#2 Cre­ate your own DIY stu­dio

Practical Photography (UK) - - 10clicks -

You don’t have to sink all of your hard-earned cash into costly props to get great pho­tos. Heidi Wes­tum (500px.com/heiwe) built her own setup on the cheap and achieved amaz­ing re­sults.

“Ever since buy­ing my first macro lens I’ve loved ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent tech­niques. How­ever, I quickly learned that you don’t need a big stu­dio with ex­pen­sive equip­ment to take ab­stract macro im­ages. In fact, I’ve found that the best kit can come from un­ex­pected places.

“I re­ally en­joy work­ing with oil and water. The colours of the back­ground are re­pro­duced very nicely, but it can be a bit of a chal­lenge to keep the oil drops sharp. This re­quires a fast shut­ter speed, as well as a cer­tain dis­tance be­tween the sub­ject and the back­ground.

“To achieve this I use a bas­ket stand from Ikea. I place a plex­i­glass plate at the top, where I put the oil and water, while I add my de­sired back­ground colours into one of the bas­kets be­low. On the sides of the stand I then at­tach dif­fer­ent lamps with flex­i­ble necks that I can bend so that the back­ground is il­lu­mi­nated cor­rectly.

“In the past I’ve tried dif­fer­ent types of oil, but I now con­sis­tently use Ikea’s white fur­ni­ture oil. The drops are more vis­cous than olive oil, so it is eas­ier to find the right fo­cus. I use so many Ikea props that you could al­most be­lieve that I’m spon­sored by them (al­though I’m not). They even in­spired the colour scheme for this im­age!”

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