Can we discuss lighting?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by asfixiate, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    What type of lighting is a must?(excluding the obvious Flash). I've read a few sites as well as books and softbox seems to be one of the must haves but I've not seen brands yet. Even considering making my own.

    Anyone who can share some info would be great. Village and Jerry if you're out there I'm pretty sure you'll chime in.

    I'm still looking online and doing my own research I'm just really looking for own personal preferences.
     
  2. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Look for articles by Ron Jegerings, an excellent writer/mentor who wrote numerous articles for Photo Technics magazine. He's an easy, enjoyable read, and doesn't miss a beat in the way he touches on every aspect of a subject.
     
  3. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Great! Thanks Early. I saw a thread JerryPh posted regarding strobist.blog.com but this should be good and what I need.
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Strobist is excellent. It got me started and there's night and day difference between my photos then and my photos now. Come to think of it, when I first started, I had no desire to shoot people and now that's probably my favorite part.

    Any ways, you're talking about lighting modifiers. Soft boxes, umbrellas, reflectors, snoots, grids, barndoors, and anything else like that are just modifiers.

    I usually use umbrellas with my speed lights. When I finally get decent space for a studio, I'll pick up a set of lights and start using softboxes. The problem with trying to use a large softbox is that it takes a lot of light to light one. Most of the big ones (about 2'x3' or bigger) that I've seen people use with speed lights are usually lit by two speed lights to get enough light to make one useful. But then again, trying to use a softbox in a field with a studio strobe that's not ran on AA's can be an endeavor.

    It all comes down to practice.

    Also, the strobist site explains what those modifiers do and shows examples and how to use them. The rest is just up to you and your creativity.

    I did some film noir shots with two strips of duct tape over the flash head, limiting the light to about a 3"x 1/2" slit. It created an extremely hard light and turned out perfect. $0.02 worth of material based on an idea and some knowledge from strobist.

    I think the biggest thing to do at this point if you're interested in lighting is to learn how it works and how to control it. Whenever I shoot, I tend to visualize the shot I want and then setup the lights with all appropriate modifers to attain that vision. It's not spray and pray.

    www.strobist.com

    Also, pick up "Light Science & Magic" by Phil Hunter. It's an excellent book that teaches how light works and not "where to put your strobes for this picture", and will get you on the right track.
     
  5. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
     
  6. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    sorry to steal your topic but i dnt think its worth its own topic.

    my eos 700 film slr has a hot shoe (?is that the name) and was wondering whether an add on flash wud be beneficial for my pictures taken at gigs as some are quite dull. preferable if it would also work on a future dSLR (mostly likely 300-400D canon)
     
  7. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    quite dull? Explain. Add on flash is generally hot shoe. They're always good to have.

    I'd always recommend getting an add on flash unless your camera has a 580 EX popup flash built in.
     
  8. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    i mean they come out red quite red or blue depending on the lights on stage. as in you cant see as much detail as i'd like.

    any suggestions of which?
     
  9. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    do you have the ability to mess with white balance? Lights have a temperature. Regular house hold light bulbs can make things look orange. When you use tungsten white balance it will make things look clearer. They could also make things look blue.


    What kinds of lights on stage? Moving around all over the place?
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Flash used on top of a camera results in flat lighting and often the famous red-eye.

    Like VI, the strobist site was also invaluable to me and is likely the best source of free info on lighting anywhere.

    Light Science and Magic is good, but dry. Master's Guide to Portrait Photography is also good.

    For those on a budget, the strobist techniques and ideas are fanatasic. For those who want studio lights, one can invest from $500 to $5000 and still have a very incomplete setup. I shoot either bare flash or via umbrellas (strobes and studio lights areat my disposal and I can go up to 5 light sources if I use it all together, but I rarely need more than 2).

    Softboxes are nice but you need to push the lights harder than with umbrellas. Umbrellas dispurse light in a less controlled manner, but that never bothered me much.
     
  11. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    naa there is next to know settings on the eos 700.
    not even manual focus on the lens i have :p!
     
  12. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Jerry.
     

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