Tops of your booths

Lucktech Photobooths
Lucktech Photobooths
If your building your booths from PVC or abs panels, do u cover the tops of the booth. I worry about light escaping the booth in low light events if I don't have a top. Opinions. I thought about using shower panels for the top to keep the light inside and help the light reflect the light. My curtains are lined white to help with this as well.



Does anybody use fabric? What does the fire marshal say about it?



Tnx, Jon
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Comments

  • Mike
    Mike
    The tops of my booths are covered. It is important in my design as the top is designed to behave as a light box.
  • buzzkcphoto
    buzzkcphoto
    I use a canopy and like Mike ours has a ceiling that reflects the lighting.
  • Unknown
    I use a canopy but I removed all the tops
  • scottishmovies
    scottishmovies
    <p>We also have a roof now - mainly to keep OUT stray light from the DJ or venue but it makes a huge difference to the quality of the pics - especially green screen.</p>
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    My thought is that you really need a top for two reasons: First, because u want to keep your light out of the venue, especially if it is low light, and second, to help Fletcher's light in the booth. I have gone the web cam approach because I want the interchangeable still/video option. Therefore I need all the light I can get! My light source is 660 watts of cfl daylight bulbs behind frosted .25 in lexan. The 660 is split between three light boxes. My thought for the top is to use white textured fiberglass shower board to reflect light down. Opinions?????

    Thanks for all the comments so far.
  • Mike
    Mike
    WOW!!! You making a tanning booth with all that wattage?
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    <P>Well, I figured I need all that. Don't I????? I would really like to NOT have the two side skylight lights. It makes everything really crampped on the front face. I would like to put my speakers in their place.</P>

    <P>So, Mike, am I hearing you say that if I had 300-400 equivalant watts of light in my top box which measures 11"x 25, that should be enough for my booth that measures 3x5x6.5h? (Too keep this on topic, that would be enough light if I used a reflective material for the top of the structure?)</P>

    <P>Jon</P>
  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    Can you post examples of your output?

    When you say 660 watts, is that CFL watts or equivalent watts? IMO there isn't such a thing as too much light, unless your guests can't look at the camera without squinting. It's about quality of light. The "look" of your images will be changed dramatically if you go from 3 light sources to 1.

    Top light only will look like top light only regardless of wattage. Not a bad thing per se, but different from what it sounds like you have now.

    I have 3 light sources as well using CFL bulbs. 200 (equivalent) watts each. 1 - 10"x 18" box on the floor and 2 - 18" x 24" boxes side by side over the webcam. A wall of light if you will. I find that plenty of light for my MS Lifecam Studio. I don't do video.

    So... it sounds like you could cut your light back by about half, but not change the placement.

    Again, samples would help us offer opinions.
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    I have attached several pictures to this post. The pics with the cardboard are to represent the templates for the exposed lexan. The pics of the light boxes speak for themselves. There is no question I don't have enough room. I need to cut the skylights down at least by 2inches each. They are now 9in wide. The top box I will leave alone. The side boxes I will need to cut down further and then build back up the depth by adding more material at 90 degrees. I can afford more depth, just not width. Side lights will have 3 - 60 watt equiv. each. The top box will have 3-100 watt equiv. with the potential of 300 more with 2way adapters. My base is 3feet high. My design calls for two web cam positions, one for sitting the other for standing. Thanks for all the help, I would love to see pics of your setups.
  • Mike
    Mike
    That is some lighting. I use an AlienBees B400 which has a 150W modeling lamp I run in track mode at about 1/2 power. Photos are great and no need for guests to where shades.
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    The .25 lexan really cuts the light down. I am a teacher and hope that over turkey break I can mock up things and get a little better idea of how much I need. Mike, u run only dslrs right? Would u ever consider the webcam approach?
  • Mike
    Mike
    Correct I do only run D-SLR's now. I ran a webcam briefly but was not pleased with the results at the time (4 years ago) and switched. Love my D-SLR's now and cannot see myself going back as I prefer the lighting options it gives me.<div>
    </div><div>When I did have the webcam I drove my lights with an large AC relay with a DC switch on it. It was controlled via the serial port on the PC (USB on the second one).</div>
  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    I'd cut the watts in half for the sides. No effect on the quality of your light. Diffused light is diffused light. It looks like your bulbs will be very close to the diffuser, which keeps them "harsher" Mine are about 1' back from the diffuser. I like my light very diffuse.

    IMO, you simply don't need that much wattage. How far are your clients going to be from these lights? Mine are 4-5' and I use a webcam and a total of 360 watts. Keep in mind, webcams are, by design good in low light.

    a sample of my lighting
  • alice
    alice
    <p>I'm using the exact same lighting as Mike above. Perfect. No top on my canopy. However, I also light the subjects' faces with 2 clip on LED lamps. For some reason, without them, the live view monitor is just too dark to see themselves in. No one's ever complained about the lighting.</p><p>And, My Alien Bee is fitted with a diffuser.</p>
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    Those of u using dslrs have an advantage over those of us using webcams:Flash! We will start with the webcam and see how it goes, maybe the the next booth will be dslr. I am going to recut my templates tomorrow night and see where it gets me. Thanks for all the comments!
  • Soundsations
    Soundsations
    Even with a weak modeling light, having Breeze in "External Flash Mode" will automatically adjust ISO settings on the live view so you can easily see yourself. <div>
    </div><div>I teach graphics and photography. There is no comparison between a webcam and any SLR. Personally never seen a webcam that I like. Tried that as well with my booths and a licensed copy of Breeze....was only after two events I switched to DSLR and will never return. </div>
  • Minh
    Minh
    U guys are nuts. Lol that's too much wattage. It'll burn out your surge protector in no time. My lighting is like 50watts, and that's a basic homedepot lighting, then the flash is at max 150watts per flash. In the live preview, what they see is pretty much the same as their printouts.
  • Minh
    Minh
    And webcams vs dslr? Let me show u the difference.



    If you go webcam, there's one that is the best quality... I forget the brand but I can find out for ya.. Logitech 920 I think, on a Mac with Sparkbooth (one strip). And the second picture is dslr with canon t3i with breeze(2strips). Print out quality u can really tell a difference.
  • alice
    alice
    <p>Soundsations, I will double-check that. Breeze external flash mode. Wouldn't that have to be on for the external flash to be working?</p><p> </p>
  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    hey Minh...

    <blockquote>And webcams vs dslr? Let me show u the difference.



    If you go webcam, there's one that is the best quality... I forget the brand but I can find out for ya.. Logitech 920 I think, on a Mac with Sparkbooth (one strip). And the second picture is dslr with canon t3i with breeze(2strips). Print out quality u can really tell a difference.



    </blockquote>



    No question. DSLR is better.

    BUT... yours is not a fair comparison.

    To be fair, you need a booth product that supports either webcam and DSLR, and then compare the output. I believe Breeze is the only one to do that.

    Sparkbooth is nowhere near the ballpark. That uses Adobe Air and does not leverage any webcam's full potential. It also limits in it's design the output of the final image. The new commercial version is better, but still not as desirable as the Breeze product which taps directly into the webcam's native driver and uses all of it's capabilities.

    The example is this... there are websites that allow you to take a picture or make a video from within your browser. When you start doing this, Adobe's plugin fires up and asks if you "give permission for this app to access your webcam and blah blah"... that is the way Sparkbooth gets to your webcam. Uses the same SDK. His quality can't get much better for that reason. For lots of booth operators, it's more than enough. There are folks who make money using Sparkbooth.

    Just want to be sure any of the up 'n comers here have all the information they need to make their decision.

    Again... DSLR quality is higher. No argument. I personally don't believe I need that level of quality to run a successful booth operation. The key is good lighting. IMHO of course. YMMV and all that.
  • Minh
    Minh
    True that! Booth photos still looked good
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    As @Mike teased earlier in this discussion, if this doesn't work, I can always turn this into a tanning booth. For me, the choice between dslr and webcam was simple. Dslr=best quality, no question. webcam=less upfront cost since I am not a photographer, and didn't have a camera. But what I am is an end user computer applications expert. I know software, I know hardware, the webcam route was a perfect fit for my start in this industry. Who knows, I might change my mind and move to dslr in a year, and if I did, I would be better for it since I started in the industry the way I felt most comfortable. Now to keep this more on topic, I am rethinking the top again. I might go back to cloth. It still would be white to help with lighting, but I have a little time before I have to hammer that completely out.
  • alice
    alice
    <p>I'm so tempted to say it HAS to be a matter of opinion, that there, now I've said it. We used tops on the canopies our first 2 years of business, took them off beginning 2012, and not going back to tops. The Alien Bee is all the light we needed, and a couple of LED lights. I'm trying to train myself into using the modelling lamp in the Alien Bee and ditch the LED lamps -- but old habits die hard and i like my LED's.</p><p>We used to use white inside, but gave that up too. Just not needed with the Alien bee's light. Only problem with the Bee is that it's quite large and hunkers above the unit like a...well, like a big Bee! I've come to love it and no one's ever said "what's that"?</p><p>Have you set yours up in the house yet, lucktech? I practice with mine in the basement from time to time, where the lighting is just terrible.</p><p> </p>
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    Alice, are you dslr or webcam? I am still in the progress of building mine, but don't worry, I believe practice makes perfect and do like to experiment in all I do to become one with what ever it is. I should be "practicing" within the week.
  • alice
    alice
    <p>Hi - dslr. Unfortunately don't know much about webcam/techie computer stuff. Call if you think I can help. brilliantphotobooth.com</p><p> </p>
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    Deal! If I need help with a dslr setup, I'll call you, if you need help with the computer/techie stuff, you call me. 260-705-6225!



    You know, I have belonged to an antique tractor forum since 1999, that forum is now one of the largest and best tractor forums in the world. This forum has so many of the same qualities as that forum, great people that just want to help and further their craft. Gotta love it! Thanks for the comments!
  • Minh
    Minh
    im a photographer. ;) i think we;re all here to help so just post those questions up!
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    @minh,

    Do you have a pic from the point of view from inside the booth looking up towards the top? I don't recall u mentioning if yours has a top or not, just that I had too much light. Was impressed with the pics you posted in one of the other discussions of your booth.

    Jon
  • Lucktech Photobooths
    Lucktech Photobooths
    <p>Gen 1:2 ...."God said,'Let there be light', and there was light".......</p><p>Well I got the lights in yesterday. I think for now, I am not going to have a top. I think I have plenty of light, which you all thought in the first place. </p>
  • Mike
    Mike
    Lots of light, I like it! Post a sample shot or two when you get things tweaked.
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