portrait lighting

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by maverickphoto, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. maverickphoto

    maverickphoto TPF Noob!

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    Ok im starting to get people intrested in doing some portrait sitting with me. I need some lighting. What kinda set up should i be looking for? Soft boxes? ect......and must be able to take it on locations.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Budget?

    Do you want the $300 lighting special or the $3000 lighting special?
     
  3. maverickphoto

    maverickphoto TPF Noob!

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    Good question, I was looking at around $300-400.
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cheapest thing I can think of off the top of my head involves ebay


    Set of Gadget Infinity, Cactus V2S trigger and receiver = $30
    Additional receiver = $15
    2 x Vivitar 283 = $35ea used
    2 8’ lightstands = $20ea
    2 Umbrella adapters = $15ea
    2 westcott 43” white satin shoot through umbrellas = $20ea


    The bare necessities comes to about $220. You may want a reflector and a stand. You can get better triggers, but that ends up costing you about $150-$200 more though. The GI wireless triggers can be very unreliable. It all depends on what say they were produced and how you’re intending to use them.

    The Vivitar 283’s are a work horse. They’re older but cheap on e-bay.

    The rest are just lightstands and umbrellas.

    If you know nothing about off camera lighting, I suggest you start here: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    You can create great portraits with nothing more than window light. So rather than thinking about what type of equipment you need, think about the type of portraits you want to take and then figure out what type of lighting will get you those results.
     
  6. sperry

    sperry TPF Noob!

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    agreed. good advice mike.

    and if you can't find a window one light is all you need - hot shoe and umbrella. maybe a reflector too.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/samuel.perry/portraits

    for the infants, they were taken with a window, reflector, and hotshoe on camera (my transmitter wasn't working that day). i had planned to use off-camera hotshoe but for some reason it wouldn't work that day. unwelcome surprise when you break out all of your gear and get ready to shoot. oh well, it didn't turn out completely bad.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/samuel.perry/kids

    just goes to show how little you can get away with.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cheap, but a pain. Window light isn't always where it needs to be. Having at least one strobe gives you flexibility.
     
  8. maverickphoto

    maverickphoto TPF Noob!

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    I was looking at getting a pair of pocket wizards, a strobe and a umbrella oh and a reflector. I think that should get me started?

    jason
     
  9. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Look at Alienbees. Full range of completely sufficient equipment and really well priced.

    But I still have to agree with Big Mike. You can waste an awful lot of money buying a bunch of equipment if you buy it expecting it to make great pictures for you, when you're not even quite sure what kind of pictures you want to take.
     
  10. maverickphoto

    maverickphoto TPF Noob!

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    I plan on taking family pics. Some inside and some outdoors. I even have one set up for this saturday. :) Of course its my cousion and her family and im doing it for free for the experince.
     
  11. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Good place to start. Village Idiot's suggestion about the Vivitar flashes might be the best for you, since you're just starting to get a feel for studio setup. I can't say much about the Vivitar stuff. I've never used it. But I've heard good things.

    If you wanted to spend more, I couldn't recommend Alienbees more highly.

    Just my two cents.
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unless you want portability. Just an AB B800 & Vagabond II will run you $600 where as three Sunpak 383's will be $240 new.
     

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