Lighting options

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nlb2282, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. nlb2282

    nlb2282 TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking to buy some lighting equipment to use for taking pictures of my daughter and maybe of our friend's children. I'm really just looking for a basic setup and know very little about off camera lighting. I have a Speedlite 430EX II so I was thinking about buying a stand and umbrella and using that. I also was looking at the Genesis 200 light package. Any thoughts on which option would be better?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Either option will work, but you will probably want more than one light, eventually, so you should decide what direction you want to go in.

    In practical terms, the big difference is that one is a 'hot shoe' flash and the other is a studio style strobe. The flash unit runs on AA batteries, which makes it very portable. You can stick it on a stand with an umbrella, and you can have studio quality lighting anywhere you want. But if you are only (or mostly) going to be shooting in your house, then you will have access to AC power, which is what the studio lights need.
    You can use the two types together as well.

    I don't have any experience with the Genesis lights, but I've heard that they are pretty good. You might also look at www.alienbees.com.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I believe that beginners learn studio lighting better if they have a modeling light to help guide them in positioning the light, and to help them actually see where the shadows fall, and where the catchlights are in the eyes. Given the price/value equation of the Genesis monolight, I think the better choice is to spend the $169 for the monolight kit, and have a proper studio flash unit to learn with. Others might agree or disagree.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  5. nlb2282

    nlb2282 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the advice. So would it be better to have two lights as opposed to one light and then a reflector?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    It's hard to say what is really 'better'. Two light would be more versatile, but it can be more confusing to learn lighting when you start introducing multiple lights.
    Heck, you can do a lot with no lights, just a window and a reflector.

    After you learn the basics, you may find that you want three or four lights.
    A basic 'studio portrait' lighting kit might have 4 light. A main (key) light, a fill light, a hair/accent light and a background light. It wouldn't be too hard to use a reflector for fill, hair or accent lighting, but it's up to you.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ABSOLUTELY!!

    Without a doubt, a modeling light is such a plus especially when learning.


    -Pete
     

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