A Short Course Book
Curtin's Guide to Digital Cameras
And Other Photographic Equipment

Chapter 3. Studio Equipment

This chapter is about lighting and photographing small objects and portraits. It's for small business people, artists, naturalists, collectors, writers, and anyone else who wants to take high-quality studio pictures under controlled conditions. It presents a totally new approach to studio photography made possible by the two most important ways that digital cameras are revolutionizing studio photography for the better:

  • Many digital cameras allow you to preview your picture on the LCD monitor built into your camera, and all allow you to review your results immediately. This makes studio photography very interactive. You can explore and experiment to your heart's content—and there are no film costs. With the right equipment, some imagination and practice, you'll get the image you want.
  • The camera's white balance setting lets you shoot under almost any light. You no longer need expensive and complex strobes to get good results. You can now use simple and inexpensive fluorescent bulbs with reflectors. Not only are the results as good, but with the lights on all of the time, you can see the effect they are having as you arrange your setup.
These two things, all by themselves, remove the guesswork from studio photography. If you have had any fears about trying to do your own studio photography, you can now lay those fears aside. Another piece of good news is that you don't need a special camera. Many popular models give great results and the digital camera you already own will probably be fine.


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