Lately, I have been researching studio configurations. Jeremy Cowart’s Triptik Studio Walkthrough got the juices flowing; especially the rolling backdrop that doubles as storage for bounces, flags and other gear. My space is an open floorplan and I already have plenty of stuff on casters, including my edit desk. I’d never thought of something like Cowart’s rolling wall. Genius!

I made a mental note to do something similar and moved on.

Then, I stumbled across the video below from on Lifehacker. Ramsey’s concept is a bit different than Cowart’s but the “bones” are very similar. Now, I have a template to build my own “Cowart Wall”.

Aside from the usefulness and cool factor of both projects, I am sharing them because of how they relate to one another. Early in my career, I was introduced to the concept of benchmarking. The example I was given then was the ammunition manufacturer who wanted to make their bullets “shinier” and therefore more marketable.

No ammunition maker had attempted this before, so there was no reference case to guide them. To achieve their goal, the ammo maker had to step outside of their industry to look at similar products and applications. Ultimately, they found the right process in, of all things, the manufacture of lipstick cases.

In this case, I found my benchmark for the “Cowart Wall” in a mobile lumber rack design. While the applications are slightly different, all of the core principles are the same. Had I not been introduced to the concept of benchmarking years ago, I may not have made the connection between the two. Thus, the share.

Have your own cool benchmark for studio or field photography? Share it in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Triptik Studio by Jeremy Cowart