But just in case there's some unnamed person out there whose creativity sometimes gets ahead of his or her orderliness, this Instructable is about how I set up a product/macro photography "studio" on one of the few flat surfaces in my apartment that tends to stay uncluttered - the top of my stove.
I was surprised at how well this worked - the stovetop/underhood light was great for lighting, and I was able to hang my drape and so forth from the vent hood.
(Note: Do Not Attempt this using a gas stove with burning pilot lights.This set-up may not be one that can be made safe for any type of gas stove. The type with igniters at each burner instead of pilot lights might be okay, but I don't think I'd try it myself. If you have actual pilot lights with little burning flames, please just skip this whole idea.
More precautions against fire are covered in Step 3.)
('Nuther note: It may also be unwise, or at least inconvenient, to do this if you share living space and/or cooking facilities with others who may want to use the stove for more conventional purposes. I leave the judgement call, and any relevant negotiations, up to you.)
Step 1: The Stuff You're Gonna Need
(Again,Do Not Attempt this using a gas stove with burning pilot lights.)
Other stuff you'll need:
- Large cutting board, or other large flat board that will fit on top of your stove.
- Background drape.
- Masking tape.
- Various clips, clamps, hooks, holder-thingos, etc.
- Camera & photographic subjects. :)
- Depending on how tall you are, a stepstool may be sometimes be handy for getting a better photo angle.
Step 2: Get the Stove & Vent Hood Reasonably Clean
Step 3: Avoid Burning Your House Down -
(That, and your house would get burnt down.)
The best reason not to use your stovetop for a photo set-up, or for anything else other than heating and cooking, is the risk of starting a fire. Putting potentially flammable drapes and other stuff on top of concentrated heat sources is generally a bad idea - unless you're going to be very smart and careful about it.
And please don't try this at all if your stove is gas rather than electric.
With an electric stove, nothing's going to heat up (barring serious electrical malfunction) unless it gets switched on, so I taped all the switches securely in their "OFF" positions. Now I know that nothing's going to get turned on accidentally.
Having a fire extinguisher within arm's reach is probably not strictly necessary, but it doesn't hurt.
Step 4: Hanging the Background Drape
Step 5: Supporting the Foot of the Drape
Exactly how you support your extra drape will depend on the details of your drape; your various clips, clamps and holders (or, in a pinch, masking tape); and your stovetop & oven door. Just be sure to leave a short loop at the front for ease of curvature and adjustments.