Studio DIY | a rebuild.

As guys we're expected to be handy. To gaze with longing and affection at power tools in the weekend flyers, our heads full of DIY projects. Well, I'm confident enough in myself and my own sexual identity to admit it: I suck at being handy. And I don't mean this lightly. I mean I thoroughly and utterly suck at it. I love imagining and designing but I can't stand doing — because... that's right, I suck at it.

I mean I CAN do stuff. I get there eventually. But the journey usually involves a huge mess and way too many expletives for my own good. Or anyone else around me for that matter.

So you can imagine my current state of mind as I valiantly move forward with the process of rebuilding my entire studio workspace from top to bottom.

But it's something that was seriously overdue. Through the years as I became a working photographer my studio had morphed into its current state without any serious thought. This space which once revolved mainly around music production and design slowly became a photography studio as I moved things around and added the required gear. But everything was either a compromise or a workaround.

Now, I've got a clean slate. Here's the plan:

It's a small, quirky space but I've been testing my angles and it's going to be pretty cool to work with. Using the corridor and stairs as a shooting position will allow for all kinds of possibilities as well as a long enough throw for a tele lens, something I was severely restricted from using in the previous layout. I'll also be able to use the right grey wall for closer portrait work if I want to (I went with a slightly more reflective paint with a certain look in mind).

I'm also trying out something for the cyclo: I'll be using four thin sheets of polystyrene to create both a floor and ceiling curve (I'm not bothering with corners). The ceiling sheets will also block two small windows. I was using these as a reflective floor surface à la Zack Arias's tile board trick. At $30 (CA) a sheet it's not a huge expenditure and will have the added advantage of being fairly lightweight. I've been doing some tests and I think it should work out. I'll update you guys on that front.

Still haven't settled on a floor solution although I'm leaning towards white vinyl if I can find what I'm looking for. Otherwise it'll be some sort of epoxy or TUFF paint.

Last week everything came down. This week I've been plugging holes, priming and painting my butt off. Things are moving along nicely but don't come for a visit: your ears would be buzzing for weeks ;)

P.S. Seattle photographer John Keatley has a real reno project going on. have a look here.