Light Me on Fire

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by apcarusoe, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. apcarusoe

    apcarusoe TPF Noob!

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    I need advice. I scooped up a space to call my "studio" although I would not call myself a "professional at this time" when it comes to the things I need to do with this space. I am comfortable with my camera (Canon 40d) and I do my best work in natural light. I use a 50mm 1.4 and a 70-200mm 2.8 IS.
    The space I just rented is a LONG rectangle. 14 ft x 30 feet. I put laminate down on the floors, and a tracking system for my backdrops, built a closet and a dressing room. I have two. large very nice windows in the FRONT of the shop, on either side of the entry door, but NO OTHER natural light. I have done a lot of shooting up front with the light from those windows, but technically, the space was designed so that space could be utilized as an "entry/display/meeting" space. There is little to no natural light in the back where I have the tracking system.
    Here's the PROBLEM: ceilings are 8ft high. Drop ceiling with 2'x4' industrial, ugly, yellowish, rectangular lights. Yes, I hate them. I have two strobe lights to my name. Each have a 110V 75W bulb with a white umbrella. I have read a LOT. Too much, at this point. This is my first move INSIDE as I have typically only ever shot either natural light or outdoors. I am cross-eyed from reading.
    There are 6 of those horrendous lights over the rear of the space where I shoot. This space is approximately 14ft x20ft +/- and i hate them. i utilize about a 10X10 space to shoot within most of the time.
    Do i shut them off and start from scratch?
    With what? What wattage? With a softbox? How many?
    Can I mask or alter their light and use it as a tool?
    With what?

    I realize there are opinions and a million options. I'm an experimenter and nothing is normal or set in stone in my world. I know how to frame someone within the light, and how to angle it to affect shadows, etc. But really, I just am looking for a setup that most closely resembles the natural light on an overcast day. From there, yes, i will play with it, but I want to have the right tools and i want to do it correctly. Please HELP. I just need the guidance of someone who has this knowledge from years of experience and sees my question as "easy" to answer.

    Truthfully, starting from zero and reading the information available is overwhelming. I just need a mentor to point me in the right direction.

    I also have a feeling this is the longest thread anyone has ever written... at least that can give you a little bit more insight as to why if i do this on my own, i will buy out the lighting industry... probably better to ask for help.

    PLEASE HELP!
    Thank you for your time. And yes, I have OCD.
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Do not fight it. Chances are you will love the control of studio light. Kill the overhead lights except for one, so you can see when setting up. After that experiment, experiment, experiment. Doing is a lot more fun then reading.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I could not agree more
     

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