Lighting

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by mitsugirly, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    I'm ready to start buying some lighting for inside. The shadows and the on board flash are making me want to cry. :(

    So, I'm looking at the stands and the umbrellas...YIKES...there are so many sizes. How do I know which size to choose? 30, 32, 33, 40, 45, 43, 60...and so on. WOW. :confused: I don't even know what to think now.

    Any help on how you choose something like this would be appreciated.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Small umbrellas are for just head shots. Big umbrellas are for full body shots. Essentially you need all the sizes to cover all the possibilities, but the 40 inchers are a good place to start.

    I prefer convertable umbrellas myself. They can be used as a reflector, with the light pointing away from the subject, or shoot through with the light pointing at the subject with the umbrella in between.

    Umbrellas come with various inside colors too with white and silver being the most common and an occassional gold.

    Don't forget a 5-in-1 reflector or two.

    Here's some good products and a few tutorials. And check out PhtoFlex's Tuts.

    Then there's softboxes.

    Are you planning to use speedlights or monolights?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  3. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    I definately want one's that will do full body shots. Are the 40" one's for full body?

    I do know I want the umbrella that has the black on the back so that I can use it as a shoot through or bounce the light as well. I do know I want the inside white. At least I know that much so far. :lol:

    I don't know what the 5 in 1 reflector is....explain please. Is that just the aluminum type reflector (that I've seen people hand make from home) to bounce the light?

    Honestly, I have no idea the different between speedlights and monolights.

    Also I was wondering...do you have to have the lights that trigger/remote when the camera goes off? Or can you start with just the light that stays on all the time during the photo session? I've watched some tutorials that showed lighting technique's and they had the light on the entire time.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    OK, before you start talking about umbrellas...take a step back.

    So you want some studio type lighting equipment?

    The two choices are flash/strobe or continuous lighting. There are pros and cons to either choice, but for shooting people I would strongly recommend going with flash/strobe. You can still get studio lights that have a 'modeling light', which is a bulb that stays on, but that is only for seeing what you are doing, it's not what you use for taking the photo.

    Now, if you are going with flash type lights, there are more choices to make. Firstly, you can go with actual studio style lights. They can be fairly big and need to be plugged in to a power outlet. Or you can go with hot-shoe style flash units. These are powered by AA batteries, so they are a lot more portable, but they lack the power of a good studio strobe light and they don't have a modeling light.

    Once you make that choice, then you can start to think about light stands and light modifiers like umbrellas and softboxes. You will also need a way to trigger the lights. It could be a simple cord from the camera to one of the lights or could use some sort of remote triggering device. Studio lights usually have a built-in optical slave, meaning that if one goes off, the others do as well....so you only need to connect to one light. With flash units, you could would need something for each light.

    A big difference between constant lighting and flash/strobe is that it's harder to find your exposure with flash because the camera can't measure the flash output. This is where a flash meter comes in very handy, although you can use the trial and error method when shooting digital and don't have a flash meter.

    Here is something to look at for studio lighting. AlienBees: Illuminating the Galaxy with Professional Photographic Lighting Equipment
    Here is a 'strobist' (flash unit) kit MPEX Strobist Kits

    I'm sure you will have more questions and also note that this has been asked many times before, so don't forget to search the forum. :)
     
  5. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I decided the first thing that I'm going to buy is going to be another flash. So, I decided instead of starting another thread on what to buy, I'd add on to this that way I can always refer back to it.

    I checked ebay to try to get the best deal for what I'm looking for...money is tight and I'm on a budget, so I'm looking for a flash that I can bounce off the walls and such.

    Tell me if you think this would be ok to use and which you would go with.


    TTL SWIVEL FLASH FOR Sony Alpha A100 Minolta 7D 5D A1 - eBay (item 260402258312 end time Jul-28-09 16:34:39 PDT)
    It looks like it swivels up and down and side to side.


    Then there's this one too: **BRAND-NEW SONY ALPHA FLASH** FAST SHIPPING - eBay (item 280373122333 end time Jul-26-09 21:14:05 PDT)
    And the last one (which I can't tell if it only swivels up and down and not side to side?)


    BOUNCE SLAVE FLASH For DIGITAL NIKON CANON SONY CAMERA - eBay (item 150355626705 end time Jul-29-09 08:32:22 PDT)
    Also, if I buy one of these, I will be able to use this flash with an umbrella set up if needed right? (After buying the remotes and such).



    Thanks for your help
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    www.strobist.blogspot.com

    Plan on doing some reading:

    Start with Lighting 101 and when you're done

    read lighting 102. Then decide what to spend your hard earned money on.

    I would not recommend any of the 3 flashes you linked to.

    My minimum recommendation would be a Vivitar 285HV.
     

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