Getting started, where to find more information?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by tmL, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. tmL

    tmL TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys, so after finding out that strobist gear is cheaper in China (will be here until July) than in the US, I've decided to splurge and finally get into doing some strobist work. I currently only have a Yongnuo 560 but a lightstand, umbrella swivel (is that what they are called? what you attach to a lightstand so that you can put a flash and umbrella on top), and a pair of Yongnuo RF603's are heading my way right now. I'm thinking of starting with just one flash because I assume it will be easier to learn. Any thoughts on one vs. two flash in terms of how limited I might be?

    Also, I have a diffuser that attached directly to my flash so theoretically the light from my flash won't be going directly to my subject, but it doesn't seem to be softening up the light too much. Does anyone have experience with diffusers? Are they useful at all? I haven't purchased an umbrella yet, would you recommend I pick one of those up to replace the diffuser?

    Here's another one for you guys: If I have the diffuser on (or an umbrella), does zooming in on the flash have any actual effect on the output? I mean, it all diffused through the umbrella/diffuser right?

    Last question (for now): Is there anywhere besides the Strobist blog that you recommend I check out for beginner lighting tips?

    Thanks for the help!


     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The problem with the diffuser is that it doesn't make the light source any bigger. It may help throw the light off and bounce it off walls a bit to help bring in light from another source, but the effect is no as pronounced as sticking a 40" umbrella on there and actually increasing the light source. It's practically useless outside as well.

    Zooming will make the light more powerful, but will decrease the beam spread. It would help with power for the diffuser (but at that point, remove the diffuser for even more power) and the umbrella. You'll have to look at the umbrella though to see if the beam is getting too narrow to properly fill the modifier though.
     
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  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1
     
  4. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  5. tmL

    tmL TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips, I didn't realize how important it is to alter the size of the light source. Also thanks for the link, I'll be sure to look into it.
     
  6. oneguywithacamera

    oneguywithacamera TPF Noob!

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    Another +1 for Light Science and Magic. However, you somewhat need a technical mindset to fully grasp it as it is very science-y, but understanding light is just that way.

    The other key principle you have to conceder is the distance of the light source to your subject. Even a small soft box or umbrella will look soft the closer you get it to your subject. For using your diffuser, the most budget friendly option is to throw any sized white sheet up (in this case the cheaper and lower thread count sheet the better) and shoot your strobe through it. You can get essentially a 5-6' soft box this way. Be sure to play with the subject to diffuser distance and strobe to diffuser difference as well. Especially with a sheet, try throwing several strobes behind it and spread them out to evenly light the sheet, thus evenly lighting your subject.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Photography is a somewhat unique artform in that doing it consistantly well requires just about as much technical knowledge/creativity as art knowledge/creativity.

    The more solidly grounded a photographer is technically/scientifically the better they tend to be at using their gear efficiently and effectively.

    Today's photographer has to not only deal with the photography, but all the support technology too - like computers, image editing, and the internet.
     

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