Lighting Setup- What do I buy??? HELP!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cmsmitty, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. cmsmitty

    cmsmitty TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would like to take home pictures of my daughters over the next couple of years and I need good lighting. I currently have 2 umbrella lights and they are NOT cutting it for me. I need more light!

    I have read all about Soft box and strobe lights, but I am totally confused on what to buy and I don't want to spend a fortune (this is a hobby). Most pictures will be inside with a white backdrop. Any recco's would be great!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    For shooting people, I really recommend flash (strobe) lights over constant lighting. While there is a steeper learning curve, it makes it much easier to get nice crisp shots.

    Once you have decided on the type of lights you want, then you can choose which modifiers you will get to go with them. Umbrellas & softboxes are used to make the light softer, which is usually preferred for shooting portraits. They essentially do the same thing but they obviously have their differences.

    So what is your budget?
    "I don't want to spend a fortune" means different things to different people.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,216
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Speedlights give the advantages of easy portability because they are small and battery powered.

    You don't mention what brand of camerayou have but many Nikon and Canon cameras have a built-in wireless triggering system for speedlights that are set up off camera. There are also inexpensive radio triggers available for hobby use. Medium gray makes a more versatile background color than white IMO.
     
  4. cmsmitty

    cmsmitty TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Ideally less than $250...is that even possible??
    I have A Nikon D60 and a Precision Design DSLR300 Universal Flash.

    Ok dumb question-- is a strobe a flash that sits on your camera or something you put on a tripod?
     
  5. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    For the most part, the terms strobe and flash can be used interchangeably. However, it's common that we say a 'flash' is the unit that can sit in the camera' hot shoe and a 'strobe' is a studio style light that goes onto a light stand and plugs into a power outlet. But you can also use a flash on a light stand (or tripod etc).

    HERE are some kits for using flash units on stands.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Stop. Take a huge breath and SLOW DOWN. :)

    It is INCREDIBLE what one can do with a couple of good speedlights. Every day I am always more and more impressed. Knowledge makes a huge difference.

    Time to spend some valuable study time and lots of practice thanks to the Strobist site. Look for Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 links, and start from there. Read, practice, learn!

    I cannot overpower the sun, but I can come very close with 2 good speedlights (bare) on full power under certain very bright circumstances:
    [​IMG]

    The sun in this shot is just behind the cloud/vane of this windmill... it doesn't get any more impressive than this in terms of a display of power and possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why not head to the Adorama web site and purchase a FlashPoint monolight or two..they are very affordable,and will easily be more powerful than something like a 60 watt-second SB800 or 580-EX II speedlight. That way you will have modeling lights, so you can see where your catchlights and your shadows fall. Speedlights are fine for more experienced shooters, but I think beginners learn better and faster by having modeling lights, plus having modeling lights allows your camera's AF system to focus better indoors, and also avoids those "raccoon pupil eyes" that come from blasting people sitting in a semi-darkened room with a couple of speedlights.

    Right now, the FlashPoint model II 320 is selling for $99.95 with free shipping. It's a 150 watt-second unit. You could buy two for $200,and use the umbrellas and light stands that you already have.

    Monolights
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

buying a lighting setup