studio lighting suggestions

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by msf, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I realize this isnt a new question on these forums, but I thought I would create a new thread, to get the most up to date information.

    Up until now Ive been using a few portable flashes in a portable studio setup. But there are usually ugly shadows on the backgrop that I get to remove in post taking up time. Plus this eats up batteries and I have to wait for the flashes to recycle.

    Im thinking of making a more permanent studio, and I want to get a basic flash setup, but I dont know what flashes I should get. I dont want to break the bank on the flashes. I figure I can always upgrade later and get flashes that will make my job easier. In the mean time Ill get more basic ones that will do a good job, but just require more work.

    One idea I had was to make a wall of lights, have to main walls with about 12 lights each. I figure I can make this with some 2x4's, some plywood for the back, covered in silver paint or aluminum foil, and a light difuser on the front normally used on ceilings. But I dont know if having 12 light bulb sockets wired together would be unsafe to plug into a wall. :) Has anyone here tried this sort of thing? I like the idea of constant light because you can see the effect it has on the subject in real time, and you can take picturse faster together because your not waiting for the flashes to recharge. I dont really want to use the somewhat new light bulbs that use mercury incase something happens and some bulbs break, I guess there are new ones that dont use mercury, but are still really effecient and dont produce much heat.

    I will either go with some of these walls of light, or try to find 5 flash cheap setup, I figure 2 for the background on either corner at the top aimed at the background, two in the front on the sides, and the ability to adjust the power output so I can create contrast, and a large fill flash in the front when needed.

    Looking forward to comments and suggestions about the wall of lights.

    also if anyone knows of any good deals on basic flashes, that would be great.
     
  2. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    The wall light sounds like an elecrical hazzard and will produce way too much heat.
    Studio strobes can be purchased in a wide range of prices that will work much better and with better results.
     
  3. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Well I tried the light bulb thing. I had two stands, each with 5 lights, each 100watt bulbs *26w cfl bulbs*, so a total of 1000 watts in theory. I have to use around iso 1600 to get 1/200 @ F5.6 which is pretty sad. I even made dome things for each bulb to help direct it straight towards the subject and that didnt even really make a difference.

    So now im thinking I really have to consider flashes instead. I have been using my vivitar flashes, but recenlty they have been less than trustworthy, especially with rechargeable batteries, and the cycle time is around 15 seconds now which feels like forever during pictures.

    If anyone has any suggestions for a descent setup for around $300 I would love to hear it. I guess I just need a couple lights for the subject that I can modify the power output, and then figure something out for the background. :)
     

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