Beginner's lighting. What do you want to know?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Village Idiot, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Let's see if this thread works or if anyone responds to it at all. Ask a question, get an answer. Any question. "Why do flashes make my pictures suck so bad", "what's a flash", "how can I light this situation", etc... There's more than enough knowledgable people on here to explain the answer to any question here.

    So....go!
     
  2. seamus14

    seamus14 TPF Noob!

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    Well, since I need more help than one questions can answers can you recommend some books on the subject. I'd be interested in learning about the use of various types of lighting equipment and it's application.

    Thanks
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As far as lighting application, if you're doing off camera lighting, "Light Science & Magic" is a good book to read through. It shows you how to light certain situations and problems. It's fairly technical and can provide a good base to start off with. I'm not sure of anything as far as books that are for what types of light to use.

    What are you planning on shooting?
     
  4. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    if I am using a reflector (which i have never done yet) how do I know where to place it?
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You ask yourself where you want more light, then you look at where the light is coming from and place the reflector in a position that will reflect some light to where you want it. The closer the reflector is to the subject, the stronger the light will be.

    If you are using constant light or flash/strobe lights that have modeling lamps, you can usually see a change on the subject when it's reflecting light onto a spot/area. If you are using Speedlites (hot shoe flash units) then you may have to try a bit of guess and test...but it's usually pretty straight forward as to the direction & angle that you need.

    As for where to place/use a reflector for artistic purposes...that's up to you. :)
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another idea could be to imagine the light as a tangible object. You know it's emitting from your flash like a giant ray. Your reflector will catch some of the bounce and aim it where you're pointing it at. You know your reflector is fairly large, doesn't emit it's own light, and so can be no more intense than the source light. Like your flash, any light that comes off of it dies down the further away it is. Treat it as a 2nd less powerful flash. If you want less power from your reflector you pull it back, if you want more you put it closer.

    Basically like Mike said, but with a little more visualization involved.
     
  7. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Great thread VI.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good Point 'VI'.

    Once we can 'visualize' light...it all starts to make sense. I think that is one of the biggest challenges for beginners especially when using flash.

    I can remember a personal 'Eureka' moment when I started to 'see the light' rather than just looking at what the light was hitting. A good example is a beautiful, colorful sunset. Most people will stop and look at the sunset...but a photographer who sees the light, will turn around and see what that light can do.
     
  9. im_trying11

    im_trying11 TPF Noob!

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    what does a softbox do??
    will a quantaray speedlight be better than the pop up on the camera
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a old Vivitar 2000 flash. (I bought it long long time ago with my 2MP digicam) I know I cannot use it with my Canon Xti as the trigger voltage is more than 100V (I measured it with my multimeter).

    Do you think I can use it as a off camera flash? Or I should better off throw it away. I am planning to get a flash for my Canon. But just want to see if that Vivitar is worth to even mess around.
     
  11. Jose Saenz

    Jose Saenz TPF Noob!

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    Yes, great idea for a thread. I'm new to photography and so I'm completely in the dark when it comes to lighting (*cue drummer) :er:.

    So out of the million questions that I have so far regarding the subject, I'll just pick one to start off with. Alright...so if I wanted to start doing studio portraits, other than the actual camera, what equipment would you guys say is absolutely essential to begin with?...what would you consider "the bare minimum kit"?

    -Jose Saenz
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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