For my birthday this year, my family bought me a Mini photo studio (Width 505mm, Depth 400mm, Height 390mm) from eBay. Current cost Aug ’14 ~ £80 in UK. I have been using this ever since to photograph flowers and various other subjects with better success.
It comes flat-packed and needs some assembling. But it is fairly straight forward with the instructions, so should not cause any problems. It comes with 2 fluorescent tubes and the necessary electrics to light up the subject. I have set my Mini photo studio up to shoot UV-imaging, as well as visible-light.
As you can see, it comes with a small 10cm hole above which I’ve used for my Xenon flash. But this was originally meant for vertical shooting down into the photo studio (similar to a copy stand). The front door opens forwards and has a front window measuring 260x190mm.
Reasons to use a mini photo studio:
1) Uncluttered background with better lighting
2) Protects everyone else from any harmful light spectrum being used for imaging (such as from UV torches or Xenon flash)
3) Particularly useful for UV-induced visible fluorescence (UVIVF) by shielding subject from wind and visible light (to some extent).
4) As this is a semi-permanent/permanent setup, it is easy to start shooting straight away just by placing the subject inside this photo studio.
5) The fluorescent tubes are quite powerful and will require reasonable shutter speeds for visible-light imaging. As an added bonus, the tubes which came with my mini photo studio does emit some UV, which can be used for UV-imaging (see images below).
As you can see there is some UV from the fluorescent tubes, but it does not go very deep – hence the paler colours in the flowers.
Overall, I am very pleased with this mini photo studio.