The dog finally catches the car

BilsenBilsen Not Like -- the OthersPosts: 2,143Registered Users Major grins
edited October 28, 2012 in Technique
and says "I've got it, now what do I do with it"?

That's how I feel. After the recent purchases, here's this winters' experimental indoor lighting gear:

2 Interfit mono lights 300 ws
1 580 EX and (2) 430 Ex flashes
1 x 48" and 1x 60" Photek Softlighters II (LOVE these)
Stand with 1 white and 1 gray 109" seamless paper
Several 24" umbrellas (bounce or shoot thru)
Gels for the flashes only (so far)
Phottix Strato radio triggers
DIY snoots for the flashes
1/8 and 1/4 grids for the flashes
2 x 24" softboxes I'll probably never use.
Misc other junk that doesn't really affect much.

The bolded stuff is the new stuff.

I assume one mono with the 60" is my main light.

SOOOO, who's got suggestions about how best to deploy all this mess??
Bilsen (the artist formerly known as John Galt NY)
Canon 600D; Canon 1D Mk2;
24-105 f4L IS; 70-200 f4L IS; 50mm 1.4; 28-75 f2.8; 55-250 IS; 580EX & (2) 430EX Flash,
Model Galleries: http://bilsen.zenfolio.com/
Everything Else: www.pbase.com/bilsen

Comments

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,436Administrators moderator
    edited October 24, 2012
    Place model in front of background, aim lights at model, take pictures. That's the short answer. The longer answer would depend on what look you are trying to accomplish. You've got to start with a vision. Then you can start to figure out how to use the gear you have to fulfill that vision.

    If you're not already familiar with them, it will help greatly to understand the classic lighting styles like Rembrandt, loop, butterfly, hatchet, beauty, etc. Get a book on them, or spend some time looking on the web for tutorials. I recommend starting with just a single light until you can achieve those different styles on demand. Try using different modifiers on that single light. You may find that your assumption of using your 60" Softlighter as the main light may not actually be best for all scenarios. After you've got that sorted all out, play around with adding some fill light to those scenarios, with a second light or a reflector. Change the ratios between the main and the fill and decide what ratios you like to get the effects you want. It helps to meter each light individually or at least remember the level settings on your monolights, plus the distances of each modifier to your subject. Lots of variables there to keep track of.

    At that point you have a pretty good handle on how to control basic lighting. Then start looking at photo styles like high key, low key, high contrast vs low contrast lighting, etc. Look for studio pictures that you want to emulate and try to reverse engineer their lighting setups. The Pullbacks thread in the People forum has lots of setup information that should help a lot. Learn how to use hair lights and kickers if they're called for. Although some people will cringe at the idea, you can use your speedlights to supplement your mono lights. I did that for a long time, but recently picked up some cheap used lights for supplemental lights.

    Practice, practice, post results, incorporate feedback, and repeat as necessary. That's more or less what I've been doing. It's a lifetime of learning pretty much. Lot of fun along the way.
  • BilsenBilsen Not Like -- the Others Posts: 2,143Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 24, 2012
    Thanks Dog.

    I'm familiar with the "classic" lighting styles (not to say I can acheive them on command) and I did a lot of experimenting with speedlights last winter.
    Fact is, it improved my use of light in my normal outdoor shoots this summer.

    This year I have the same bridal suite as last year BUT with a second space if the place closes on me again.

    I look forward to getting torched regularly on here. Laughing.gif
    Bilsen (the artist formerly known as John Galt NY)
    Canon 600D; Canon 1D Mk2;
    24-105 f4L IS; 70-200 f4L IS; 50mm 1.4; 28-75 f2.8; 55-250 IS; 580EX & (2) 430EX Flash,
    Model Galleries: http://bilsen.zenfolio.com/
    Everything Else: www.pbase.com/bilsen
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,394Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 24, 2012
    Your images on your websites clearly suggest you know how to handle your light.

    Now you can just have even more control and flexibility indoors and out of doors.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • BilsenBilsen Not Like -- the Others Posts: 2,143Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 24, 2012
    Thanks Pathfinder.

    I'm actually looking forward to it.
    Bilsen (the artist formerly known as John Galt NY)
    Canon 600D; Canon 1D Mk2;
    24-105 f4L IS; 70-200 f4L IS; 50mm 1.4; 28-75 f2.8; 55-250 IS; 580EX & (2) 430EX Flash,
    Model Galleries: http://bilsen.zenfolio.com/
    Everything Else: www.pbase.com/bilsen
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 28, 2012
    +1 on kdog
    My version: sell it all, leave one camera and one light. Shoot, shoot , shoot until you get a gut feeling you're limited. Then get in the direction of that limitation. deal.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
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    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
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