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Thread: Studio lighting

  1. #1
    Member kangareigns's Avatar
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    Studio lighting

    Hi there,

    im wondering if I could get some help with choosing some strobe and continuous lighting.
    Even though I am learning I don't really want to buy cheap Chinese stuff. I'd prefer to but once if you know what I mean..I therefore have about $2500 to spend on lighting whereby I'd like to take/learn portraits of various kinds.
    Ive looked at the elfinchrome dlite 4 and Bowen gemeni 500 w kit etc but with no experience is unsure what to go for. I can push the budget a bit more if necessary but I'd like to purchase backgrounds wireless receiver/transmitter etc.
    i would be very keen to hear from people who could point me in the right direction..

    Secondly, would you know of any photographers open to some one on one tutorials. Nothing high end just someone able to teach the basics of portraiture etc..

    thankyou..

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Elinchrom and Bowen are good reliable brands, I say get the best you can afford, from either of those two. There are heaps of places that sell backdrop stands and backdrops. Wireless triggers are available quite readily as well

    I note your reference to not buying cheap chinese stuff, but you do realise most of this is chinese anyway, whether a brand name or not?

    Do you need portability? Like battery pack etc?

    Ausphotography site advertisers can help

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    Last edited by ricktas; 02-03-2013 at 3:39pm.
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    Thank you Ricktas, I guess I do understand just about everything these days is made in china but I wanted something well supported. I didn't want to buy something and once I have experience realise I need different umbrellas, light boxes etc only to find out the brand or accessories are no longer available.
    Im certainly open to suggestions of kits which are cheaper if you or other experienced members believe is a better option.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    http://www.petapixel.com/2013/03/01/...radio-trigger/

    PocketWizard have just announced an 'entry level' radio trigger. Selling at $99USD. So you could try some strobist style gear rather than a full studio setup as another option.

    If you contact suppliers you will often find that many of the cheaper kits are compatible with one of the major brands, and parts are inter-changeable.
    Last edited by ricktas; 02-03-2013 at 4:51pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Kanga, having been down the path of gear acquisition for studio / location lighting, I reckon we can advise better if we know whether you want primarily "studio glamour" or dark and edgy studio or location artistic styles.
    Then, let us know which camera and most importantly which lenses you will be using.

    If you intend to stick to one particular area I reckon we can probably set you up advice wise on the gear, buy a good lens and still have change from $2500.00
    Last edited by I @ M; 02-03-2013 at 5:02pm.
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    The type of images I'm after is most likely shots of kids the occasional family member etc, essentially anyone who is willing to stand in front of a camera so I can learn. Makes it pretty hard hey!
    I don't have the experience to get to artistic but good chance l might take it on the road.

    i have a basic camera 550d, 17-55mm,70-200 F4 IS and a cheap 50mm 1.8. I am also looking at the 50mm 1.4mm very soon.

    Im not sure if my expectations are to high but I certainly don't have experience to be dragging models from their everyday schedules until I at least have an idea what I'm doing.

    That said, I do plan on knowing what to do thus don't want to spend $500 on a kit and be useless to me later when I can identify differences properly in temperature etc etc.

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    For those starting out, Bowens is your best bet due to the huge amount of gear you can buy for cheap on EBAY in Bowens mount! Hell I even use Bowens mount adapters on my Broncolor heads just to get easy access to cheap stuff as the latter is the most expensive lighting brand in the world!

    $2500 you can get lighting kits which comes with the usual 2 heads, lighting stands, case etc.

    I would recommend minimum of 500ws per head as a start.

    The money left over:

    invest in a 50-55cm beauty dish, its an invaluable investment one can use for studio and location lighting. Also get some softboxes and octabox for different applications as well.

    Lighting is my favourite investment for photography, as to me using and shaping light is more important than what camera or lens I have, so I can go on for hours about it. But what I use is tailored to what I specialize in.
    Commercial/Editorial/Wedding work - www.jackietranphoto.com
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    I have the Elinchrom BxRi 500. I love them. I agree, get a beauty dish and other modifiers like background reflector etc. My only regret is I don't have a bigger softbox but they can get pricey so I use a white sheet for now. I do not get much opportunity to use my lights now as I do not have many friends wanting portraits. Agree with your thinking, buy well and buy once.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kangareigns View Post
    ....
    Secondly, would you know of any photographers open to some one on one tutorials. Nothing high end just someone able to teach the basics of portraiture etc..
    Do you ever go to Sydney? http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...o-%28Sydney%29

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    Hello Michael.

    Depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want to do in studio, portable in house or outside external stuff. Do you have the room that it takes to have big soft boxes and all the gear, that needs roughly 20'x20' (6m x 6m)
    If you do a lot of outside things were carrying all the heavy gear around, and a power source needs to be obtained, can be a pain in the butt.

    If you shop around, you can set yourself up with 3 speed lights, umbrella's, a couple of different reflectors, a paper roll and portable stand, for around $800. And as you have yet to post any images of your work, it makes it hard for us to advise you on best suits your needs.

    Just remember.. Big bucks on gear, doesn't equal great photos. It's the person behind all the gear.
    Last edited by geoffsta; 03-03-2013 at 8:17am.
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    I certainy understand spendning big bucks wont make my photos look amazing, im just learning but I dont want to waste it on something which has to be replaced not long after I get as my experience grows..


    If you think speedlights is truly a good option, can you point me to which ones? I currently have a Canon 430ex 11.

    I havent posted anything because quite frankly its a bits embarasing to what Ive seen on this forum as most of my shots are essentially snaps. I will hoever get some up soon as I work out how to do it..

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kangareigns View Post
    I certainy understand spendning big bucks wont make my photos look amazing, im just learning but I dont want to waste it on something which has to be replaced not long after I get as my experience grows..


    If you think speedlights is truly a good option, can you point me to which ones? I currently have a Canon 430ex 11.

    I havent posted anything because quite frankly its a bits embarasing to what Ive seen on this forum as most of my shots are essentially snaps. I will hoever get some up soon as I work out how to do it..
    OK, if you are only shooting snaps now, forget the lights! Get your skills up first. Then in 12 months or so, when you have better photography skills, then look at lighting, cause you will only be disappointed if you get lighting now, cause you will just end up with snaps..with lights!

    Until then learn to use your camera, learn about composition, posing etc and use your speedlight, and natural light to get the shots you want.

    Oh and start posting photos for critique. You will continue to take snaps if you don't ask for feedback and learn from the replies. The best way to learn is to post a photo and read the replies, then put into action the advice you are given. This is the MAIN reason this site exists.
    Last edited by ricktas; 03-03-2013 at 10:51am.

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    Michael.
    You can get Yongnuo YN560-3 on fleabay for around $100.(Check reviews) I have My Nikon speedlight, a Yongnuo YN560-2 and the YN560-3, a couple of triggers and a heap of receivers.
    I also have 3 strobes Muslin and stand, and all the stuff that goes with it. But when you are doing stuff in someones house with strobes for example, you are very limited to what you can do in regards to space and power requirements. With speed lights and the gear I mentioned in my other post above. All you have to do it carry a pocket full of batteries.

    I was like you when I first started. Keen to get into all that is related to photography, including portraiture. Luckily a very kind member that lives an hour or so away offered to show me (and a few others) the finer points of portrait photography. Along with how to use lighting to create different effects. That member and his partner are now life long friends, and we meet and talk often. (you never know, he may do a similar thing again)

    You can join a camera club. But I find that they are too limited, and at times egos are more important than helping new photographers learn the craft.

    This site offers far more than a camera club. It has a library that has all you need to know about taking photos. And if you don't understand something, just ask. There are plenty of members (Including the pro's) that will bend over backwards to help you out.
    Last edited by geoffsta; 03-03-2013 at 11:18am.

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    Hi there,

    I have attached some pics to see where Im coming from..Sorry im new to the forum so Ive probaly put them in the wrong spot..



    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    We cannot critique photos that are not in the CC forums : http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...Members-Photos

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    The D-lite 4 has been replaced by the D-lite RX4. If you go elinchrom, make sure you get the updated model.
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    Michael.
    By the style of images above, a speedlight would be handy. Specially the boy with the tommyhawk as the shadows take over the image. Also with the girl with the hat, a speedlight and reflector could have been used.

    You still have a lot to learn. So my suggestion still stands with the speedlights before strobes. Learn how to use them, then progress to the strobes when you feel confident that you have a firm grasp on the lighting part of photography.

    I hope we haven't sort of put you off. There is a lot more to photography, like composition, depth of field, macro, exposure, long shutter speed, freeze action, white balance....... The list goes on & on & on.

    Chin up. Post some images in the CC section. Look at some of the stuff in the "New To Photography" part of the library. Join in, have fun, experiment. And it will eventually come to you.
    Last edited by geoffsta; 03-03-2013 at 5:14pm.

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    Thanks again for everyones feedback..
    I guess thats one of the reason for looking at strobes was so I can learn..As an example, I can set them up at home and practice after work etc..So your suggestions Geoffsta is a couple fo speedlights, stands and unbrellas? What sort of wireless trigger would you reccomend to fire the off camera speed lights?

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    Would a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT run a series of Yongnuo type flashes ie could I control the power of the slaves using something like this.

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