More questions on lighting, building stands and wattage

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by cpeters, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. cpeters

    cpeters TPF Noob!

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    Good afternoon all,
    Today is going to be fun. I picked up the pipe for my backdrop stand and will be building it. I also got the muslin and dye for my first backdrop. Here is where I got stumped in 2 areas, building the lighting stands so they are free standing and the wattage for my lights.
    I want to build my stands out of 1" pvc pipe. That so far is no problem as Home Depot has oodles of it. My question is how do I make it free standing? None of the connectors there would do so I am stumped.
    My second question arises from lighting. I picked up 2 120 watt clamp lights from (Once Again) at Home depot. The salesman there told me under NO CIRCUMSTANCES was I to use anything higher. So I picked up 2 120 watt flood lights. Will these be strong enough for the portraits I need to do? Or can I go higher and where would I get that type of light. Once again thanks to all who have been helping me with this venture!
     
  2. kfoster

    kfoster TPF Noob!

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    cpeters,

    Not sure if I can answer your questions. I havent really gotten into the portraiture thing as of yet. I just wanted to say Hi from Allentown. Nice to see someone in the area.


    Kevin

    Heres how Id build the stand with PVC

    [​IMG]
     
  3. cpeters

    cpeters TPF Noob!

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    Hi Kevin!
    Someone else from the Allentown area on here? KEWEL! That is pretty much how I am building my stand for the backdrop. What I need is help on building the light stands. Also if 120 watt lights will be ok. Thanks!
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    This isn't particularly helpful to you, but I use three 1500W floods for my indoor modelling. That's quite a bit more light output than 120W. I suspect the salesman said that because of the housing - a clamp light is going to let heat build up. You've got to be very careful with heat when it comes to indoor constant lighting.

    Also, there was a similar thread here a while ago about using PVC tubes. The general consensus then was that you must be very careful that it doesn't collapse. Do be careful, nobody wants their studio to fall apart and hurt someone.

    Rob
     
  5. cpeters

    cpeters TPF Noob!

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    Good morning Rob!
    So can I go higher than 120 watts? I am concerned about heat, and possibility of frying the lamps but do want to take the best shot(s) possible. The back drop is almost done. I have put in a pic of it. When I put it together I noticed some sag in the center. That will be fixed this weekend by putting a bar in there.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Yes, be very careful. I wouldn't go above the rated wattage. I've seen what happens to a light when things get too hot. In this case it was one with a plastic houseing for the socket, but even the metal ones will have parts that can't deal with the long-term heat. You don't want a fire. If you want higher wattage bulbs, I'd suggest getting better lamps.
     
  7. cpeters

    cpeters TPF Noob!

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    Good afternoon Markc,
    No problem there then, I wont go over 120 watts. Will that be enough though for lighting??
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    That depends on what you want to do. Since the lamps and bulbs are failry cheap, you can bank them. Try using three as one light. You can put them in a single column or group them in a circle. A couple of feet in front of them, hang some translucent white cloth or shower curtain cut to cover the lights. This will make one large diffuse light in effect. I think you will find that a larger light further back will give you more pleasing light than a smaller one closer up. This is because light drops off by the inverse square law. I find a smaller close light to be recognizable in the image and I don't care for the light as much. It stands out to me the same way an on-camera flash does (though no where near as bad).
     
  9. cpeters

    cpeters TPF Noob!

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    Good Morning Markc!
    Ok looks like I need to get more lights then. A lady I know wants me to do a lingerie shoot of her. I am using a Olympus c-5060. Hence all the questions. Up until now I have been mostly doing straight shots without much fiddling. I was/am planning on using a 2 light setup. One as key light and the other as filler. so I would need to create 2 banks of light am I correct? Creating a filter using a sheet is no problem. My problem right now is how to make the light stands themselves and have proper lighting. I dont want to let this person down as they are rather special to me.


     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Do your light fixtures have clamps on them? A lot of those workstyle lights do. If so, you can get a vertical stand of some sort and clamp them to the shaft at various heights. For the main you could use three in a row, and for the fill, two. Just make sure the stand is stable enough. You could make small versions of the pipe stand above to drape the diffusor material over. A sheet might cut the light out too much unless it's thin.

    For lingerie shots you'll probably want the light very diffuse, so I think the above will work well.
     
  11. cpeters

    cpeters TPF Noob!

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    That is pretty much what I am intending to do at this point. How tall should the stands be?
     
  12. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Going to the ceiling would give you the most versatility, but it all depends on what you can find/make.
     

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