Last year I shot the cd cover for a great sax player named Bola at my old studio. This year he has a new fangled sax that has a unique sound and look, so he wanted me to capture that. It's basically an updated version of his cd cover portrait. Last time I used a 9' roll of seamless white paper for my backdrop, but now that I don't use that old studio anymore, a 30 pound, 9' roll of paper seemed pretty much out of the question. Fortunately, if you blitzkrieg enough photons at it, literally everything in any color can look white to a camera. Enter a complicated, high tech solution; linen closets. The closer to white it starts, the less battery power it'll take to nuke the backdrop to make it white. I used a bone colored curtain I borrowed from my good friend Jen at Healing Connections. A couple speedlights pointed at the curtain and instantly I done had me a professional studio. Yee haw! You can even make it just slightly off white, and a couple magic wand clicks later, you have literally perfect white. You don't need crazy equipment in the least. A bed sheet, a couple speedlights and an umbrella in a dirty basement can get you pretty much the same result as a 10,000 square foot, state of the art techno wonder facility.
The camera doesn't care if you are in a war zone or the Garden of Eden, that shot will look the same. It's a handy backup plan if you end up in a place that looks part dungeon, part municipal dump. Now Bola's home is absolutely immaculate, but the shot still required a clean backdrop, devoid of beautiful furniture and artwork. He was certainly right though, that is one of the coolest looking instruments I've seen.
Essential equipment for any ultra high tech, modern studio.