Continous Lighting

BillyG

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I as I stated in my Hello plan to do product photography as A hobby. I would like to know what you suggest for continuous lighting please keep in mind I am not A rich person. I am looking for A three light set. Any help? BillyG.
 

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I don't. Continuous lighting is very limiting. Granted, it may seem easier initially, and it does have a certain WYSISWYG element, but generally speaking its lack of power (especially the cheaper stuff) is a HUGE limitation. You can pick up three decent, inexpensive Yongnuo or Newwer speedlights or Flashpoint monolights for a similar price, and be much farther ahead. Save a little more money and get the kit that will really do the job. Trust me!
 
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BillyG

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Thank you for the response. I viewed your site but did not see anyone product photography using your suggested equimpment. Thanks BillyG
 

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Thank you for the response. I viewed your site but did not see anyone product photography using your suggested equimpment. Thanks BillyG
Have you attempted to find any examples of product photography?
 
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BillyG

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Yes I have. The reason for my original post was to get input from people who have done product photography. You can look at A lot of sites without my question being answred. I do not to offend or get off on the wrong foot here.
 

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Billy, I was walking on the beach today and collected up some oyster shells. I don't know what kind of size products you mean, I was thinking about your thread here and the advice to equip yourself with flash rather than lights.

WWW_1241_X825_DSC_0077.jpg



This is four flashes (three slaving with one connected to the camera with a sync cable). The connected flash is on a tripod, directly over the items, with a home made diffuser dome attached (see Designer's ghetto lighting thread). I have some blue wrapping paper attached to a panel of cardboard stood on a music stand nearest the camera, and a white reflector (a laptop/tablet carrycase that has a white internal lining, unfolded) attached to the legs of the tripod and facing the camera. Two of the flashes are tiny (GN10) toy-like slave units - they're firing directly at the carrycase and bouncing back. The fourth flash is held in my hand with the camera - it's bouncing off a wall/ceiling about two meters away.
 

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I as I stated in my Hello plan to do product photography as A hobby. I would like to know what you suggest for continuous lighting please keep in mind I am not A rich person. I am looking for A three light set. Any help? BillyG.
If you're looking for hot lights for product photography, I'm assuming you mean small product/tabletop shooting; correct? If $99 monolights are truly out of the budget (I wouldn't bother with speedlights at all, no matter how cheap) then I would look into non photographic hot lights. Think clamp lights. Instead of softboxes you can make diffusion panels from vellum (tracing paper) or you can buy the rip-stop nylon that is used on softboxes from a craft store (or Amazon). You can pick up colored paper from a craft store for backgrounds; foamcore for bounce cards and flags, as well as things like mirrors and silver posterboard for reflectors. You can buy steel dowels from the hardware store to make fingers and dots, and use simple A clamps to hold things in place.

If you're a bit lost, here are a few set up shots to show you what I use around the house. Bear in mind I use strobes instead of hot lights, but in many cases these shots could be done either way.

This set has one light and a softbox (that could be replicated with some vellum and a hot light or two) coupled with two bounce panels and a blue bit of foamcore for a background:

It's a relatively simple, one light set up.
Adapted Image Projector for Alien Bees by tltichy, on Flickr

This one is a single light shining through a diffusion material with two reflectors and a flag:

Again, a simple one light set up that could be done with constant light.
Bulova Marine Star by tltichy, on Flickr

This is one light shining through a sheet of vellum, with the addition of a homemade finger, a foamcore bounce panel, a mirror, and some black foil. Nothing that can't be achieved on a tight budget:


Ruger: MK II by tltichy, on Flickr


You can do a lot with hot lights if you know what you're doing with light. There are going to be issues however.

Continuous light isn't very bright. You'll be competing with the ambient room light and any light coming in from outside. This means you will often find yourself shooting at night with the lights out, or finding a room in the house that you can black out for shooting in.

With continuous lights you'll have to fabricate your own light modifiers. If you want to buy off the shelf photographic modifiers like grids, snoots, spots, etc, you'd have to buy movie specific hot lights, which are going to cost as much or more than monolights. Expect to get real creative and spend some time DIYing light modifiers.

DIYPhotography used to have a huge section of the site dedicated to homemade lighting. Unfortunately they decided to become a generic "photo news and rumors" site and I haven't been able to find those pages anymore. You can check out "Learn My Shot" on YouTube. There are a few tutorials that deal with tabletop shooting both using hot lights and natural light. The book "Minimalist Lighting" by Kirk Tuck deals with low budget lights and modifiers. Still Life, by Steve Sint, also covers budget lighting equipment for studio use.
 
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BillyG

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Thank you very much for your reply it helps A lot I do plan on at least 4 strobes 2 with shoot thru umbrellas 1 with barn doors , 1 with snoot for spot on highlights. I will be shooting small items and some jewelry. what do you think about the umbrellas? And again Thanks. BillyG P/S I really like your work and hope to be able at some point to do as well.
 
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BillyG

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Billy, I was walking on the beach today and collected up some oyster shells. I don't know what kind of size products you mean, I was thinking about your thread here and the advice to equip yourself with flash rather than lights.

WWW_1241_X825_DSC_0077.jpg



This is four flashes (three slaving with one connected to the camera with a sync cable). The connected flash is on a tripod, directly over the items, with a home made diffuser dome attached (see Designer's ghetto lighting thread). I have some blue wrapping paper attached to a panel of cardboard stood on a music stand nearest the camera, and a white reflector (a laptop/tablet carrycase that has a white internal lining, unfolded) attached to the legs of the tripod and facing the camera. Two of the flashes are tiny (GN10) toy-like slave units - they're firing directly at the carrycase and bouncing back. The fourth flash is held in my hand with the camera - it's bouncing off a wall/ceiling about two meters away.
Thanks for the reply. If you don't mind where are you located? Reason being I live on the MS Gulf coast and have shell in my back yard so to speak. Your reply helps and I do thank you
 

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