Lighting: Two Options. Need Help.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by guitarmy, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Alright, here's what's up.

    My band is getting ready to release our CD. We need some new promo shots to go with the mailouts, so I figured I'd do them myself as opposed to paying someone else.

    The basement in my house is empty, with the walls painted orange and blue (royal blue). The royal blue would be a nice backdrop, and the room is long enough that I can put quite a bit of space between subject and background.

    The thing is, I don't have studio lights nor the money for studio lights.

    The way I see it, I have two options:
    • rent an SB800 (I already have an SB600) for my D50 - use those two and a reflector. Price: $30 for the weekend, $60 for a week. Or,
    • Buy a couple/three of these lights from Canadian Tire and use those with a reflector. Price: $15 a pop for 500W continuous output.
    The plus to the continuous lights is that I can reuse them to learn more about lighting. The downside is obvious - ghetto, not-all-that-powerful-but-really-hot Canadian Tire lights.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    What about outdoors?

    One problem with either the SB flash or the work lights is that they are a small light source...and will therefore give very hard light...unless you diffuse them somehow. However, hard light might be the type of 'edgy' look that would go well for your band.

    The work lights do get very, very hot...which does make them hard to diffuse, handle or stand in front of.

    What do you envision your shot will look like? What do you want to do? It may help to lay that out...and then try to decide what light source you want to use.
     
  3. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Hmm. I might be able to make a ghetto diffuser for the flashes. I imagine, since the work lights only have a 500W output, that they'd have to be pretty close to the subject, no? I could always hang a couple sheets from the ceiling.

    Outdoors would totally work, but we all work until dark. Weekends are a write-off, lately, as we are either practicing or I'm recording solo stuff.

    As for what I'd like the image to look like - I'm not totally sure. Something darker would be cool. However I wouldn't mind shooting it in a fashion so that I could PS it to use in other applications (web banners, etc).

    I enjoyed what Digital Matt did with his saxophone playing friend. That looked cool.
     
  4. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    Not really powerful?

    Um, I have two of these lights, I use them for varnishing/finishing, woodworking.

    I don't know about you, but with both of them set up in my place it seems like the second coming of frickin' christ.

    I tried taking some pictures with them in the background but had two problems.

    1. Washed out colours.
    2. Orange cast.

    I think these are heavy emitters outside the visible spectrum, and I think that may have been a part of the problem.

    An expert might be able to figure out a filter combo that would fix this problem, but then again, an expert would probably not use these worklights.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    While they certainly are 'powerful' in terms of heat and constant light output. That doesn't necessarily translate to good photographic lights. They still require time so emit a lot of light...not a long time...but certainly more time that a studio strobe. That may be the difference between a sharp photo and a blurry photo.

    The advantage of a strobe, is that it releases a vast amount of light is an a very short period of time...usually much shorter than the shutter speed of the camera. I saw someone calculate how many watts a constant light would have to be...to be as 'powerful' as a typical studio strobe (the AB800 \, I think). I don't remember exactly...but I think it was something like 100,000 watts.

    It's not really a fair comparison...one is a burst and one is constant...but it goes to show why someone would call studio strobes 'powerful' compared to those work lights.
     
  6. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Yeah. I think I'm gonna steer clear of the worklights. No point in spending the cash there, I don't think.

    My gameplan is to use my SB600, a home-made diffuser, a reflector (or two), and play around. I might try and swipe another SB600 from a buddy and see what I can do with both (if anything).

    I also might set up in my living room and shoot during the day with the window wide open. Play with the natural light and perhaps use the flash as fill. We have a nice red wall we could use as a backdrop.
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have a tripod? A tripod and natural light is your best bet. Do it outdoors if at all possible. If you do it indoors, be sure to set the white balance in your D50 manually. Lights start to be complicated.

    Outdoors. Open the lens aperture wide open. Set the self timer, and make sure there's nothing distracting in the background.
     

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