Lighting question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LitasLilDemon, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. LitasLilDemon

    LitasLilDemon TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, I am super new to photography in general, although I've been taking photos for as long as I can remember. I am really interested in getting into studio style photography, and was curious about what kind of equipment would be best to start with?

    For example, are umbrella fill lights enough to start out with? Or should I also get some soft boxes? What kind of hot lights are the best? Like I said, I'm super new, especially at lighting, so any tips or information would be amazingly helpful

    Thank you!!
    Amber
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I use Alien Bees. I have 3 lights with reflective umbrellas, shoot through umbrella, and a soft box. Love them.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    What kind of shooting are you planing to do? Do you want hot lights or strobes? Hot lights, especially in a small space, can get hot...especially for the subject.

    Alien Bees seem to be the choice for studio beginners.
     
  4. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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  5. LitasLilDemon

    LitasLilDemon TPF Noob!

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    I'm really planning to do more glamour type photography, portraits, stuff like that, and I'll be using most likely a Nikon D50 to start out with.

    If I had the money for an Alien Bees set I would definitely go with them, but my budget isn't that great right now. I'm really just looking for something basic that I can play around with and learn with, to make sure this is something I really want to invest in, you know?

    I've found a couple basic sets on Ebay that aren't too badly priced that I could go with, but I'm not sure they are really what I need. I guess what I'm asking is what is the basic equipment as far as light (types and wattage), stands, reflectors, boxes, umbrellas, etc I would need?

    Thanks again for the help so far :)
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    There is no right answer to what kind of lights, stands, reflectors, umbrellas etc. You might as well ask what kind of car you should drive to work in. ;)

    What you use will depend on what you want to do and how you use it will define your style.

    Beware of buying something too cheap...you will only end up having to upgrade sooner rather than later. From what I can tell...Alien Bees are probably some of the least expensive studio lights...and probably the best bang-for-the-buck.

    You could forgo the 'studio' lights and use a hot-shoe flash. Check this site for plenty of good info on using a hot-shoe flash off-camera.
     
  7. LitasLilDemon

    LitasLilDemon TPF Noob!

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    :) I should have figured the answer would be something to that effect, but I'd rather ask than not.

    The only reason I want to buy something cheap now is because
    1. I'm still in school getting my cosmetology license, so money is pretty hard to come by
    2. I'm still super new at photography, and although I'm pretty sure it's something I want to get involved in, I might just completely suck at it :)
    3. I'd rather have something cheap to play around with, learn with, and get good with, and then when I'm sure I want to invest in it and make a living out of it (which is my ultimate plan) I can buy something that will last. But if I end up getting bored with it or really suck, I won't have invested as much.

    The set I was looking at included the following
    • Two 100 watts Daylight light bulbs
    • Two Reflectors
    • Two A/C Swivel Umbrella Adapters rated for 500 watts each
    • Two 7 ft Light Stands
    • Two 32" umbrellas (Silver/White)
    • A Carry Case with Side Pocket
    but I wasnt sure if I would need that much equipment to start out with.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    I don't know if 100w bulbs will be very much light, especially when used with umbrellas. Might be good for smaller stuff or close ups...but I can't see that being enough to shoot a whole person for example. I may be wrong though.

    Maybe look for some books on basic studio lighting. That might give you an idea as to what you will need for the type of shooting you are looking to do.
     
  9. LitasLilDemon

    LitasLilDemon TPF Noob!

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    Yea, I wasnt sure if 100w would be enough, but the umbrella adaptors are rated up to 500w. So I could buy 500w bulbs for each, and then have a total of 1000w.

    I was looking for some lighting books yesterday, but then some creepy guy started standing right over me and breathing super heavy, so I had to quit looking. I'll keep an eye out, though :) Thanks again
     

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