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Photo Studio

The photo studio is brand new and the department would like it to stay that way. In order to do this everyone must work together and follow some basic rules.

First, there is to be no animals in the studio with the exception of fish. This is due to insurance and health reasons. It is also suggested that children should not be brought into the studio, there are lots of lights that could be accidentally knocked over. You break it, you buy it.

The table must be cleaned spotless after each use. The cleaning supplies can be found in the workroom.

Students must clean the floor if it get messy during use. If the floor needs additional cleaning beyond your ability, let the program assistant know.

If you will be working with the backgrounds please duct tape the bottom of your shoes to avoid scuff marks.

Using the Photo Studio

Only students who are currently enrolled in Media Photography II, have completed Media Photography II or have special permission from Professor Gleason may use the photo studio.

Contact Information
The photo studio must remain locked at all times and students can get a key from the Journalism Department associate Cindy Schultz in Sage 3003.

In the case of an emergency, such as broken equipment or issues with equipment not functioning, please contact the following journalism department staff:

Dr. Gleason, Chair
Sage 3485

Cindy Schultz
Sage 3003

How to set up backdrops
There are three main backdrops:

  1. black
  2. white
  3. green-screen

These backdrops are available for students to use in the photo studio. Each backdrop will be used on one stand, which has two gold legs connected with a silver bar across the top and is located along the wall.

To attach the black and white backdrops, slide the rolls onto the horizontal silver bar by lifting the bar off the legs. To lower or raise the backdrop, adjust the height with the black adjusters on the legs.

To attach the green-screen backdrop, life the horizontal silver bar and place the loops onto the ends of the stands. Place the horizontal bar on top of the screen. Raise or lower the screen by adjusting the leg height with the black adjusters.

When using the backgrounds, make sure anyone who steps on the background has their shoes taped in order to keep the backdrops from getting marked up.

Lighting Accessories
Soft Boxes

The photo studio has multiple soft boxes to help get the best image possible. Soft boxes are used to diffuse the light so as to get a softer light source for the image.

A soft box is a large black and white box that is an enclosure around the light bulb. There is a reflective side and the back walls of the box are comprised of diffusing material at the front of the light. The sides and the back of the box are lined with a bright surface that is usually comprised of an aluminized fabric surface or aluminum foil so that it forms an efficient reflector.

Soft boxes can be used with flash or continuous light sources such as fluorescent lamps or hot lights. If you are using the soft box with a hot light you need to make sure that the soft box is heat rated so that there is not a risk of a fire hazard.

To use the soft box carefully set the stand up to the appropriate height. Make sure that everything is locked so that the stand does not collapse. After you have ensured that the stand is locked in place you can then carefully attach the soft box to the top. Be careful not to bend or tear the soft box. After the soft box is attached to the top and everything is locked in place you can then move the entire stand to the appropriate place for the photograph.


When shooting a photograph it may be necessary to use a snoot. The photo studio also has these available for students who need to control the direction and radius of a light beam for the image. Snoots help to isolate a subject when using a flash by stopping any light spill that can occur when lighting falls on a larger footprint than intended. Snoots look like a tube and attach to the light source by twisting onto the end.

Snoots are attached to the end of the light source by twisting on until tight.


Umbrellas are a very necessary aspect in the photo studio. Umbrellas are used to bounce the light back to the image. They allow the subject to be illuminated in a soft and even manner making the photograph more realistic.

To use the umbrella carefully set the stand up to the appropriate height, make sure that it is locked in place so that it does not collapse. Then open the umbrella and attach it to the top of the stand. Be careful not to tear or bend the umbrella. After the umbrella and stand are locked together you can move the umbrella to the best location for the photograph.


There are three different backgrounds in the photo studio, white, black, and green. These backgrounds are used to provide a blank canvass for the image. The green background allows the photographer to have a green screen effect in which additional images can be imported into the image after the photograph is uploaded.

To use a background you need to first lower the background stand so that you can reach the top, carefully attach the background to the middle bar and raise the stand. It is crucial that you do not let the background touch the ground so that it does not get dirty or damaged. As you raise the stand you may need to clamp the background so that it is secure. Make sure that the background is not bunched up and that it will not fall down while you are taking your images.

Workroom and Cleaning Supplies
To keep the studio in good condition, it is important to clean up after each use. Make sure you put everything back in the proper place, even if it was in the wrong spot when you got to the studio.

To clean up any spills or food-related messes, please use the supplies located in the cleaning room. Cleaning supplies are located above the sink and include glass cleaner, dish soap, hand soap, AJAX cleaner, sponges and paper toweling.

DO NOT clean the camera lens. If there are smudges, please tell Dr. Gleason and he will clean the lens.

Removing Memory Cards
Although there is no need to remove the memory cards as you will most likely be uploading your photos on the computer available in the studio, some students may wish to use their own memory cards to take the photos home to edit.

The Nikon D300s camera uses both CF (compact flash) and SD (secure digital) memory cards. To remove the CF card, slide the card cover on the right side of the camera forward. Push the ejector button, pull the card out of the slot and put it in the memory card case. To put a new CF card in, make sure the card is facing the right way (writing should facing towards the back of the camera), as trying to jam the CF card in the wrong way will damage the pins, resulting in the CF card and CF card reader slot not to work.

The SD card is located right behind the CF card. To remove the SD card, push the card in and it will slide out. Put the SD card in a memory card case. To load a new SD card, make sure the writing on the card is facing towards the back of the camera.

How to use the lights

The following are four videos that serve as an introduction to the UW Oshkosh Department of Journalism photo studio in Sage 3002.

Please watch the videos before using the studio and contact your instructor if you have any questions after watching.


The first video provides a brief introduction to the studio and explains what will be covered in the next three videos.

Part One

In this video we will be explaining how to use the Bowens lights. We will cover how to turn the lights on, how to plug the lights in, proper use of the lights and what each control does.

Part Two

This video serves as a tutorial for using the light meter.

Part Three

This video serves as an introduction to lighting accessories, such as umbrellas, soft boxes and snoots (hair lights).