Cheap light problem

Photogaber

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Hi guys!
Let me first say that I am not a photographer, nor a professional in this field. I am just a guy passionate about magic, and for that I want to make YouTube videos. Because professional equipments cost an arm and a leg, I tried to set up a 'studio' as cheap as possible. I have a Samsung HMX-H200 camera and two ML-40 FE3005-14 bulbs. I don't have professional light stands or lamps, so I just bought two simple table lamps that fits with the bulbs' wattage. It gives perfect video quality, but the problem is that the bulbs are so bright, that (even with sunglasses) they hurt my eyes. I am aware that they might even blind me.
What could I do about it? I can't really look away or close my eyes, because I have to watch the camera's screen, so I look almost directly into the lights. Would welding goggles be good for protecting my eyes? How do professional photographers solve this issue in the first place? I saw videos of professionals, and while they are looking at the lights they don't even wear sunglasses or any eye protection. How do they do it? A heard about softboxes and umbrellas, if they would solve this and they would be the only possible way to solve it, I might buy them (even though they are very expensive). But what I see in photography videos, lights with softboxes and umbrellas are still very bright, and I doubt that they protect your eyes. Also I tried to cover the lights with a white cloth, but then the video quality gets worse drastically.
I guess you guys have a ton of experience in this, but I have no clue how to solve this problem, so please help me out.
 

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Dinardy

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You might want to try diffusing the lights, just be careful not to burn the house down...

Sent from my iPhone
 

tirediron

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Diffusers will definitely help, however you will lose light. You can try something as simple as a large piece of white, rip-stop nylon in front of the light or buy a couple of cheap, off-shore soft-boxes from eBay (You will have to do a little D-I-Y/duct-tape modification) In the case of professional shoots, they're likely using something like a Kino Flo system which produces the light over the length of multiple fluorescent tubes, eliminating that single, bright spot that's bothering you.

Unfortunately, you in a compromise situation, so there's little you can do but "make do".
 

Big Mike

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You have to look at the screen...but I don't see why you have to stare into the light. Just move the lights away from the camera position.

When a photographer is trying to create 'good quality' lighting, right beside the camera is usually the last place that they would want to place their (main) lights.
And as mentioned, softening the lights will help. So soften light, you need to make it larger, relative to the subject. That usually means putting some sort of large diffusion material between the light and the subject. Another option would be to turn the lights around and point them onto a wall...the wall reflects the light, and thus becomes the light source.
 
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Photogaber

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Thanks. I will try out some diffusion materials.
Also, what do you think about welding goggles? Would they be safe for using with an intense light like that?
 

Derrel

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Why not put the bulbs into parabolic reflectors, so that the exposed bulbs are shielded by the reflectors? You know, something as simple as a "clamp light" type of reflector will help.

You do NOT have to have the bulbs "exposed"; you could enclose them inside of globes or whatever, or position some kind of reflector or shroud between you and the bulbs.
 

Big Mike

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If a couple of 40 Watt CFL bulbs are hurting your eyes, you may have other issues. Maybe you should see an optometrist.

Like I said, why not try placing there where they will illuminate only where you need the light, and don't point them into your eyes.
 

Scatterbrained

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Thanks. I will try out some diffusion materials.
Also, what do you think about welding goggles? Would they be safe for using with an intense light like that?
Have you ever worn welding goggles? You literally can't see anything through them, even when outside in the sun. I can't imagine how you'd perform tricks and demonstrations when you can't see what you're doing.
As has been mentioned, simply moving the lights so they aren't shining right in your face should be enough. Get them up above you head height and aim them down, then you're not staring into them when you look at the camera. You could get some halogen work lamps from a hardware store that come with their own tripod for under $100. They are quite bright, yet you can put them over your head so the light isn't coming straight at you.
 

tirediron

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Have you ever worn welding goggles? You literally can't see anything through them, even when outside in the sun.
It depends on how dark they are; if you buy brazing goggles which you can get in all sorts of style in a shade 3 or 4, they're not much darker than good sunglasses. Arc-welding protection on the other hand is much darker, and when you get into shades 12-14, you really can't see a lot, even outside on a bright day.
 

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