Cheap lighting?


TPF Noob!
Nov 19, 2007
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Sacramento CA
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Is there a (relatively) cheap portable lighting system say on the order of a strobist setup that would perform better for in family portraits and possibly some macro work (flowers and stuff) in the field? Basically is there some way that getting a strobist type setup would not be ideal?
at first I thought speedlites (that's what the term 'strobist' usually refers to these days, not just people using strobes), but that might not be that much cheaper.

If you're outside, I would definitely recommend looking into a nice stand and reflector-holder or two. You can use these to hold up several types of reflectors and natural light modifiers. I've found that even in direct sun you can get nice, soft light if you use a diffuser like this.

for really cheap 'artificial' lighting you could buy some cheap flood lights from home depot or lowes.

for cheap (but decent quality) strobes check out They're not the top quality, but I must admit their light quality is very good and in my experiences extremely reliable. Some claim that they have exposure and white balance issues and are inconsistent, but I have NEVER had these problems with mine.
Basically my plan is to go with the speedlights strobist style but I figured I would see if there were some other ideas that might provide better results

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