Help with lighting for portraits please!

k.tremblay1

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I ordered a beginners kit from cowboy studio. It came with a backdrop stand, 3 backdrops, 2 light stands with sockets, 2 umbrellas, and 2 continuous bulbs, 85 watts equivalent to 300. Well, they don't work very well at all. I am using my lens which only opens to f/4, no wider. I am forced to use 1/25 ss with 400 iso. And obviously that ss is too low for children portraits. I also have a 430 ex ii external flash with a diffuser.

Can someone help me figure out what I can do about lighting? Are there other bulbs I can purchase for these light sockets? The maximum wattage on them is 105. I found 105 watt bulbs equivalent to 400 watts. Would 200 more watts make any difference? Right now I am just bouncing my flash from the wall behind me or the ceiling. I do this with the lights and then without the lights and the picture looks exactly the same! Any advice/tips would be great, thanks.
 
k.tremblay1 said:
I ordered a beginners kit from cowboy studio. It came with a backdrop stand, 3 backdrops, 2 light stands with sockets, 2 umbrellas, and 2 continuous bulbs, 85 watts equivalent to 300. Well, they don't work very well at all. I am using my lens which only opens to f/4, no wider. I am forced to use 1/25 ss with 400 iso. And obviously that ss is too low for children portraits. I also have a 430 ex ii external flash with a diffuser.

Can someone help me figure out what I can do about lighting? Are there other bulbs I can purchase for these light sockets? The maximum wattage on them is 105. I found 105 watt bulbs equivalent to 400 watts. Would 200 more watts make any difference? Right now I am just bouncing my flash from the wall behind me or the ceiling. I do this with the lights and then without the lights and the picture looks exactly the same! Any advice/tips would be great, thanks.

Buy some triggers and receivers so you can use your flash off camera. With a 1 flash, light stand and umbrella you can do a lot. Probably more then you can with continuous lights. On your other thread someone mentioned opening up your lens - its not the best idea. Shooting wide open (1.4, 2.8) will create a shallow depth of field (causing missed focus) and the image will probably be soft. Also it's really hard to get more than 1 person in focus when wide open. Most studio shots are done with apertures around f/8 (with strobes or off camera flash). Your lights aren't powerful enough to do that with a decent shutter speed. Your flash should be powerful enough.

Www.strobist.com

Great website for using your flash off camera. You can get triggers and receivers for 40.00. I have some Studiohut ones that I bought on amazon.
 
You have two threads going on this exact problem.
The problem is that you have continuous light. You would need to have 3 more stops of light. That means that you'd need 16 of those lights. Each stop of light is TWICE AS MUCH light as the last. So you have 2 now. To add ONE stop of light you'd have to double that so that makes 4. To add another stop of light (2 stops now) you'd need to double that so that makes 8. To add that third stop of light you'd need to double that which makes 16 of those lights. Not feasible. And that only gets you to 1/200 which may well not be enough to stop motion on a moving child meaning you'd actually need about 32 of those lights. Or if you switched to the higher wattage bulbs then you'd need 16. BUT!!! that figure is still using your speedlight. To get away without using your speedlight you'd be needing about 64 to 128 of the low power lights and 32 to 64 of the higher power.

Right now your flash is overpowering those lights you have and you could probably just turn them off and still have the same result.

So, back to my answer in the first post you have... Instead of trying to use the continuous light why not buy a couple of slave bulbs and if you have a speedlite you can even use that to trigger those bulbs-you don't HAVE to have the trigger set I linked you to, it is just a whole lot nicer to have the trigger so you don't have to use a speedlite on camera
 
If the light "units" use household, thread-in type of bulbs, you could replace them with Morris brand slave flash units. Prices start at $34.95.

Buy Morris Slave Flashes | Adorama, the Photography People

C
ontinuous light demands slooooooow shutter speeds to realize its full potential...as shutter speeds go up, continuous lights "Lose their power", so to speak; the same is NOT true of flash used in the normal, traditional method. So...I say, go all-flash.
 
If the light "units" use household, thread-in type of bulbs, you could replace them with Morris brand slave flash units. Prices start at $34.95.

Buy Morris Slave Flashes | Adorama, the Photography People

C
ontinuous light demands slooooooow shutter speeds to realize its full potential...as shutter speeds go up, continuous lights "Lose their power", so to speak; the same is NOT true of flash used in the normal, traditional method. So...I say, go all-flash.
Those are the same flash units I recommended in the other post-Except the adorama versions start at $20. I promise you'll be OK. We're here for you to ask questions!
 

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