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Old 02-28-2006, 01:41 PM
Scott_Haraldson Scott_Haraldson is offline
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Building a photo booth

Ever since I found the site http://www.redcheese.com a few years ago I've always wanted to build my own photo booth. I've never really had any reason to do it though. Then, as of about a month ago, I got engaged and talking it over with my finacee we think it would be really cool to have a photo booth at our reception. This way we could have photos of our guests that allowed them to be creative.

I figured I'd start a post here in the chance that anyone has some ideas for doing camera to computer capture, lighting, construction, or any other ideas to make this thing as good as it can be (on a budget of course )

Here is what I kind of had planned in my mind.

1. Design the whole thing so that it can seperate at the middle. I figure this will make it easier to be able to move it through a doorway. If I build it in two sections, each wide enough to clear a standard doorway it will allow more room inside the booth for multiple people to be inside it. I could use some kind of latch on each side to snap it together for strength. This will also make it easier to transport in the back of a pick-up truck.

2. Not sure what color to paint the whole thing but I plan to paint the ceiling white and use an off camera flash shoe cord to bounce the flash off the ceiling providing even lighting inside the room. This is an area I'm not quite sure how it will work if the booth is overly crowded to get good lighting throughout.

3. Have the camera (I have a Nikon D1h with a fish eye lens that I figure to use) hooked up via firewire to a laptop computer to store the photos. I plan to have everything hidden behind a wall to keep people from screwing with the equipment. Based on the sample photos I've seen (http://www.redcheese.com/gallery/vie...albumName=best), everything is in good focus no matter where the person is in front of the camera. I wonder if the camera would be best off being a bit back from the opening in the wall and maybe use a piece of plexi glass to cover the opening to keep people from touching the camera. The opening would have to be wide enough to keep it from showing up in the photo. Not sure about this part.

4. I'd also like to have the laptop (or even a desktop machine) hooked up to an external monitor that could be located inside the booth, maybe even a second on the outside for others to see, so people could see the picture that was just taken for a few seconds. Not sure what kind of capture software that is out there (not to expensive) that could be used to accomplish this. The Red Cheese booth takes five consecutive pictures, all seperated by five second between each. Just like the old school photo booth that you might find at a mall.

5. Use a remote trigger that could be connected to larger button so someone inside the booth can trigger the camera themselves. The camera would be then set on a few second delay before the picture is taken.

4. Have a clock somewhere on the booth and sheets of paper with the website where people from the wedding can go see there photo. On the sheet would be a place where they can write the time they had their photo taken and the website would be setup so pictures were in order by the time they were taken (just like the redcheese site). I'd like this whole thing to be running on its own.

Anyone think I can pull this off? Have any suggestions? Tips for connecting camera to computer, to external monitor so that pictures can be seen after the photo is taken?

Here is a little drawing I came up with for what I think it might look at. Imagine it to have sides with a door and curtain to enter from one or both sides.



Tips? Advice? Am I crazy?




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Old 02-28-2006, 01:58 PM
Angel_Morales
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Re: Building a photo booth

Hey,
You could use a constant light source too, like flourescent lights with several bulbs built into it (maybe 2 side by side, but separated by about a foot). Gives you the Kino-flow look, which I like a lot. Also you could have a shutter release bulb inside the booth for the subjects to trigger the camera. It's easy to color balance the flourenscent day light balanced bulbs too, with the software in post or right in the camera with a preset custom setting too, using a digital gray card. Block out the outside with some black duvatene (spelling), basically some black velvet like fabric to cover the whole thing and make it private and also, give nice saturation to the thing (pics) etc. Jm2c!
-Angel

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Old 02-28-2006, 01:58 PM
Ed_Rogers Ed_Rogers is offline
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Re: Building a photo booth

Hey Scott,

Crazy? Maybe? Definately ambitious. Your biggest hurdle would be finding or writing software to do the printing/previewing because that's the whole catch. Printing out the shots immediatly. Instant gratification. Otherwise it looses most of it's immediate "sex" appeal. It can definately be done, anything can! But do you have the time, dollars and most importantly, market?

Good luck,

Ed

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Old 02-28-2006, 02:10 PM
Scott_Haraldson Scott_Haraldson is offline
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Re: Building a photo booth

[ QUOTE ]
Hey Scott,

Crazy? Maybe? Definately ambitious. Your biggest hurdle would be finding or writing software to do the printing/previewing because that's the whole catch. Printing out the shots immediatly. Instant gratification. Otherwise it looses most of it's immediate "sex" appeal. It can definately be done, anything can! But do you have the time, dollars and most importantly, market?

Good luck,

Ed

[/ QUOTE ]

Just to clarify I'm looking to build mine for personal use (my own wedding), unlike redcheese.com. Instead of having our photographer take pictures of guests, friends, family goofing off etc. they can have their photos taken in the booth. Because of that I don't plan to have any setup for on site printing.

The thing will probably be put in my basement after the event is over and probably get used anytime we have a party or people over.

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Old 02-28-2006, 03:35 PM
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David_Buzzard David_Buzzard is offline
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Re: Building a photo booth

Having shot +/- 500 weddings over the years, I'd say that would be totally novel thing to do. I don't think it's a hugely difficult thing to do technically, but probably pretty labour intensive. Here are a couple of suggestions that might help you out.

1) Corrigated white plastic sheeting is great for reflecting light, and you can use it instead of plywood (or whatever you were going to build it out of). You would have to build a frame to attach it, but it's still a lot easier to deal with than a big structure.

2) I would have one flash on the camera, and another bounced off the ceiling. If you just bounce it off the ceiling, then you'll end up with crazy looking shadows under eyes and chins, as the light will be coming straight down from overhead. In such a small space, a small flash with an cheap ($20 to $50) optical slave would do the trick for lighting the ceiling and background. Since it's a static set up, you can adjust the levels of the flash and leave it the same for all the photos, and not have to deal with multi TTL flashes.

3) A laptop with Nikon Capture Control would work great for tethering. You don't need a desktop computer for it, but you do need to have a Firewire conection. You could fire it with a laptop remote control like what you would use for Powerpoint shows. There are a few really good image browser programs that would work well for viewing the images. Nikon View would probably be too slow and cumbersome.

Good luck,

David Buzzard

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Old 02-28-2006, 07:00 PM
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michael_gunawan michael_gunawan is offline
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Re: Building a photo booth

Scott, it's a great & fun idea
It should work
I don't know about D1H, but D100,D70 and D200 won't last long on battery when tethered to a laptop/desktop.
IMHO,better use an AC adapter to power the camera

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Old 03-01-2006, 12:13 AM
Ian_McCausland Ian_McCausland is offline
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Re: Building a photo booth

I haven't used Autotmator that much on OS X but I think you could create an action that could gang them up and then print them out..


Keep reporting on your developments on this project, as I ofetn woder about doing something like this. I have an old Nikon 990 with a fisheye attachment that would work great for this!

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