I'm very excited about what the UPS man brought to our house recently! In the Adorama boxes were a light stand, a Westcox 60" umbrella, and the universal umbrella clamp.
On the right side of the photo, you can see the umbrella stand, umbrella, and attached flash. And in front of the window, directly in front of the camera on the tripod, is the backdrop stand that Doug helped me create. Basically, we bought pvc piping, sawed some of it in pieces, drilled holes, bought elbow connectors, and hung a shower curtain on it. Unfortunately, there are some vertical stripes in the shower curtain. It works well enough when I blow out the background in processing. I think I need a few more holes in the pvc piping to have more options for the height, and might try some other kinds of material for the backdrop.
Oh, and the weird little toys on the floor, including the shredded stuffed animals, all belong to Ruby.
I'm slowly working my way through Zach Arias "One Light" DVDs on external flash, and Neil van Niekerk's book, "Off-Camera Flash."
So little time, so much to shoot! (But then, Doug says that too, but about squirrels!)