February 18th, 2014

Cramped But Cool Studio: Polished, 300-Square-Foot Reno near Toronto

Toronto-based people and pet photographer Bob Menard of MNRD Photography recently completed a renovation on the 300-square-foot basement shooting/working space in the basement of his home, and was kind enough to show us the results.

© MNRD Photography

© MNRD Photography

“I had been using it as my studio before, but it was more of a makeshift setup with fluorescent lighting, popcorn ceilings and carpeting. Not exactly a space I was proud to bring clients to,” Menard says. After the renovation, the space now features eggshell-painted walls, Barnboard Laminate floors, and 5000K LED lights, which he selected for their energy efficiency and color balance, and to brighten the space as much as possible. Menard also says, “I’ve created an office space in one corner (ideal for tethered shooting) and a small viewing area in another with ample storage for my photographic accessories.”

© MNRD Photography

© MNRD Photography

Does your workspace pack maximum efficiency into limited space?  If so, we hope you’ll share it with PDN readers in our Cramped But Cool Studio Showcase. Send us a jpeg or two or three, plus a description of the space and what you like about it to editor@pdnonline.com (be sure to put “Cramped but Cool” in the subject line). The photographer whose Cramped But Cool studio gets the most positive comments and votes on our Facebook page will win a gift certificate to photo retailer B&H Photo & Video.

Coming up on the Cramped But Cool Studio Showcase: A sun-kissed workspace in New Zealand.

Related Articles:
Cramped But Cool Studio: Down to the Basics in Hawaii

Cramped But Cool Studio Showcase: Show Us Where You Work

June 5th, 2013

$99 Bare-Bulb Flash From Polaroid?

polaroid-bare-bulbWith no press release and seemingly out of nowhere, a $99 bare-bulb flash has appeared on Amazon: the Polaroid PL-135. This is a good $300 less than even the cheapest bare-bulb flash and $700 less than the most basic Quantum Qflash kit. But what do you get for $99? Essentially, you get a generic AA powered speedlight with a guide number of 52 that has been turned into a bare-bulb flash. You do get basic Canon or Nikon TTL, or so it is claimed. There is a “power receptacle for an available external power pack,” but no details are given about what kind of a connection it uses or what power pack they may be referring to. A reflector and diffuser are included, as are a bag to carry the whole kit in. You won’t find the Polaroid PL-135 on Polaroid’s website, so don’t even look. These days, Polaroid is a shell of its former self. The Polaroid PL-135 is just the brainchild of one of their licensees, very likely designed and built without Polaroid having anything to do with it.

Does it work? Initial reports from around the web seem to say “Yes.” The quality of light is said to be nice, just like you expect from a bare-bulb flash. But you will have to deal with the slow recycling time and low power of a speedlight and the mediocre quality of a $99 off-brand product.

So will working pros rush to fill a void in their toolkit with the Polaroid PL-135? Doubtful. But at such a low price, it might just work for a one-off production piece for a particular job.

Price: $99 (as of this writing)

www.amazon.com/Polaroid-PL-135-Bounce-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00CKT8VP0

Related article:
6 Top-Notch Camera Flashes

 

May 17th, 2013

Fotodiox Announces 600w Equivalent LED Studio Lights

LED100WAFotodiox, a company more commonly known for its adapters and lighting accessories, has announced the release of their new 600 watt incandescent equivalent high-intensity LED studio light, the LED100WA. LED lights give off almost no heat and thus are considerably more comfortable for subject and photographer, particularly in indoor studio settings. The size, weight, output power, and 0-100% dimmer of the LED100WA make it a logical option for on-location video as well. The light comes in both  5600K (Daylight) or 3200K (Tungsten) color temperatures and is styled after traditional studio monolights. The LED100WA is equipped with a standard Bowens (S) bayonet mount for light modifiers and other accessories such as softboxes and barndoors.

The LED100WA lights are priced at $324.95 and are available now at www.fotodioxpro.com.