rim lights 
they also come with gels so that you can light the   background we're going to try doing both with 
these i really like having bandy clamps in my   collection i use these for all sorts of odds 
and ends i also have this corn cob light which   i just use as a pretty bright key light to diffuse 
that key light i have a soft box this is a neewer   softbox again i'm going to post all of the 
details of all these products down below   nothing's terribly expensive here and   it comes with a diffuser as well as a 
stand to put the key light on top of the yn216s take standard sony f-style 
batteries you do have to buy those separately   the other cool thing is that they are 
bi-color so they can be either warm or   cool you can mix the two and you have a lot 
of control over the the dimmability of them i popped in the diffuser to just give it a little 
bit more of us of a soft look and attached it to   a couple of tripods the last element i'm gonna 
add to this lighting system is a bounce card   and this is super simple i'm just using the 
rocker bandy clamps attached to the bottom   this is just a piece of foam core 
which you know only cost a couple bucks so i'm going for a little bit more of a dramatic 
look with this photo shoot i'm using the gray   background which is really easy to change we're 
going to experiment with changing the background   as well i'm not using it as a seamless 
background i'm just using it as like a   a clean wall i like the look of the 
concrete floor below this industrial   table and so i'm gonna go with that we're gonna 
do a seamless photo shoot in a minute though   my goal for this lighting setup is 
to really accentuate all the edges   i'm using what's called rim lighting so i've 
got these two lights on either side and they're   picking up all the detail on the surface of 
the carving of the melted section they're also   hitting the edges of the the table legs and it's 
making it pop and pull away from the background and so you can see what those rim lights are doing 
here's it without the key light on you can see how   much it brings out the texture in the piece so i 
wanted to play around with the gels that come with   these lights i haven't really used them very much 
but it is a way of adding some visual intrigue to   your photography and there's a bunch of different 
ways to use these gels you can obviously just   use them directly as the rim lights and you're 
going to get kind of a two-toned rim light look   the other way that you can use these lights with 
gels on them is to recolor your background this   is the cool thing about seamless is that you're 
not actually limited to the colors that you buy   you can change those colors just by 
using a different lighting system   so now let's change it up a bit and 
set up a whole different look using   different lighting system and a different backdrop   now i'm going to be using the white background 
to do kind of more product photography shots   things that are super clean great looking for 
a website and uh basically i'm just going to   lay this out in the way that it's intended 
in a seamless fashion on top of my table i   actually just kept my fluorescent lights on with 
this and then added in that key light to just   really dominate you want to get that background 
incredibly white so that you don't see it at all   i think these images speak for themselves this 
thing looks awesome it's so clean so crisp you   can see all the detail in the piece of 
furniture and you know it photographs great now another option for this kind of 
background is to add in a turntable   i picked up this turntable a few years 
ago again i'll list it down below   it was a pretty affordable little turntable and 
it's got lots of controls i'm not going to go   into all the details of it but basically you can 
lay it out and turn it as quickly or as slowly as   you want you can incrementally turn it so if you 
want to take photos in like frame by frame you   can do that as well but i just popped one of my 
old sculptures on there and took some shots of it while i had the turntable out i figured i would 
give a couple other objects to go this is a   pocketknife made by florian diy out of 
pattern plywood it's absolutely stunning   as well as this hill view wood and metal by 
square which i carry with me every single day so i could really spend all day messing 
with this there's loads of different ways to   to play with the seamless i'm going to show you 
one more setup and then we're going to wrap it up there you go just like that with one light 
fixture there and the ambient light in the   room i've got my talking head set up so this is 
so awesome i'm thrilled to have this in my shop   it cost me about 250 dollars total for uh all 
the gear all the paper rolls and everything and   i'd say that's pretty darn good there's other 
things that you can do with seamless that i   haven't mentioned things like green screen 
you can buy green screen rolls for these   also it makes a great projection screen the 
white screen especially i can project movies   on and i plan on doing that treating this space 
like a movie theater hopefully i've helped you   out out there and if you got any questions 
ask them in the comments down below as always   big thank you to my patreon supporters 
and i will catch you on the next one bye you

As found on YouTube

Related Posts