Portable Continuous Lighting Question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Clover Black, May 20, 2008.

  1. Clover Black

    Clover Black TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, first post here.

    I have been looking into getting a portable (able to use it with no power cords) continuous light set up for exterior architectural photography.

    Admittedly I'm sort of a novice when it comes to the equipment. I shot over an email to B&H and they replied back with this set up for 1,100 dollars
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/523167-REG/Photogenic_926495_AKC740BK_StudioMax_III_Two.html

    Can anyone recommend a decent set up for what I'm looking for (mainly, low level residential buildings) and the ease of portability?

    Thank you in advance for the input.
     
  2. Nimitz

    Nimitz TPF Noob!

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    I think you may be confusing terms a bit. I'm not aware of any continuous lighting that does not have a power cord since that is what continuous lighting is - powerful daylight color temp (usually) lamps that you just plug into a socket. I think what you are talking about are mono light strobes. These are self contained studio strobes which do not require a power pack, are completely self-contained so that you can just plug them into a 110 outlet which makes them portable as well.

    I have a set of 3 Alien Bee B800 mono lights which I use for my in-home pet portraits. These strobes need to be portable since I go to the client's home to do the portrait session with their pet.

    For the money I don't think you can buy a better mono light then Alien Bees (www.alienbees.com) . best of all you can call their customer service, discuss what you are trying to do & they will recommend the appropriate strobes. They are VERY helpul for first time strobe buyers ...

    You said you are trying to shoot exterior buildings which brings up the question of enough power. How large of an area will you be shooting? You may find it very difficult & cost prohibitive to buy strobes powerful enough - or maybe I don't understand what you are trying to light?
     
  3. Clover Black

    Clover Black TPF Noob!

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    Ah, thanks for the input. Yeah, basically I'm trying to light exterior fronts of residential homes, 1 to 2 stories with enough light at a, say, dusk shot.

    Maybe I'm thinking too much outside the box for a continuous light with out a power source (lol).
     
  4. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Many people find light at dusk almost ideal by itself. Try setting up on a tripod and shooting available light. You might like it, and it's free.
     
  5. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    This is obvious but if you shoot with the sun to your back you're going to get great results. You could try combining layers as well to get both the house and surroudings properly exposed. I think lights that will evenly light a whole house are going to cost quite a bit and probably need a power cord.
     
  6. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Like the others suggested, Clover, lighting up the fronts of residential homes artificially is going to require motion picture set type lighting. Thousands of wattseconds! Ditto dollars! Not to mention 3 assistants.
    If I were you I'd dial down my ISO amap, get a sturdy tripod, possibly an ND filter or 2, learn the art of slow shutter speed exposures with available light, and then do magic with HDRI!
    Simple really. :lol:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And no amount of extra light that the photog could have brought to bear could have wrought this. Pure available light, excellent exposure, and professional level editing. HDRI to the max, of course.
    It's a choice. But it does demo the amount of control you can have over available light! It's up to you what you do with that control.

    [​IMG]
     

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