Studio refurbishment

For reasons I won’t bore you with now, my wife and I need to be rather careful regarding respiratory infections. I did my last model shoot 2020-03-08, shut everything down pro tem due to COVID. Amongst other projects, I used the time-out to undertake a fairly major refurbishment of my studio. I wanted to pursue my obsession with getting as much stuff off the floor as possible – and avoiding cables draped all over the show.

I also wanted to make the space as versatile as possible, so it can flip from being a studio, to an office to an auditorium and back again, with each transition taking less than five minutes. These days one cannot afford to have 25m² prime real estate lying around idle. Unsurprisingly, refurbishment took quite a lot of bloody hard work.

Improvements

Amongst many other things, the upgrade included, in no particular order…

  • Repairs to concrete floor.
  • Stripped cleaned and painted walls, ceilings woodwork etc.
  • Dedicated mains feed, c/w built-in DMM to monitor power consumption
  • Isolating switches so room can easily and safely flip between “photography mode”, “office mode” and “auditorium mode”. Means for example that studio flash can be isolated with the flick of a single switch whilst keeping other kit running.
  • Separate feed from large UPS in garage to power GNU/Linux Media server, security cams, Ethernet switches etc. etc..
  • Trunking – to get cables off the floor.
  • Gigabit Ethernet.
  • New high efficiency radiators and thermostatic valves.
  • Wide-band aerial distribution – uses redundant TV aerial to “listen to the aeroplanes” on my computers – amongst many other things. 🙂
  • IP security cameras.
  • Raspberry Pi-4 GNU/Linux Zoneminder and WeeWX security/environment monitoring server – no moving parts an uses just 5 watts!!!
    • That came about as a spin-off from another Raspberry n4 project that friends were working on at the end of 2020, to whom I am most grateful for their input and encouragement. 🙂
  • Internal sensor cluster so WeeWX can also monitor, record and analyse temperature and relative humidity in here.
  • Moving modems, routers and other ugly stuff etc. out to the garage and combining them all on a dedicated router rack.
  • Radio/IP-controlled RGB-CCT LED lighting.
  • Added carefully measured rows of M5 metric captive nuts to paper roll mounting plates so hangers can easily be moved to accommodate 3 metre vinyl instead of conventional 2.72 metre paper.
  • Shed loads of 16mm spigots to mount studio lighting.
  • Metal-cased, wall-mounted, 12 volt 15 amp + 5 volt 5 amp DC fused distribution board. This to replace all the sodding wallwarts I used to have lying around the place.
  • Industrial flame-retardant “wheel-rated” carpet tiles.

A few snaps

Taken just before I started to put everything back…

20211203-p2420028-studio-refurb-completed

Image 1 of 13

It’s become a fabulous work room, I’m really rather pleased with it. But so far, it’s only been used for fixing computers, remotely upgrading customers’ GNU/Linux servers, photographing electronic kit, writing articles and other other work-related stuff, too dull to list here. Well OK, I listened to quite a lot of music in here too lately. The acoustics are really rather good now. But no actual model shoots yet.

However, I’m just about to fix that. After fairly extensive testing of the installation, I have three time-for-print fun shoots booked here over the next couple of months. Two new models plus a 21st anniversary shoot of an Italian lass I first shot back in June 2001.  Problem now is that it’s been so long since I did a model shoot, I might need to Google which way round to hold the camera. 🙂

 

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