Controlled Environment Shoots/Equipment

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jomvr, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. jomvr

    jomvr TPF Noob!

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    Hey ya'll,

    Its been around 8 months since I picked up my first camera. For the most part the majority of my photos revolved around being in the outdoors (nature) or in the streets of Vancouver.

    My question is where do I start if I want to take my first step into a studio or a controlled environment shoot like a hotel room or a laundry mat. A little background is that I'm a design student and end up creating projects for advertisement and fashion. I was wondering...

    • What are some good resources to learn controlled lighting? Books, videos, articles
    • What are the essential pieces of equipment? What brands are quality (for a beginner) but won't break the bank (for a student)?
    Sorry if the questions are very basic but trying to funnel the content online is really difficult and sometimes misleading. I enjoy getting other active photographers opinions and insight :)


    Please do not post work to which you do not hold rights. You may post links.


    Here's a peek at my current photo style (My flickr is a dump right now sorry)
    Jomar (@jomvrv) • Instagram photos and videos


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2016
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Please do not post the work of other people...not allowed here, and not cool at all.

    Controlled lighting involves modifiers: reflector boards like poster board or insulation boards, reflector panels using fabric covers in white or silver, or collapsible reflectors sold on e-BNay and elsewhere, often in circular shapes with spring-wire outer edges. Then there are photographic umbrellas, both reflecting and shoot-through types, as well as "umbrella box" types; softboxes, such as the many Made in China types sold on the web; flash units are either speedlights flash units held on top of light stands with umbrella swivel mounts.

    You can learn about how to light things from multiple sources. The Strobist blog is one source of learning exercises. The Sekonic company has some good videos. Photoflex.com has an on-line learning site. Adorama TV has many good on-line videos. CreativeLive.com has many webinars.
     
  3. jomvr

    jomvr TPF Noob!

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    Never claimed it as my work. Added appropriate citations, I wanted to show examples of what I wanted to lean towards.

    Thanks for the info
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It's clearly somebody else's work....one of them even has the owner's watermark on it....the other two appear to be advertising photos that you stole off of some page and then posted...

    Obviously, it was NOT your work. I got that, in like, one second. Go ahead and make all the excuses you'd like to make.

    Anywayyyyyy...once you want to create your very own photos of this type, I would suggest an inexpensive studio flash monolight with at least a 75 Watt modeling light, and about 150 Watt-seconds' worth of flash power, a 9-foot light stand for that, and then a 43-inch umbrella from Photoflex or Westcott.

    Monolight brands: Adorama Flashpoint 320M, or Mettle brand (made in Asia, makers for many 'store brands'. 150 Watt-seconds is plenty of power to begin with. Modeling light gives light to focus by. Power? Pure Sine Wave Inverter, like the Buff brand "Vagabond" series.

    Paul C. Buff or Elinchrom monolights are also nice.

    USED lighting gear saves a TON of cash! There is a HUGE supply of barely-used lighting gear on the market, and it has been this way for 40 years. On e-Bay, Speedotron Brown Line D402 power packs and three-flash head kits sell for $200 or so at times. I've used Speedotron Brown line since 1986, and Black Line since the late 1990's.

    You do NOT need a lot of high-specification features like 1/10 f/stop light adjustment and ultra-short flash durations....you need a LIGHT, a stand, and a medium-sized modifier like the 40 to 43 inch umbrella, and some way to reflect some light for shadow fill lighting.

    Home Depot has some BIG sheets of insulation board that make nice reflector boards, at about $11 a throw!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Getting some lights (studio strobes) and modifiers is what you need, but seriously, try to find some better locations.

    Hotel rooms are expensive, and usually fairly low ceilings.

    Laundromats usually have terrible lighting.

    Try to find a large vacant room that you can rent or borrow inexpensively. Get something that has LOTS of ROOM, including high ceilings.

    Learn how to use flash and modifiers before you hire a model.

    Good luck!
     
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  6. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I second the Strobist blog. He also has gear recommendations for a one-light off camera set-up.

    I also really like • Flash Photography Techniques - Tangents It's great for learning about bouncing flash, which is where I started before attempting off-camera flash.
     
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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just to clarify: We're a community of photographers, and a little more concerned with (and aware of) copyright than the average bear. Since most of us would not appreciate our work being used without permission, TPF has an inviolate rule about using the work of others. Please note that additing citations, disclaiming authorship, etc, does NOT automatically make use acceptable.
     

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