Saturday, July 25, 2015

Home studio assembled without serious loss of limbs and lives

Finally! After long consideration, hours of surfing for the best deal and a lot of decision anxiety, I had my studio equipment delivered. I thought about it for a long time, then decided on Elinchrom lights. I have used them before and they also have the advantage that old and new models can be used side by side, there is no need to renew the whole studio if you want to upgrade. It is possible to do it step-by-step. I got a good price on a three-headed studio set, Elinchrom D-Lite RX One, with umbrellas and a softbox. Since I'm not that familiar with umbrellas, I ordered another softbox. Must be careful not to get stuck with too much new things to learn, I am blonde. (Yes, I did try to color my hair black once, but I just had to resign, Mother Nature cannot be fooled.)

The studio set is 'to go', which means that I have carrying bags for everything. However, after spending the afternoon assembling the stuff, I quickly decided that this equipment is not going anywhere..... Too much trouble, not to mention hazardous to knees, ankles, eyes, fingers and nails. Mostly to nails.

I of course had to test that everything worked. That all the flashes flashed at the right time. They did, by the way. Most kind of them. But it took a while to figure out the settings, mostly because I was so eager to get started so I did not read the instructions. Bad choice. Always read the instructions! You are bound to have to read them later anyway, when all your trial and errors result in nothing. So, take it from someone who been there and tried that, Read The #¤&(&/%#" Manual! It will save a lot of good anger and despair to be used at a later convenience.

I had earlier bought a new computer since I needed a little bit more resources for Photoshop. Not as good a computer as I wanted to, my wallet and I had us a pretty nasty argument on that one a while back. Needless to say, my wallet won. Darn. But of course, as always, there is something you haven't taken into account. And there was: the colors did not match. I put both computers next to each other, opened the same picture on both computers and discovered that there were differences in color. So, here goes, the 64.000$ question: which one was right if any of them was?

The same delivery that got me the studio equipment also brought me a small monitor calibration tool called X-Rite ColorMunki Smile. I have yet to discover the Smile-part, since there was not much of that around when I installed it and calibrated the monitor. I re-calibrated the monitor many times until I finally had to settle for the results as being the correct ones. I was horrified. It seems like my old computer was seriously out wandering in the dark. That gave me a good scare. However, I looked through my earlier pictures, and luckily they were quite alright. Some of them better than others, depending on the settings and post processing on the photos.

I just wanted to see if everything worked, so I took a few test shots. My old faithful companion Teddy Rocker did the modeling for once. I think it the result is quite alright for a home studio for a hobby photographer, I have lots of possibilities to try new things and learn new and that is what I was looking for in the first place. Win - win.

Teddy Rocker

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