Lighting

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by angelsent2thee, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. angelsent2thee

    angelsent2thee TPF Noob!

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    I recently got a Nikon D3000. This is the first DSLR camera I have ever owned and I'm still learning. My question is, if I want to do professional portraits from my home or someone else's, what lighting equipment do I need to start? What is travel friendly and durable? I have looked at lighting kits online but I don't know where to start, some only have umbrellas, etc and then others have strobes, filters, umbrellas, etc. There is also different watts and I don't know what the minimum I need is.. What do I need to get started? And what is budget friendly? I was hoping not to spend more than $200-$300 to start off. I also plan on buying backdrops. Thanks for any help!!
     
  2. Alphaem

    Alphaem TPF Noob!

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    You may be able to pick up a used light kit on e-bay or craigs list for the amount that you want to spend, I think you would probably have to pay at least 500 dollars for a new lighting kit. My suggestion is to eventually try and build up to a kit containing 3 lights (main, fill, background) possibly a fourth if you want to have a hair light. Also I would try and get softboxes for the main light and fill light. If you can get a flash meter at some point that will also help you to meter the lights properly to get pleasing ratios. In the mean time you will just have to test and put strings on your lights to measure the intensity. Sorry if this seems like a lot of instruction, but if you want pleasing light these are some good steps to take.
     
  3. AliasPros

    AliasPros TPF Noob!

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  4. mdruziak

    mdruziak TPF Noob!

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    Before you buy ANYTHING, I would suggest taking a studio photography course somewhere near you. If you are brand new to the DSLR world, you will have a lot to learn about using your camera and general photographic skills. You may even consider taking a basic photography course.

    The reason I suggest this is because there are many choices when it comes to studio lighting: backdrops, wireless triggers, modifiers, flash types etc. Then putting it all to use: lighting styles, ratios etc. Figuring this out will be overwhelming if you are just learning photography and how to use your camera.

    If you still want to jump into studio lighting checkout The Strobist. Then look at the Lighting 101 series on the right side of the screen.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definitely not something I'd ever think about buying for portraits. His stuff is over-rated and expensive. For $20 you could get a shoot through umbrella that would give you a much bigger and nicer light without losing a ton of efficieny from it.
     

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