How to make such portrait lightning?

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NoobForPhotography

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So after some time I have decided to buy this:

1. I see here two options, The first option is around 150 USD and it is an LED without a diffusor. The second option is also 150 USD but with a diffusor. Why actually? What is the difference between the two... They cost about the same, have same Wattage and both are LED lights and yet one has a diffusor, what for?




2. Here I see 150W light, is that the benefit? It has 3x more power than the upper two?
3. My regular table lamp has 150w LED light bulb in it, why not just put a diffusor no it? It cost me 15 Euros? (that is what I did actually)?


 

mrca

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Most folks think they must photo perpendicular the background, no such rule. Position the subject about 45 degrees to the bg and a foot from it, then shoot DOWN the bg. With only one light from 45 degrees to the side and up, you will have loop lighting on the subjects nose. Moving him further from the bg results in less bounce fill of the bg so you can adjust ratio, here pretty high. The highlight side of the face is in front of way further down the wall and with the inverse square rule, light falls off with distance and the wall on his highlight side is darker, the wall on his shadow side is brighter, giving separation. Or with 2 lights and reflector, have subject far enough from the bg that main doesn't hit it in frame, feather if need to. Then second light from R making the wall brighter on the subject shadow side and falling off to darker wall behind the subj highlight side. Or, a third way, have him say 5 feet from the bg, and feather a large soft source so the edge of the light makes the L side of bg darker and the R side with the stronger center of the light aimed at it. In your photo, the eye catchlights looks like you are using 2 lights, one slightly L other slightly R. If you metered each side of the face you would see them nearly equal as opposed to the first image about 4 stops darker. Quick way to do this is meter ambient and use that as fill level, power up main til it is 2 stops over then adjust brighter to get the ratio you like . The original shot could easily be done in a 12x10 room with 8 foot ceiling. Just sit him on a chair or stool. Since this is video, it is done with continuous, probably hot lights. An easy set up for bounce is rolling stand with a boom with hot light at one end then on the other side of the stand, a 4x4 fill card to bounce. Hope you are seeing , there are many ways of getting a particular look. Knowing them gives the confidence when you are on location, you will get the shot.
 

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NoobForPhotography

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Don't waste your money. You can buy either speedlights or 400 WS studio lights for less, which will give more output . Check out Yongnu and, Gordox,
I googled speedlights and it gives me this...

1648011709969.png

Then I googled 400 ws studio lights and it gives me this:
1648011692655.png



So I did not understand what you suggest with speed lights. You mean like flash lights for photography?

And concerning the 400 ws lights, for these I actually need this huge diffusor box right? I will consider this and maybe return the ligths I ordered. I can return them. How much more output can they give? so if the lights I oredered are 45 W, how much would these be?
 
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This light has 400w in its title but scrolling down I read 150W. Either way it is 3x the power of the lights I ordered.
I think I will definitely return the lights I ordered.

I wonder if they are any good? Just 45 W....
 
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One of the more annoying things is that I am ready to spend even USD 500 on good LED lights and even more but it was just not possible for me to find LED RGB lights such as these with more watts. The most I found was 50W which was just 5 Watts more than what I got. Quite frustrating not knowing things about studio lightning. I hired one person yesterday and she is a "professional" photograopher and she said.... "a table lamp will do". I mean... No diffusor, no watts, nothing. How will a table lamp work? I literally did that. If this Bill Clinton video was achieved with a table lamp, then God forgive me for being so stupid.

It's just so frustrating now being able to tell what one needs for a good photography and yet here comes a "professional photographer" and at least she promotes herself as such because she had a few nice photos she made in her CV. Then it turns out she has no clue, the way I have no clue what to do.

LOL and the more frustrating part is: despite most people having no clue how to do good photography, there is just something about a good photo that is hard to define and identify, but EVERYONEs attention WILL be caught by a good photo.

IT's funny.... So our subconscious mind can tell a good photo when it sees one, but our subconscious mind has no clue how to make that or what actually makes that photo so intriguing.

People on this forum helped me a lot to understand at lest in which direction I should go and that is: no table lamps, get some real stuff. :D



1648013487499.png
 

mrca

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Sorry, your subconscious mind may tell you what YOU think is a good photo, but it is very possible it is not. It took years of study and practice for me to reach the level where I was winning and judging pro competitions. Making a perfect image is difficult and there are dozens of decisions that go into making it. Forget the LED crap. You can get a used Einstein in the $400 range and you have 500 watt seconds not 80 from a "toy" speedlight that can cost as much or ridiculous low powered LED. It will take REAL modifiers again not toys. It will power down to 2.5 watt seconds. Get one, get their collapsable 5"octa or a 5' umbrella like brolly box with diffuser cover for even less and able to be later used on a fill light. Possibly a reflector for fill. But you have to LEARN how to use them. It's not about just getting the right quantity or intensity of light on the subject, You now have control over all the characteristics of light, direction to cast shadows and create shape and form, diffusion to soften shadow edges for example on subjects like women or babies or harder for texture or men, or intensity including ratio between shadow and highlight side of subject, and color with gels. Some fanastic combinations at your finger tips. Learn each of those characteristic and you will be MAKING photos, not just stamping out the same crap all the time. I guarantee you will be able to make great portraits with one light and a reflector and a second light down the road opens doors for lighting the background or applying a kicker. If your reflector has a silver side, you could use that for a kicker in your 1 light reflector set up. If you want to read the best book on the subject written by a guy who taught at Brooks Institute, one of the premier photo schools, pick up The Portrait by Glenn Rand and Tim Meyer.
 

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One of the more annoying things is that I am ready to spend even USD 500 on good LED lights and even more but it was just not possible for me to find LED RGB lights such as these with more watts

There are good LED lights out there, but you'll spend 2-3 times more than your budget. The biggest disadvantage of them for portraits is your subject is forced to endure bright light 100% of the time, which in turn causes the pupils to constrict to pin points. Not an attractive look.

First off, light is light.......whether from a window, strobe, or even a little LED penlight, as @mrca said above you just have to know how to use it. For example this shot was lit with nothing more than a little 9 LED pen light. https://flic.kr/p/23t5CPr while this one was all ambient https://flic.kr/p/23kGyZP and this one in studio with 3 light set. https://flic.kr/p/2mnpj8o The above poster and I share a preference for Paul Buff lighting, but I'm not sure they are readily available outside the states. Both Yougnou and Gordox make some good speedlights, that you can add modifiers and use off camera. In the right conditions, they will do fantastice portraits, you just have to realize the limitations of their output. I'd say the Newer is a better alternative than the LED panels, but a lot of people use Gordox Monolights with good success. Just be aware that not all Monolights are equal when it comes to output. It might say it's a 400ws but the reality is it's much less.
 

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I also use fresnel hot lights and like the sun, a continuous light can cause squinting by the subject. Same using a silver reflector in full sun. An advantage of Einsteins is they have a 250 watt modeling light and the modeling light power can be controlled from camera with the cybercommander trigger. You can fine tune the power of the modeling lights to get just the size pupil you want from camera. I often have as many as 5 hung and kicking more than one up will usually do the job, the rest stay off because of heat. Realize that when the flash pops, the modeling light goes off. Also, einsteins flash duration can be as low as 1/13,500 sec to stop motion such as water drops etc. Smoke is absolutely right, light is light. That $500 7'octa on a $500 strobe on a $250 rolling stand gives soft light...just like a 6" sliding glass door with a sheet or diffusion sheer material over it. Now, you can't move the door, but you can move the subject and of course, there is no light at night, but window light is beautiful...and we all have them. A large sheer curtain taped or clamped over it, and it produces soft light. And you can't adjust power but since light falls off with distance, you can move subject further from the window to lower intensity on that side and since light in the room is pretty constant, that lowers the ratio. Or you can use that reflector, even a large piece of white cardboard to raise the intensity on the shadow side. Bottom line, learn lighting. It will transform your work. Instead of just accepting the kind of lighting Bob, the big orange ball hands you, you will be able to tailor the light so it is appropriate for your image.
 
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Sorry, your subconscious mind may tell you what YOU think is a good photo, but it is very possible it is not. It took years of study and practice for me to reach the level where I was winning and judging pro competitions. Making a perfect image is difficult and there are dozens of decisions that go into making it. Forget the LED crap. You can get a used Einstein in the $400 range and you have 500 watt seconds not 80 from a "toy" speedlight that can cost as much or ridiculous low powered LED. It will take REAL modifiers again not toys. It will power down to 2.5 watt seconds. Get one, get their collapsable 5"octa or a 5' umbrella like brolly box with diffuser cover for even less and able to be later used on a fill light. Possibly a reflector for fill. But you have to LEARN how to use them. It's not about just getting the right quantity or intensity of light on the subject, You now have control over all the characteristics of light, direction to cast shadows and create shape and form, diffusion to soften shadow edges for example on subjects like women or babies or harder for texture or men, or intensity including ratio between shadow and highlight side of subject, and color with gels. Some fanastic combinations at your finger tips. Learn each of those characteristic and you will be MAKING photos, not just stamping out the same crap all the time. I guarantee you will be able to make great portraits with one light and a reflector and a second light down the road opens doors for lighting the background or applying a kicker. If your reflector has a silver side, you could use that for a kicker in your 1 light reflector set up. If you want to read the best book on the subject written by a guy who taught at Brooks Institute, one of the premier photo schools, pick up The Portrait by Glenn Rand and Tim Meyer.
wow what an amazing response! Thank you so much
 
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Well since I am currently in this godforsaken continent called Europe, I can't find einstein lights on their amazon

It's always like that... whenever I find something or want to buy something, Americans have access to it and people here are stuck in their comunism and borders. Literally hate my life here. I can't wait to come back to America
 

mrca

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Well since I am currently in this godforsaken continent called Europe, I can't find einstein lights on their amazon

It's always like that... whenever I find something or want to buy something, Americans have access to it and people here are stuck in their comunism and borders. Literally hate my life here. I can't wait to come back to America
Can you shop on Ebay and have them shipped?
 

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Well since I am currently in this godforsaken continent called Europe, I can't find einstein lights on their amazon
,
It's always like that... whenever I find something or want to buy something, Americans have access to it and people here are stuck in their comunism and borders. Literally hate my life here. I can't wait to come back to America

If you'll go back up a few posts, I said Buff Equipment isn't readily available outside the states. Like the above poster, I use Buff because they are close to me, and have great customer service, but they aren't the only game in town, especially for someone starting out. I've already mentioned Yougnou, an Godox for speedlights, but Godox makes some monolights for those starting out. Godox photography equipment, pocket, portable flashes, lighting solutions that should be available. Profoto is another.
 

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