New Studio Set up

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Kristi's Photography, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Kristi's Photography

    Kristi's Photography TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone! I'm not a new photographer, but I'm new to studio. I have never worked at a studio or even seen how it all works, but I would like to set up a small studio in my home. So I'm asking for a LOT of help :)

    I'm going to need to buy everything and learn how to operate everything. I saw a previous post about a studio in a box, but I have a Nikon D200 and would prefer to hook up the equipment to my camera. I think I would rather have a soft box but don't know the difference between them and umbrellas. Can anyone ellaborate on the differences or let me know which ones they like better? Is there an easy package for me to get?

    Also, is there a good book or video that gives instruction on how to set up/operate studio equipment? ie: what settings/exposures to use?

    I know this is a lot but I would greatly appreciate any help!!!

    Thanks!
    Kristi
     
  2. Jklersy

    Jklersy TPF Noob!

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    well, here is a quick starter info page for you. It might help you ask more specific questions in here, as those are the ones that seem to actually get answered.

    http://photo.net/learn/studio/primer
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Let's narrow down your options.

    Do you want to shoot with constant lights (lamps) or flash/strobe? If you are shooting people, I'd strongly suggest flash.

    Do you want to be portable or will this be for in your studio only. You can do wonders with battery powered flash units (the type you would use on your hotshoe). They are relatively less expensive and are very portable if you want to shoot on location.
    The alternative is 'studio' style strobes which are bigger, more powerful and plugged into AC current...which makes them a lot less portable.

    I like softboxes better than umbrellas, especially when shooting in a smaller space like a home studio...but they are harder to transport & store etc.

    What is your budget for setting up your studio? What else, besides lights do you want to get? Backgrounds etc.

    As with most things, it's probably better to buy quality gear at the start, rather than buying something cheap and having to buy something else when you outgrow it. There are a lot of cheap 'studio in a box' products out there...but I would avoid most of them.
     
  4. Kristi's Photography

    Kristi's Photography TPF Noob!

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    Oh my goodness... ok, I'm pretty set on the flash/strobes. As far as the "flash unit" goes, that is foreing termonology to me. I'm thinking it's what tells the lights when to flash, but I'm taking an educated guess. I would prefer something thatis more portable. As far as the budget, not large but I do want quality equipment and can buy stuff in stages.

    What I really want to buy upfront is 2 lights and anything to make it work (light meter, flash unit, etc.) I just don't know what makes them work... does that make sense?

    Thank you so much already for what advise has been given and I want to learn SO much more!
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tons of good stuff to read on the STROBIST website. Highly recommended.

    www.strobist.com
     
  6. themaze76

    themaze76 TPF Noob!

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    I'm a total newb to studio lighting too, but I just picked up a great book that is answering a lot of my questions and giving me plenty of new ones. It's called "The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2" by Scott Kelby. Check it out.
     
  7. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    BigMike,
    Just wonderring ( I'm noob too ). Why flash instead of constant light ? Is it because flash can be so much brighter ?

    Thanks.
     
  8. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    Never mind. I should've just looked at the site that was linked, before asking.
    here is my answer.

    Not too many still photographers use hot lights, though, because they have the following disadvantages:

    • heat. Thousands of watts of heat that make the photographer sweat, the models sweat, and the props melt.
    • tungsten color balance. Kodak makes some nice tungsten color slide film but if you don't like it, you'll have to filter your lights and lens like crazy to use your favorite color films.
    • limited accessories. It is much easier to control a light source that isn't hot enough to light paper on fire. You can experiment with electronic flash without burning your house down. With hot lights, you must make sure that your diffusers, soft boxes, umbrellas, etc. can handle the heat.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You forgot portability. Battery powered flashes are VERY portable... getting a 110v wire 6 blocks down to the park is annoying to say the least.

    I also prefer the quality of the light... I've not seen a set that gave me an equal quality of light to a flash.
     
  10. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    Portability is true, but I left it out on purpose, because I assumed that we were talking about a home studio. Portability wouldn't be an factor there.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can also use the strobe in place of a fast shutter speed for sharper images in some instances. (depends on the direction and the amount of movement)
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    That's the big one for me...although it goes with this point...
    I read somewhere that someone had figuered out an equivelent of a studio strobe vs constant lights. An average studio strobe was equal to about 100,000 watts.

    It breaks down to how long you need the light. A flash might be 1/6000 of a second, and to get the same amount of light from a constant lamp, you might need 1/25 of a second. This is important because it's very likely to get blurry photos with a shutter speed of 1/25 but very likely to get sharp shots with a flash burst of 1/6000 (at any shutter speed).
     

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