We often get asked about our studio setup and the equipment we use so I thought it might be fun to show a few pics and run down the details of our setup.
Shots of the SDDP studio taken for our website.
1) Canon 5d Mk11 Full Frame DSLR – I’ve had this camera for about 4 years now and I can’t speak highly enough of it. It feels like an extension of my own hands and I know exactly what the results are going to be without any guesswork. It is a consistently superb camera offering great control over the shot and a final image quality that allows me to shoot for magazines and large exhibition panels. The camera is activated via a shutter release cable guaranteeing that there is no movement in the camera when the shutter is fired.
2) Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM – The wonderful lens gives amazingly crisp beautifully detailed shots and is ideal for studio use because of its macro feature that allows the lens to be positioned close to small objects such as jewellery and watches to ensure the greatest amount of detail in the final image.
3) Giottos Carbon Fibre YTL8384 Silk Road YTL 3D Column – This is a new purchase (one week ago) to replace a Slik tripod I was using. Apart from being a lighter unit due to its carbon fibre build my main reason for buying it was its horizontally pivoting centre bar that allows me to rotate the camera to shoot top down.
4) Manfrotto 410 geared head – This elegant geared tripod head allows for total control and subtle movements on pan tilt and side to side, which aids in subtle adjustments when setting up the shot.
5) Aputure V-Control II UFC-1s – I discovered this wonderful device about a month ago and it has added a new dimension to my photography. You connect it to the camera via the usb port and it takes over the camera’s autofocus drive allowing you to manually focus at tiny increments which ensures that even the tiniest of details are crisp and sharp.
6) Polaroid 22″ LED TV – The camera is permanently tethered to the LED screen and when set to live view allows me to see exactly what the camera sees in real-time. I can compose the shot, set up the lighting, adjust the shutter speed and aperture all in glorious high def before I even press the shutter release.
7) Lighting – We use Interfit Tungsten continuous lighting in the studio as it allows for modelling of the shot and live tethered views of the final image that give us the control we are looking for. We have three 500w lamps, two 250w lamps and one 1000w lamp at our disposal for all round control. We also use three hand-held LED modelling lights to pick up specific details where necessary, particularly useful when shooting watches with very detailed designs to the dial which can be lost in floodlight but are picked up when a low wattage light is applied at a specific angle. Finally a ‘sparkle’ lamp is deployed when shooting gemstones to give that glint to precious jewels.
8) Interfit INT300 Studio Table with Interfit INT301 Studio Table Extension Legs – A large simple curved shooting table that creates the centrepiece to the whole studio. A black backdrop is rolled out to cover the white table when a dark background is required.
9) Large panel diffusers – These act as a further diffuser to the Interfit lights, softening the light which is particularly necessary when shooting highly reflective metallic objects such as watches.
10) Finally a whole collection of reflectors, mirrored boards, white and black reflective stands and acrylic high gloss risers are used to control lighting and reflections to ensure the final shot is perfect.
The studio has been put together over the past 6 years to perfectly compliment our style of working and we are confident the results demonstrate that the time and effort put in to creating this studio is worthwhile. But we will not be resting here and every new innovation in studio photography is examined to see where we might improve the environment that we work in.
Magazine advertising shot for Rotary Watches.