Lighting for beginning photographer

kitkatdubs

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I am just touching the surface of photography and need some advice regarding lighting. I will be taking some newborn photos for a friend and want to know the best lighting to buy for this? I have pretty decent light in my living room, which is where I will be taking them, but on dull, rainy days, it gets pretty dark. I want something inexpensive since I'm just starting out. Also don't want something that flashes every time I click my button. Does that make sense? What would be something that would be good for a beginner that is just learning the ropes? My husband also has a business and would like to use this light for product photography. Any good suggestions??? TIA
 
Also don't want something that flashes every time I click my button.
Learn flash and learn for a lifetime.

Your husband's product photography is not so critical, and can be done with continuous lighting, but for portraiture, you really need to learn flash.

Window light might seem ideal at first, but then you wish you could lighten the shadows in the eye sockets, and if the sky is overcast, I guess you'll just have to reschedule.

Electronic flash can be as simple as a speedlight on a stand shooting through a white umbrella, or as spendy as three studio flash with high-end modifiers.
 
Yep... what Designer said. $150 will get you a Yongnuo speedlight, stand, umbrella and trigger set. That will be a great starting point, and if used in conjunction with a reflector (as simple as a piece of white card) will allow you to create great images (with a little practice).
 
Yep... what Designer said. $150 will get you a Yongnuo speedlight, stand, umbrella and trigger set. That will be a great starting point, and if used in conjunction with a reflector (as simple as a piece of white card) will allow you to create great images (with a little practice).

Yep, that's exactly how I got started. I purchased the set-up recommended by the Strobist blog with a Yongnuo flash. I eventually upgraded to a flash that was fully compatible with my camera. Definitely get some practice with it before the baby gets there. It takes a lot of practice to get it right.
 
This is all sounds like a foreign language to me haha! So the Yongnuo flash.. Can that we used indoors and outdoors? Can I use it alone with nothing else? So I use the flash and the afternoon light in my living room and I'm good? That's it?
 
Do I have to purchase the trio -speed lite flasj
Yep... what Designer said. $150 will get you a Yongnuo speedlight, stand, umbrella and trigger set.

Do I need to purchase the set? Like all four of those things or can I get away with just using the speed lite by itself maybe with a reflector too?
 
Does anyone know anything about the Alien Bee 400? My photographer friend recommended that...
 
Yes Alien Bee is what I sue although if you're going to buy at least get the AB800.

NOW with that said, I'd say this: Learn the gear you already own before complicating everything with artificial lighting.
 
This is all sounds like a foreign language to me haha! So the Yongnuo flash.. Can that we used indoors and outdoors? Can I use it alone with nothing else? So I use the flash and the afternoon light in my living room and I'm good? That's it?
The Yongnuo that someone recommended is a "speedlight", although that is Nikon's name for a portable flash attachment. A portable flash attachment is powered by batteries (such as 4 AA) so they can be used anywhere, inside, outside, at the beach, or anywhere.

The un-modified (no modifier in front of the flash) can be fairly harsh, but no more so that the built-in flash that is already on your camera. The key to using flash effectively is to get it off the top of your camera. by mounting the flash on a light stand ($50) and placing it a couple of feet to one side greatly improves the quality of light on your subject.

Mixing light types and colors will probably lead to other problems, so just cut down on the ambient light (the window light) and point the flash at a large white surface, such as a wall or ceiling. Or reflector (nothing to $25). Or shoot through a white umbrella ($30).
 
Do I have to purchase the trio -speed lite flasj
Yep... what Designer said. $150 will get you a Yongnuo speedlight, stand, umbrella and trigger set.

Do I need to purchase the set? Like all four of those things or can I get away with just using the speed lite by itself maybe with a reflector too?
I missed what the "trio-speed" lite is, but my answer is no, you don't have to purchase an "all-in-one" kit. Most people (I think ) purchase a speedlight, get some practice, then order a light stand and umbrella, and possibly a set of radio-frequency transceivers at some other time.
 
Does anyone know anything about the Alien Bee 400? My photographer friend recommended that...
I have no direct experience, but I've done quite a bit of reading about them when I was considering such a purchase.

They work. They are relatively low cost. Some people like them and their whole family, but they're not the only or best choice. I decided to purchase a Flashpoint cheapie from Adorama. It also works, and cost only $50.

So now I own a Nikon SB-910 Speedlight and the Flashpoint thing.
 
Does anyone know anything about the Alien Bee 400? My photographer friend recommended that...
I have no direct experience, but I've done quite a bit of reading about them when I was considering such a purchase.

They work. They are relatively low cost. Some people like them and their whole family, but they're not the only or best choice. I decided to purchase a Flashpoint cheapie from Adorama. It also works, and cost only $50.

So now I own a Nikon SB-910 Speedlight and the Flashpoint thing.

So basically what I do is buy the yongnuo flash and a white umbrella and just place it behind the white umbrella? Is there an option to just keep the flash on continuously? It's crazy bc I've never heard of this method before- sounds great tho.
 
A "flash" is not continuous. The window light is you continuous light.
 
Once you've read the Lighting 101, and maybe watched a few dozen YouTube videos on subjects such as "speedlight portraits" and "single speedlight portraits" and "simple speedlighting", you will want to buy the following:

The speedlight;
this is the light source for the image

the trigger
this sends the signal from the camera to the flash to fire at the right time

the speedight bracket;
this allows you to mount the flash, and the umbrella on to the light stand

the umbrella; and
this diffuses the light from the speedlight so that it's softer

the light stand
this holds the speedlight, trigger & umbrella off the ground, angled how you want them.

I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THESE SPECIFIC PRODUCTS OR VENDORS, rather just providing an illustrative list of what has been discussed. Feel free to ask about items that will suit your budget and needs.
 

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