flash and lighting

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mal0780, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. mal0780

    mal0780 TPF Noob!

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    New to photography. Trying to take photos with white/black backdrop. What type of flash set up would be needed? or recommended? Is the flash on the nikon d200 sufficient or does the camera need different flash. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want to start doing any of that you will want an off camera flash. Something like an sb600 is a nice start an sb800 is better and an sb900 is best. You will also want to look at some triggers and an umbrella/softbox as well. GL
    TJ
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The D200 does have the Commander Mode which will fire those flashes wirelessly. See page 161 of your manual. I like the SB800 the most, but the SB600 is pretty good also. You could also look at something like the Vivatar 285 if you want to go cheaper, but then you'd need either a PC synch cord or wireless trigger.

    You can do quite a bit with just one flash. start there and build up as needed. If you go off camera you will also want to look at a light stand, flash bracket, modifiers........ and so on.
     
  4. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    What are you intending to shoot in front of white/black backdrops?
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    For a typical white backdrop type of shot, you need a separate light (or two) for just the background. If you try to light the subject and the background with the same light, the background is likely to look grey, rather than white.
     
  6. mal0780

    mal0780 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your suggestions. I plan to take pics of the kids (2 yrs, 8 month twins). I bought 2 basic backdrops. After reading and trial, I need lighting. I have the backdrop set up in what use to be our dinning room, which has a fair amount of sunlight. If i were to use on of the sb flashes, would I still need to have backdrop lighting..and if so what type
    Also, what does the lighting ring around the lens do?
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    A ring light is typically used for close up face shots in fashion photography to show off the makeup job.

    One of the big problems with using the little built-in, pop-up flash is it's so close to the lens axis you can frequently see light from it reflecting off of the subject retinea. It's called "red eye" and it's not very natural looking.

    The way to avoid that is to get the light off of the camera, or at least well above the lens axis.

    Light on the lens axis doesn't produce shadows that are complimentary to the human face. Light that is to high on the lens axis can give the subject "racoon eyes" (deep shadows in the eye sockets) as an example.

    Which brings up one of the reasons to use light in the first place: To make shadows that compliment the subjects features.

    You don't mention what direction the window light in your 'new studio' comes from. North facing windows are best overall. South facing windows get to harsh in the wintertime and east/west facing windows become problematic in the morning and evening respectively, which is kind of ironic, because outside those are the best time to be shooting portraits.

    You also don't mention what you have available in the way of lenses. If you have a fast enough lens selection a relector or two may work with the window light almost as effectively as a speedlight or two.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010

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