Poor Man's Lighting set up! :cheer:


TPF Noob!
Nov 18, 2008
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Whitewater Wisconsin
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Looking to set up a small crappy studio in my room for practicing. I have my normal room light, 2 normal lamps, and 2 lamps with bendable necks I can position to aim anywhere. Can someone explain or point to a tutorial online that would show me a good lighting setup for portraits? I am very good with PS so could I get by with using my white wall as a backdrop, or should I hang a sheet or some other kind of fabric up, what color? What are some things I should purchase/make IE flashes and lightboxes. I have a very limited budget and am hoping to jerry rig most of this :smileys:

almost forgot. My room is a rectangle 12'x24' with a 5' window in the middle of a long side.

Its 1:00am and im off to take some night shots of drunk people in my college town walking out of bars and getting hassled by police :D hopefully i'll post some pics, but with the lens I have and the lack of a tripod im not expecting anything less than blurry from my night shots.

As long as you bump your ISO up to 800ish you can probably hand hold ok - urban night is surprisingly bright. There is also a huge range of 'natural' tripods in a city ;)

As for your lighting setup I use :-
Pair of lightstands - cost about £20 off ebay.
Pair of umbrella/flash holders - about £20 off ebay
Pair of Cacti triggers (two flash, 1 trigger) - about £30 for the 3 off ebay
Single shoot through umbrella - about £5 off ebay
Two Nikon SB-20 flashguns for about £60 off ebay.

This setup will work find for what you want to start. The SB-20's aren't perfect as they don't have a flashead that sticks out so it's hard to mount gels and stuff but they're cheap and have manual flash level adjustment so will do the job.

Vivitar 285's, SB24's, SB25s are other good choices although with the take off of strobist they often go for close to £100 each ( still cheaper than new ).

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