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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Light Remodeling, Pt. 1


When we moved into our house nearly two years ago, it came with something I had never had before -- a garage.

In theory, two cars are supposed to go in there. In practice, ours has remained an junk pile staging area since the move-in. We generally have one car parked inside. Which of course means that my car stays out in the rain and snow.

Such was the crazed schedule of DVD post production a few weeks ago that a weekend spent reclaiming the garage was actually starting to look good.

Besides, I wasn't just in it for the marital brownie points. I had an ulterior motive in mind. I wanted to be able to use it as a studio.
__________


The Big Box

First of all, the photo above (a fold-out of three frames) is pretty flattering when it comes to showing the available space. In truth, the garage was half-full of stuff before the car even got in there.

But it did have one thing I found very cool: 12+ foot ceilings. Which is what got me jonesing for a convertible studio space in the first place. All I need is a big box, really. And this could certainly be that. Biggest problem: No money.

Filming, producing and printing the DVDs requires a steady stream of hefty checks to be written in advance. And that pretty much soaked up our savings. But I was convinced I could take this space and make it into a quick-swap studio for not a lot of money. I budgeted $200. And that included a strong determination to scrounge whatever I could from closet or attic.

I needed to get control over the space, control over the light and, hopefully, enhance the ambience a little -- all on the extreme cheap. And if it works out well, I can go in and do some enhancements later when the cash flow is, um, positive.

So the goal was to spend $200 or less, spend a weekend not thinking about DVD production, score some brownie points with the missus and get myself a shooting space in the bargain.



Here's my biggest physical problem. These garage door rails take up nearly half of the room at a height of ~7 feet. That would really cramp the lighting style of any permanent background orientation. Hmm.

Problem number two: The light from those windows would have to be controlled. I wanted to be able to start off with very little ambient light, even in the daytime.

Number three: Had to get all of that crap off of the ground. Wasn't looking forward to that, either. If it was small enough to go up on the wall, it had to go up on the wall.

Number four: Ambience -- as in, we sure could use some. Problem was (as anyone who has ever eaten a cheeseburger at a nice restaurant can attest) ambience costs money.

So, those were the constraints. If any of you are considering cleaning out and multipurposing your garage as a convertible studio, hopefully this process will get you thinking about your own problems and potential solutions.

Next week: My targeted, ultra-cheap solutions.


__________

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62 Comments:

Blogger Jason Satterwhite said...

I have been trying to use my garage in the same manner. The biggest problem I have is the lack of climate control. In winter there is not a problem, but in summer there is no escape from the sweltering SC heat. I am jealous of those high ceilings though.

February 13, 2011 11:54 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

David,
Those garage door rails can be extended to run up vertically above the doors and make the horizontal 90 degree turn near the ceiling. That would put the doors at about 11 feet above the floor when opened. Any garage door contractor can supply these, but you might have to get different style of electric door openers.

February 14, 2011 12:49 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

garco

February 14, 2011 12:51 AM  
Blogger Daniel T Jester said...

I second Jason's comment. Last weekend was my first time using my garage as a studio, and my model was so cold her feet and hands were starting to look blue in the photos.

February 14, 2011 2:10 AM  
Blogger Dusty said...

Best of luck! You've got space that I don't; I'm jealous.

February 14, 2011 3:01 AM  
Blogger Denny Wells said...

Having converted my garage to studio this winter, a couple of thoughts come to mind.

Unless you can get rid of (or permanently displace) all the current garage contents, forgo the ambiance target. It's a garage. The floors will get dirty from your cars in & out. The space will be cluttered with stuff, either on the wall behind you, or on the wall behind your backdrop, or both. And the stuff will be inherently transient, and seasonally changing. Tough to get much more ambiance than "it's generally organized clutter".

We have shelves suspended from the ceiling in our garage, getting much of the clutter high and out of the way. The shelves themselves were pretty cheap - 2x4s and plywood, much of it left over from other projects.

Shoot across the garage, and cheat your shooting space toward the house, to minimize the impact of the garage door hardware in your shooting space.

If I had windows (not a problem in my garage) and wasn't enamored with the ambient light they provided, I'd put my backdrops in front of the windows.

I noticed a lack of any heat sources in your garage - you might need to spend your $200 on a space heater, or have very hearty subjects!

Don't forget to keep the other half happy - if she wants to put the car in the garage every night, you've gotta make that happen.

February 14, 2011 3:26 AM  
Blogger Andy T said...

It might be a bit pricey, but you could change those big up & over doors for roller doors which roll upwards, or side-opening doors. That'll lose the intrusive runners that hang down.

February 14, 2011 3:29 AM  
Blogger Andy T said...

It may bit a bit pricey, but you could change those big up & over doors for roller shutters that roll upwards, or side opening doors. That will enable you to lose those intrusive hanging runners.

February 14, 2011 3:31 AM  
Blogger David said...

i wish i had this problem, but alas, not too many garages here in Norwich. We do have sheds however... which would be a nice home office come to think of it.

February 14, 2011 5:01 AM  
Blogger David said...

i wish i had that sort of problem... but here in Norwich, all we have are back garden sheds. That being said, that may make a pretty decent home office. hmmmm...

February 14, 2011 5:03 AM  
Blogger antonio said...

step one) remove the right engine and the binary. uses only the door on the left as input. at the rigth mount a backdrop. at the left cover the windows with a black velvet (3 $/mt in stock store).
step two) in the future,when you have a money, replace the letf engine with a manual aperture door.

February 14, 2011 5:34 AM  
Blogger G said...

A coat of white paint ceiling and walls, maybe two, goes a long way to improve a garage space.

February 14, 2011 8:08 AM  
Blogger G said...

White paint on ceiling and walls goes a long way in improving a garage space. Might help with white balance as well.

February 14, 2011 8:09 AM  
Blogger michael said...

I dream of a large garage to convert for studio purposes. I currently live in a center city philadelphia loft style apartment. It is large with high ceilings that works nicely when converted for studio purposes. My wife, unfortunately, is never thrilled when I create that disasterous mess. She tolerates but it usually starts the argument about moving out of the city and into the burbs. I'm just not ready for that move.

February 14, 2011 8:12 AM  
Blogger JoeH said...

You need to have a garage design contest!

If you aren't going to pull the door openers down, the space over them is "dead". So I'd make use of the space by putting up storage to put the other "stuff" out of your way. I have some very easy and sturdy designs using just 2x4's and plywood if you're interested.

February 14, 2011 8:23 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm really looking forward to your next post. I've been grappling with the same problem with my garage for a couple of years now. I'm a professional carpenter and I use my two car garage as a woodworking shop. Takes me 4 to 6 hours to turn it into a photo studio. But there are "ambience" problems with this arrangement, to be sure. I built 4x8 moveable panels out of plywood to use as a partition wall to hide some of my woodworking equipment. Still, the wall shelves are packed with paint cans, etc. A few of my photography clients have really been put off by the look of the space. Fortunately, it's a heated space. I can get the temp up to 60 even on the coldest days. Unfortunately, that's not warm enough for subjects in tank tops, etc.

February 14, 2011 8:25 AM  
Blogger WildePics said...

Just started the same process myself. Have a 3 bay garage with only 10 foot ceilings but the same problems with the rails that you have. Being very unhandy, I had the garage door company raise the rails, I should have done it years ago - studio or not - it really opens up the feel of the garage even as a garage.

Being in South Florida I don't feel like I have too many options if I don't want to always shoot models who look like they've been spritzed.....or hosed. I've got my A/C contractor working up a proposal. If it was going to be a permanent studio I would hook it up to the house system, as a dual use garage/studio I am going to have to put in a stand alone that can cool that room down very quickly.

My biggest problem is cleaning out the garage so the stuff I have will fit into whatever shelves/cabinets/etc I put along the walls.

February 14, 2011 8:50 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I've been thinking about it too. Biggest hold back for me (in addition to many of your items to address) is the thoroughly nasty floor from parking two cars in it most of the time. (Especially after the sand and salt in the DC Metro lately).

I do look at Oops paint from Home Depot every time I'm there hoping the perfect oops color will motivate me to figuring it out.

February 14, 2011 9:11 AM  
Blogger Mark n Manna said...

I'm dying to see how you stretch you 200 dollar budget. :-)

February 14, 2011 9:30 AM  
Blogger maxyfer said...

I occasionally use my garage as well. I have 10' ceilings and only use a white paper backdrop since my budget is even more limited that yours. I also live in Cleveland so heating the space in the winter is a necessity (and a pain). It is a nice space, convenient for me, and really cheap!

February 14, 2011 9:49 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

David,
I'm glad you're doing this now.
I'm moving to Tennessee in the summer, and I'm building my own studio in the basement/garage. The biggest question: Do I paint it black or white???
I'll be watching this one verrrry carefully...
BTW: I'm looking forward to meeting you in NYC on the Flashbus tour!

February 14, 2011 10:28 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I have been transforming my condo garage into a studio the last month - I have been going for the whole package including ambiance. Fortunately with a tandem garage i got a bit more space to work with. I actually installed a proper procyc wall - i hate bothering with papaer and material.

http://www.mkippen.com/blog/?p=2450
http://www.mkippen.com/blog/2011/01/24/mkippen-studio-build-part-2/

Going through the electrical work right now to put some outlets up on the ceiling so i dont have to run tons of cables all over the place.

February 14, 2011 11:37 AM  
Blogger mdelgado said...

I recently converted my garage to a part-time studio. I use my half of the garage, only, and allow my wife to continue parking. I agree with the earlier comment that you should forget about ambiance--it's a garage. At best, you could lay down a nice textured floor, paint the walls (white would work, but it's rather boring) and add a space heater/fan. Install a shade over the window to block out light.

I shoot length-wise down the garage bay. I screwed two hooks into the ceiling joists to support a thin metal pipe that holds my white seamless. I clamp one end to keep the paper rolled up. When I need to roll it down, I get on a ladder, unclamp it, and roll it down. When done, I roll it back up and noone even notices it's hanging up there. Heck, I could probably put 2 or 3 more rolls of different color papers up there and noone would even notice.

Shooting length-wise allows me to shoot telephoto portraits if I need to. Yes, it gets cramped when I have 2 lights hitting the seamless, a softbox, and a flag. But, if you're using small flash only (and being the Strobist, you probably are), it shouldn't get too cramped. Have an electrician install a couple of outlets for you, as well.

My last suggestion would be to find places to store things. Build wall and ceiling storage spaces (check magazines like Family Handyman for suggestions) to store all of the things that normally go in a garage. Place that storage on your wife's side of the garage and it won't interfere with your photos.

Good luck!

February 14, 2011 11:46 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

So it's not going to come in under your $200 budget, but if you're going to share the space between parking cars and shooting you really need to recondition the concrete floor. It needs to be cleaned of grease and either polished or sealed. Either way you can then quickly mop up anything that hits the floor (the typical epoxies used for sealing floors are resistant to automotive chemicals) right before a shoot. (Also budget for a good cloth mop and bucket from a janitorial supplier.)

Personally I would do the floor and paint the walls before trying to fix the garage door rails. Think long and hard about what you actually expect to be shooting there. If it's 10 foot models you'll have to lose the rails. But if it's normal people or smaller objects then you can use the existing rails to create a rail-based lighting system! Why would anyone want to get rid of a great set of rails like that when they could be adapted for dual use???

Study the designs of the rail systems on the market (typically 4 figures to purchase), then go to your favorite home improvement store and replicate it for next to nothing using electrical conduit or small gauge aluminum i-beams, plus extra rollers just like the ones currently guiding your garage door.

As photographers we often want to get rid of the "offending" obstacles like those rails, ADA-compliant handrails, and other distractions in our photos, but personally I find it more rewarding to find a way to utilize them for the shoot.

February 14, 2011 11:53 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Cool. I can't wait for the rest of this thread...

February 14, 2011 12:55 PM  
Blogger John Kim said...

"G" already mentioned this, but are you planning on painting the garage white? If so, mat? semi-glossy? black for control maybe? I have almost the exact same garage, complete with the white dots on the wall, and other storage. I'd be really interested in what you do with yours.

February 14, 2011 1:06 PM  
Blogger Dave6163 said...

David,

Sounds like a a great project. Looking forward to hearing your ideas. Certainly something I have been considering for some time now. I did some experimenting with the space last fall, but look forward to hearing some improvements to the process will be awesome.

I am sure everyone will be thrilled at home to know that I will be cleaning the garage, too!

February 14, 2011 1:11 PM  
Blogger WingedPower said...

$200 to convert your garage into a studio... that's quite a bit of a challenge and a bit of elbow grease...

Thought: move all of that garage stuff onto wheelable dollies/carts. Either make them with lumber/large castor wheels, or buy them cheep somewhere. Make sure they have lockable rollers. This way, you can roll stuff out of the way. Misc stuff around the garage can be hidden inside of these mobile cabinets/chests/etc, even used as seats and props, depending on how you finish them.

February 14, 2011 2:02 PM  
Blogger Obi-Wan said...

When you first posted these photos to Flickr a couple months ago, I posted my suggestion for building two stories of shelves along the back wall and hanging curtains in front of them to get the clutter up and out of the way. If you can't follow my description, I'd be happy to throw together a quick sketch. You might be able to build the shelving for $200, but that would leave you very little for "finishing" the now-clean space. White paint & opaque curtains will go a long way. However, before you paint those walls, use the drywall screw patches to measure & make note of where the studs are. You may need to find them later, and you can't always rely on them being every 16".

Original post:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidhobby/5310287462/

February 14, 2011 2:45 PM  
Blogger Peggy A. Morsch said...

My studio/garage was built to be a studio but convert back to a garage with sale of the house. I took down the overhead door opener and those nasty lengths of metal that support the door in the open position. I stored them upstairs for later reuse. 10 ft. high ceilings with an electric roller system mounted to the ceiling. Glass brick, with diffused coating is used for a 4 x 6' window. A 4x6 diffusion cloth is ready if I need more softness in the light. Looks like a living room inside with Pergo floor, crown mouldings, gas stove (Jotul) for heat and a window AC unit for summer. Garage door is insulated with R-19 stapled to 2x4 and hung vertically. The 2x4 is held by the steel framing for the overheard door rails. Wrap and staple to sides with plastic and then a backdrop to cover. Not perfect and definitely more than $200 but I didn't do it all at once. Sure beats rent!

February 14, 2011 3:21 PM  
Blogger sackytar said...

Should be a great space. I would remove garage door opener altogether too. Very easy to put back together. I Just landed a huge studio space and will be building a cyclorama wall within next two weeks. I don't mind rent plus it gets me away from the distractions at home and I need a big space for set building.

February 14, 2011 4:55 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Do Not worry about the floor cover it with white paneling when you shoot or white paper with lexan or plexi over it.

Use garage door end to shoot from, cover window with felt and either cardboard or wood.

move all other crap out of it when shooting.

Put the rails to use as a mount for your lights.

February 14, 2011 6:11 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi,
12' ceiling are great. Put shelving above the doors, use the wall facing the doors as the back drop wall. Mount spigots on the shelves facing the backdrop. Use the vertical braces for the door rail supports to put more spigots and power bars.
Or find a garage door guy who needs photos and barter. Move the door rails to the ceiling and shelving one the side walls at 7 feet and up to 6" below the rails. Of course an 8" ladder would be needed to get to the shelves(high angel to shoot drown from.
oh yeah black out blinds.

February 14, 2011 7:10 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

When we converted part of our basement into my studio, I didn't know what to do with the floor either. We ended up staining the concrete floor and it looks really awesome. Stained concrete is popular in many industrial/commercial spaces these days so it has a great high-end look to it. It is so attractive that I can actually shoot on it. Also very durable and super-easy to clean. It took about 2-3 days.

February 14, 2011 7:30 PM  
Blogger blakenan said...

While I have not realized the dream of using my garage as a studio, I do have a recommendation for getting some stuff off the floor. I'm a of the shelf hangers like those shown on www.quickshelf.com. Here's a picture of these hangers in my garage.

Standard disclaimer applies... I'm not a paid spokesperson, just a big fan of all things Strobist. David, thanks for cultivating this wonderful community.

February 14, 2011 9:59 PM  
Blogger blakenan said...

While I have not converted my garage into a functional studio yet, I do have a recommendation on how to get some junk up off the floor. I'm a had good luck with the shelving hangers sold at www.quickshelf.com. Here's a picture of the shelves in my high-ceiling garage.

Standard disclaimer applies... I'm not affiliated with the website above, just a fan of all things Strobist. David, thanks for cultivating such a great community.

February 14, 2011 10:06 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Stretch a white sheet over those rails Dave-O. Put a boom stand and a light shining over it. Instant huge-azz softbox and fill.

February 15, 2011 7:43 AM  
Blogger Clive said...

Hi David,
Covering the windows on the cheap is a snap. Cardboard and foil.
find a piece ar a few of cardboard and duct / gaff tape them together to fill the window. cover it on the outside with foil. Put a couple of nails on a 45 degree angle at the bottom of the window. now place the cardboard and foil reflector on the nails and lift it into place. Add a bend nail or hook at the top to hold it in place. Add a bit of string from the top of the bent nail or hook and you can lean the top out and reflect the light up into the ceiling.

If you get more time and money you can replace the cardboard with masonite or 1/4" plywood. Add hinges, brackets and mount it on a stand to use as a reflector.

Probably obvious, but I think that painting the ceiling white should be part of your overall plan.

Good luck,
Clive

February 15, 2011 9:11 AM  
Blogger Silver Image said...

* Trash everything inside

* Mud the drywall joints and paint the whole room flat black

* black velvet over the windows

* cheap pergo (or similar) over the whole floor

* arrange lawyer for the divorce settlement. make sure you get the garage

February 15, 2011 11:45 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

I build stores nationwide for a living. Part of remodeling mall spaces means demolishing the existing space.
As a thank you, I'll give you adjustable wall mounted shelving.
Contact me via flickr.
kthschsslr

I'll wait for a job near you to save on shipping.

February 15, 2011 2:56 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Also, you can extend the vertical sections of the garage door track, moving the horizontal sections Much closer to the ceiling.
Remove one of the track brackets,go to home depot, buy one section of track and 4 more brackets identical in standoff to the one you removed and took with you.
Cut the section you bought to the length the garage door opener is from the ceiling, minus an inch for clearance.
Don't forget the lag bolts and hardware between the track and the brackets when you go the big box.

February 15, 2011 3:01 PM  
Blogger Scott Margetts said...

Typical action to avoid building controls in the UK is to build a cheap partition stud wall 4 feet inside garage doors and parallel to them. No cars allowed now but this solves storage for tools etc and bikes with access from outside. Now assuming you have an interior door, you can carpet, plaster and finish your new space with proper heating and you have a great indoor space.

Now what was that budget again...

February 15, 2011 3:36 PM  
Blogger theotherme said...

Using the door rail as a place to clamp lighting to instead of using C-stands and booms should give you more working room.

I'd lobby the missus to paint the walls/ceiling black at least on one side. I've had a heck of a time controlling all that bounce on white in such a confined space. (no, I have not won the black paint argument yet)

February 15, 2011 7:34 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Hi David!

I know you had 200$ but being in your position I would put some more into it. I'd ask a pro-garage-doorman or what ever to modify the rails so that the doors raise higher (but slower, since we don't want to change the motors too!) You will probably make up for the cash invested if ever you sell the house (big bonus for the next owner). anyway your house will sell for millions after the flash bus tour! hahaha

Shelving in the back, curtains over them and boom! Done.

February 15, 2011 11:21 PM  
Blogger wirehunt said...

You see garage door brackets, I see flash holders....

February 16, 2011 6:06 AM  
Blogger spindigo said...

Cheap heat solution: Install a cheap screen door between the house and the garage. When you are going to shoot, just open the house door and use a box fan to blow the house air into the garage space. By the time your setup is ready it will be the same temperature as the house. You can also get large baker racks from C0stco for about $80 that can hold a lot of your garage junk in plastic tubs.

February 16, 2011 10:35 AM  
Blogger spindigo said...

Cheap heat solution: Install a cheap screen door between the house and the garage. When you are going to shoot, just open the house door and use a box fan to blow the house air into the garage space. By the time your setup is ready it will be the same temperature as the house. You can also get large baker racks from C0stco for about $80 that can hold a lot of your garage junk in plastic tubs.

February 16, 2011 10:36 AM  
Blogger Andy Johns said...

Lots of suggestions, but most of those are already covered in the existing comments.

Since you are limited on space, how about painting the walls 18% gray and letting the inverse square law determine whether the wall is white or black? I'm sure any paint store could whip up a batch cheaply using a gray card as a sample.

I would probably do the ceiling gray or white.

February 16, 2011 3:46 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

You have two big garage doors and a door way into the house.

Sounds like too many doors. Hacksaw the rails on the door that will stay closed. Remove the power opener.

If you need more room THEN you go to the vertical rails (remove door, move rails and opener to the roof. Extend the track vertically down and replace the door. It now goes way up and then across the ceiling.

Put in a loft-area with a few 2x4s and some plywood over the car area (now that you've moved the opener to the roof) for more storage.

February 16, 2011 5:47 PM  
Blogger jimm said...

Wow, you have your work cut out for you. You got to blow the budget, shed to put the stuff in, extra garage for the wife's car, only kidding.
The biggest improvement we made in ours was the floor.
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?keyword=garage+floor+paint&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
It comes in all colors and textures,easy to clean up, won't stain or slip.
Then a 5 gallon pail of white primer to get the walls done.

February 16, 2011 7:57 PM  
Blogger Rick Mapes Photography said...

There are some excellent ideas here, great idea opening up the forum. Here is my 2 cents.....
Ask yourself if clients will potentially see you space. If not, your fine, but if so, make it professional. Please don't paint your walls black, unless you like a cave. I've spent the late 80's and early 90's in these dungeons. Go with flat or egg shell white, look at ANY rental space in PDN (white). I have faith that you can "control" the light. If you must at the least go with a lighter than 18% grey. I have a garage studio, done cheap and cheerful. There are many ways to convert your garage to studio but there's are alot of questions to answer. Would you want your clients to go though the house for every shoot? Good luck!

February 16, 2011 9:22 PM  
Blogger Eric Kazmirek said...

I am just nearing the end of this process. Very pleased. 9ft ceiling halfway thru the room, then opens into a 15ft cathedral toward the back-end with skylight. Above the 9 ft ceiling is a loft with door openings to poke softboxes thru or I can also shoot from up there if need be. Ripped out the garage door and built a new wall with two windows and a standard door. I can share photos when it is complete in the middle of March!

February 16, 2011 10:13 PM  
Blogger David Sr. said...

Garage Door rails: A Garage door guy can extend the roller track so the horizontals and electric openers are against the ceiling.

Been there, done that.

February 17, 2011 9:38 AM  
Blogger Zach Johnson said...

A friend of mine made an inexpensive and moveable background out of vinyl flooring, something similar might work in your garage. It's basically a non-permanent cyc wall and can be painted any color, it's usually white. He posted details about how he hung and moves it on his blog, http://blog.georgecanderson.com/

February 17, 2011 3:09 PM  
Blogger Chris Lane said...

Excellent project! I am doing something similar, but a little bit more involved. I am converting an old granary into a studio. The main room will have open vaulted ceilings which go to about 16-20 feet high. I am really excited, but I have such a ridiculously low budget I just expect it to take a few years to fully complete.
As for your ambiance, just some paint on the walls won't be too expensive, but sure goes a long way in helping the room. The windows can be easily/cheaply covered with just about anything to block out the light, from cardboard to garbage bags to some plywood held on with wingnuts that could be easily put on and off.
Good luck with the project!

February 17, 2011 9:50 PM  
Blogger Jason C said...

Okay, I don't have a garage to work this out on, but this is what I would do. Like many others stated before either raise the rails for the doors, or utilize the space for storage. For the wall that you want to have the subject on, instead of mounting the shelving on the wall, get the solid units that have casters on them. That way you can easily wheel them out of the way when needed. This gives you an extra couple of feet of distance. A gallon or two of concrete stain will help, it will get dirty as all garage floors will, but a weathered finish look is better than an unfinished weathered look.

February 18, 2011 10:45 PM  
Blogger michaelcraigharrisphoto said...

I too was excited to use my 3-car garage as a studio space, until I actually tried to. Like you mentioned, the biggest thing for me was the aesthetics and ambiance. The other, also as mentioned, was the garage door rails being in the way. The only way I would try it again is if I was going to dedicate the space to studio only.

February 20, 2011 4:14 PM  
Blogger bT said...

But who's riding the bus with Joe McNally ?

February 23, 2011 12:03 AM  
Blogger Randy Cole said...

Great idea. I'd thought to use my basement, it has 9' ceilings. As for the garage door, Wayne Dalton has a garage door opener that is just a rail above the door itself. Takes up no room and is very quiet. Not cheap though so it may be a better long term fix (after the positive cashflow).

Sorry I'm going to miss the FBT. Hopefully it won't be a one time thing (hint, hint!)

February 23, 2011 1:37 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I sold the furniture in my dining room and converted it. We only used the formal dining room twice a year. We use the garage every day. I am enjoying your remodeling though.

February 23, 2011 9:38 PM  
Blogger MG said...

I'm just jealous you have a garage - no such luck here (unless/until I build one behind the fence. Well, something that looks like a garage from the outside but, Tardis-like, is actually a rather nice studio space on the inside...)

Kidding aside (I'm kidding?!) since much of my activity is headshots, a garage is pretty much the perfect space: with the doors open it provides a large indirect lightsource, the walls can be cheated either as a formal background or a more natural "NY loft-style" look if controlled with shallow dof, and it provides the most beautiful complex catchlights in eyes.

Look forward to the blow-by-blow of the rest of the conversion (and did I mention I'm jealous?! :)

February 27, 2011 3:13 PM  
Blogger MG said...

PS Is it possible with clamps to use those door rails as booms, in the same way an overhead grid can provide high lighting? Since they're already there....

February 27, 2011 3:18 PM  

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