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Thread: Newbie -- Tried searching, but still have lighting questions..

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDawggie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JDawggie View Post
    Thanks -- I will take a look at that set. I actually picked up the Science of Light book not too long ago -- I just have not had a chance to read it yet.

    I am new to this forum -- I presume that was just back-and-forth banter?
    I apologize that this carried over into your thread. I started it and I shouldn't have.

    The book really is eye opening, and after reading it, you should be able to make your shots work with just about any sort of lighting, although, IMO strobes will be more workable. For what you want to do, an AB400 will probably be enough. If you buy one of the more powerful ones, you might run into issues with it being too powerful. Heck, even a speedlight might be appropriate, i.e. for Nikon an SB600.
    I just started reading the book yesterday -- it seems technical, but at the same time it is very easy to understand. I took a look at the AB set -- I have never worked with strobes before (hence why I am newbie)..regarding your comment about AB400 being enough and anything higher may be too much...from what I see you can control the output of the strobe. I did see the AB starter kit with AB800 (I think)...THis may be too powerful for product / flower shots? Well i am just in the discovery stage of figuring out what I want need -- most likely will buy something after the holidays!

    Again -- thanks to all that replied.
    For strobes, bigger isn't always better. For isntance, the alien bees do exhibit a slight color shift at lower power levels. It is also a bit harder to fine tune the power at the lower power levels. The more expensive Einstein lights don't exhibit the same problem. In any case, for product photography, chances are, in most cases, your light will be within a few feet of the product. You don't need much power at all to shoot at f/11, base ISO, with a strobe that close.

    In you case, you might be better off with a speedlight, lightstand, and a modifier like a softlighter II. A lot more versatile since the speedlight can be grabbed for on the go shooting a lot easier a strobe can. As a matter of fact, a speedlight pretty much never leaves my camera. The only time I actually take it off is when shooting ceremony shots at a wedding. I don't want the perception that I am using flash since that is generally a no-go in Texas weddings.
    The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health or strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.

    --George



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    Thanks Kerbouchard...A speed light is basically a flash that is off-camera, but more portable than strobe, I finally get that! One thing I am still a bit unclear on is if it would be best to use only strobes when shooting "products" such as flowers/plants indoors...or is is a combo of strobes / continuous? I also saw this set [ Kuhl Lights ] after doing a search for "product photography lighting ] , but I have not really seen too many reviews off their site....I am just trying to figure out if one strobe (B400) is the right choice if I am looking to light/shoot products or in some cases do very close (not quite macro) shoots that seem to require more uniform lighting. I am a newbie, just trying to figure out my first set up! Many thanks.

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    Well, that's where the definitions get a bit tricky. A speedlight is generally a light that can mount to your hot shoe and can be used on your camera or off your camera with appropriate triggers. They are not nearly as powerful as strobes, but they are more portable and offer a bit more flexibility. For small product shoots, you don't need very powerful lighting. Diffusers, scrims, flags, gobos, etc are more important and many of that can be made out of posterboard.

    As far as mixing flash with continuous light, it can be done, but it may make your setup more complicated than necessary. During a transition period, sometimes it can be necessary, but it probably shouldn't be your end goal.
    The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health or strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.

    --George

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    I do a lot of product photography and still life. Though I have plenty of strobes (old 2400 Ws Blackline Speedotrons and 800 Ws D-series Dynalites - which are cheap alternatives to less powerful, newer strobes) I only use them if I have to - which is usually if I need to freeze motion or when I need lots of light for large format film (ISO 100 at f/45 typically). The rest of the time I use continuous lights - mostly household incandescent lamps either diffused or reflected, or both. If you have a tripod and don't need to freeze motion, continuous lights are a viable option. It's very easy to light with continuous lights because you use the same light, same intensity for setting up and for taking.

    Best,
    Helen

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    Honestly, I do alot of shooting with flash. My 4 light setup consists of a Nikon sb-600 speedlight ($220) and 3 yongnuo yn-460 II speedlights ($45 each on ebay). Are you going to drown out the sun mid-day with them? Not likely. But I got 4 lights for under $400, and they are more than enough power for any indoor shot, especially when you are first learning. Check out Strobist ;everything on that site revolves around using small, shoe mount speedlights. He doesn't use large studio strobes for any of it, and it's pretty incredible.

    Are there times I wish I had a good set up studio strobes? Yes, but not often. I'm rarely above 1/4 power on any of my speedlights when I'm indoors. If I was you I'd pick up some yongnuo yn-460 II's on ebay, along with some yongnuo ctr-301p radio triggers for them, and a couple lightstands with umbrella mounts and 2 in one umbrellas. That setup has limitations for sure, I won't try to say it doesn't. But I'd bet it takes you at least a year to learn lighting well enough to reach those limitations. When I learned all I had was my sb-600, a light stand, and a shoot through umbrella for the first year or so.

    I'd also advise you to properly learn how to use a one light setup before trying to add in more lights. This way you can get a feel for what a single light does, and how adding another will benefit you, and when one light is enough.

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    Good info ...Thanks all!

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    Hi

    As you are a beginner , I would recommend you to use stands when shooting. And please shoot at evening / morning so that the natural light is not much intense or much gloomy.

 

 
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