Is this a good document for setting up a studio?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by hankejp, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Good reference. The best way to learn of course is to experiment and shoot. Then experiment some more then shoot some more. After that shoot some more photos using different setups.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I don't think it's all that great a setup, since it is basically a power pack, two medium-level light heads, and two medium-sized Westcott soft boxes and a couple light stands and a 6 in 1 reflector. That is simply not a very versatile or complete setup. You need more than just two softboxes and two lights; you need something to light backgrounds, hair, etc. I think a person really wants, ideally, five light heads and some basic modifiers: At least one large reflector/diffusion panel of at least 42x72 inches, a heavy duty boom stand with a 15 pound counterweight, at least two 11.5 inch 50 to 65 degree reflectors with barn doors and 20 and 35 degree grids, two diffusers for 11.5 inch reflectors, two 7 inch reflectors with a set of grids and some diffusers, 4 umbrellas, a 36x48 softbox, a backlight stand, and four solid light stands. With those types of interchangeable reflectors, grids, diffusers,and barn doors, you can do all types of lighting. You do not need a "lot" of power for people photography. A single, six-outlet 1200 watt-second pack would be adequate to run up to six lights, or two, 4-outlet 800 watt-second packs.

    As far as the new flourescent lights shown in the second half of that oddly put together .pdf document...I don't have any experience with them, and am not interested in continuous lighting for portraits.
     
  4. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both for your replies. It give me something to think about. I've never setup a studio before and would like to give it a whirl.
     
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    5 heads are nice but you can start with 3 and do great work by also using some reflectors which you can make yourself.

    I am not a big fan of umbrellas in small studios with white walls as home studios most often are.

    A lot of accessories are not a necessity when you start as you can either make them yourself cheaply or find other ways to do things. Being creative with your gear can save you a lot of money.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I neglected to mention; work with what you have and start off super simple. One light and a bounce card will do. The most important ting at this point is to figure out how to work with light. From there you can work your way up and start lighting hair and background.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, the thing I disliked about that power pack shown in the document the OP showed was that it is "just" a 2-outlet power pack. I was raised on Speedotron power packs, which have (for the most part) 4 outlets or 6 outlets on each power pack; that means you can buy a power supply and have room to expand. The newer Profoto 2,400 watt-second packs that cost $2,200 and offer three outlets, with three flash heads at $900 each, are in my opinion, a good example of another system that is grossly overpriced for the beginner. Too many W/S through too few outlets for maximum flexibility.

    As far as umbrellas in smaller shooting areas--conventional umbrellas, and most especially shoot-through umbrellas are a major PITA in smaller areas. Enclosed umbrellas like the Lastolite Umbrella Box and the Photek Softlighter,which are basically reflecting umbrellas with an outer diffusion cover, offer softbox-like light quality, and hardly any ambient spill in your shooting area. I think there's a big danger in looking at the "Strobist" type web sites talking about using shoot-through umbrellas with studio flash gear: when you start using "real" studio strobes with typical shoot-through umbrellas, the higher output and the wider spread of most monolights or studio heads means that shoot-through umbrellas blast half of the light forward, and the other half of the light backwards, so it spills all over the shooting area--and that can create its own fill light in smaller areas.

    The enclosed, double-diffusion umbrellas like 1) the Lastolite Umbrella Box and 2) the Photek Softlighter are NOT the same thing as what Paul C. Buff and others call a "brolly box", which is just a shoot-through umbrella with a back cover on it...Annie Liebovitz loves the Photek Softlighter becasue it works a lot like a softbox, and is lightweight and easy to set up and maneuver,and it gives a beautiful quality of light. The inexpensive "brolly boxes" sold by others are, IMO, junky and are simply a terrible concept. Some of the inexpensive eBay enclosed umbrellas that LOOK like the Photek or Lastolite have a lot of UV brighteners in their cheap-o fabrics,and are really not worth messing around with.

    If I were in the market today to set up a studio, I would call Calumet and ask them to send me their catalogue,and I would do some real research into the various systems. The last time I checked, Calumet had widest selection of lighting gear of any single location.
     

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