A Little Direction, Please

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by themaze76, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. themaze76

    themaze76 TPF Noob!

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    I've been taking photos for a while, but mostly nature and abstract. I've been asked to take several portraits lately and I must say, I'm beginning to enjoy it. Right now, I have a D300 and an SB 600 which I can command off the D300, but I need more light.

    I'm not up to spending a tremendous amount of money on a full lighting set-up right now, especially because I'm very new to it, but, I'm trying to decide if I should get a small strobe kit, constant kit, or two more SB 600s and a few umbrellas and reflectors. Whatever I get has to be mobile because I live in the sticks and have to travel with all my gear.

    Opinions please.
     
  2. TMJack

    TMJack TPF Noob!

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    I am new on this forum, but felt I should jump right in and get started. I started with just one SB600 and my D300. Best thing I did was to get it OFF the camera and use a reflector for inside shots. Outdoors you can use the available light as your key or fill, and if you have one of those 5 way reflectors you can diffuse it too. Then use the 600 for a slight fill or key. I like to set my flashes at manual settings instead of the iTTL when I have time to get everything set correctly. To start out I set manual exposure for the ambient keeping within my sinc speed, then add the key with the 600 or diffused sunlight, then add fill to desired level. I started adding the 800's later for backlighting, rimlighting and special effects etc. Start off small and make it work with the reflectors, then add as you develope your style. Sure the SB's are not cheap, but then they are portable as apposed to say the more expensive photogenic strobes with a pack. Hope this helps.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Break out your camera and flash manuals and read up on Nikon's CLS. Getting that flash off camera is a good start. Right there, you instantly have *2* light sources to play with.

    Google Nikon CLS for more info.
     
  4. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Another option is to get some cheap flashes such as Vivitar 285HV's (about $89 each), and trigger them with with some kind of radio trigger (cheap Cactus triggers are fine for learning). You will have to shoot in full manual mode, which isn't too hard, but it's cheap and portable. CLS is nice, but those SB800's will add up quickly!

    Also a reflector is very handy .. I have one of those collapsible disc ones with white on one side and half gold, half silver on the other side. It's amazing what it can do in sunlight!
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    CLS is VERY good especially for someone less experienced or in dynamic fast changing conditions. And SB-600s are under 175US in a ton of places. ;)

    I use both, and take advantage of both based on my needs/desires.
     

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