Which Continuous Lighting Kit for Small Room Shoot

JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grinsRegistered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
edited November 5, 2012 in Technique
Hey guys, its me again... I need lighting and I have a few options that maybe you can choose for me, or maybe there is another option that you know of that I havent found... I use Amazon mostly because it is a good place to start thanks to the ratings. Other sites like cowboy are nice but have nowhere near the info for me to make a beginner decision. So it would be GREAT if you all just agreed on one of these to recommend so I can just get it and be done, for now, until I am ready for my next step up... Just to review:

• Got my T3i ( will be using the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS... also have the EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II but of course unusable in my space where avg shoot distance will be about 6-7ft)
• Using white sheets as backdrops (got the 9' paper sheet but there is no way its working, too unwieldy in small room... took a couple of test shots with the white sheets and its fine) and need to do some videos as well, so I figured, I'll get some continuous light kits over strobes, combine them with the natural sunlight reflected in from may sliding glass doors, and that should be good
• Subject is a model, main purpose is average product shots for the web (even for zooms, will not exceed ~700px), i.e., no cover of Vogue, no product shot for VictoriaSecret.com or Playboy.com, just enough for the visitors to see a clear image of the apparel and designs. If you want to get into the specific camera settings, on certain shots, I dont mind having to show a nice bokeh
• 12'x12' room (actual shoot area is like 9'x9') where the lights will be less than 7-8 ft away from the subject (need at most ~800 watts, spread over 2 or 3 stands?)
• Travel/portability MAY be an issue, so I rather have something that I dont have to disassemble every but and bolt to fit back in. Honestly, if thats the only thing holding it back from fitting back in its case, I have no problem buying a simple long duffle bag or something and getting some appropriate padding and stuffing the lights in there. I just do not want something that will fall apart when I take it around... I will not be able to leave it up in the shooting room, it will have to be taken down every time.
• For some of these, I can buy just 2 (like the last one on list) and still be under budget, but I really cant fit 4 stands in this room... I would much rather have 2-3 bright ones than need 4-5 stands.
• I dont think having a stand or boom matters, but if you have thoughts on that, I am welcome to listen.
• My budget is under $200 but I can go slightly over (not over $300) IF you know of something that is worth that extra $$$.

Ok here are my options from what I have researched... Please either pick one clear winner or rank them if YOU had to buy them for my purpose, and if any useful comments on why you picked that 1/those 2, then please let me know as well.

Thanks so much!!!

$125 --- LimoStudio Digital Photography Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Light Kit Boom Stand Lighting Kit Carry Bag Photo Lighting Bulb_AGG704 (USED ONLY)

$160 --- Fancierstudio 3000 Watt Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit 9026S3 Fancierstudio

$103 --- Cowboystudio 1200 Watt Photography, Video, and Portrait Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit With Four 85 Watt, 5500K Day Light Balanced CFL bulbs, Black and White Reflective Umbrellas, Stands, and Carrying Case

$90 --- PBL PHOTO STUDIO FLUORESCENT LIGHT KIT VIDEO LIGHTING PHOTOGRAPHY 850 WATTS WITH UMBRELLAS Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting

Comments

  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    So it would be GREAT if you all just agreed on one of these to recommend so I can just get it and be done.......
    $160 --- Fancierstudio 3000 Watt Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit 9026S3 Fancierstudio

    If we could all agree on just one there'd be no need for an election this year!..hahaha!:D

    There is really no substitute for light/wattage. I pick this one, the FancierStudio piece. As far as tear-down and packing up, that is a normal function. Get used to it.
    tom wise
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    If we could all agree on just one there'd be no need for an election this year!..hahaha!:D

    There is really no substitute for light/wattage. I pick this one, the FancierStudio piece. As far as tear-down and packing up, that is a normal function. Get used to it.

    Hey Tom! Thanks as usual, that makes sense.... I guess as long as I am willing to deal with the assemblies and be careful not to break anything, the 3000W will help. There were some telling me I should really get strobes for my stills, but I just cant afford to get both right now. Luckily we pretty much have all the shoot angles determined so this wont be one of those "Now move and look sexxxxy!" and *click*click*click*click*click* jobs... It will be more like position 3, hold, *click*click* and then next, etc... Would getting like a Yongnuo YN-560 II for $70 be a huge improvement over the 3000W lights? I may be able to afford that, and/or maybe get one with a remote trigger so I can also use my in-camera flash together with this?
  • lifeinfocuslifeinfocus Phils Imaging Registered Users Posts: 1,461 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    I have tried CFL lighting and would not recommend it. Bulbs break easily - too fragile. Takes a lot of bulbs to get enough light. Compare lumens vs watts when looking at different types of light output.

    I use flash now and looking to afford better. Two very nich flash, light stands and umbrellas and you do can do some great stuff. Still learning, but recent photos of groups - up to 40 - I couldn't or wouldn't do with CFL that I can with flash.

    Phil
    http://www.PhilsImaging.com
    "You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams
    Phil
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    I have tried CFL lighting and would not recommend it. Bulbs break easily - too fragile. Takes a lot of bulbs to get enough light. Compare lumens vs watts when looking at different types of light output.

    I use flash now and looking to afford better. Two very nich flash, light stands and umbrellas and you do can do some great stuff. Still learning, but recent photos of groups - up to 40 - I couldn't or wouldn't do with CFL that I can with flash.

    Phil

    They break easily as in when you drop them or when you are jus unscrewing them?
    Do u do video also? In my project video is a necessity so not sure what u would do for the video part if u jus have flashes.
  • lifeinfocuslifeinfocus Phils Imaging Registered Users Posts: 1,461 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    They break easily as in when you drop them or when you are jus unscrewing them?
    Do u do video also? In my project video is a necessity so not sure what u would do for the video part if u jus have flashes.

    They are fragile and the more powerful ones - 400w - are large. Sorry, I didn't ready closely enough to see that you are doing video. Have you looked into LED lighting? I know it is more expensive but looks easier to handle.

    Good luck.
    http://www.PhilsImaging.com
    "You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams
    Phil
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    They are fragile and the more powerful ones - 400w - are large. Sorry, I didn't ready closely enough to see that you are doing video. Have you looked into LED lighting? I know it is more expensive but looks easier to handle.

    Good luck.

    I was jus going by price mostly... ya I am on a limited budget... it seems the thing to do is the 3000W for the video and I will get one or two YN-560 for like $45 each for the stills...
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    Hey Tom! Thanks as usual, that makes sense.... I guess as long as I am willing to deal with the assemblies and be careful not to break anything, the 3000W will help. There were some telling me I should really get strobes for my stills, but I just cant afford to get both right now. Luckily we pretty much have all the shoot angles determined so this wont be one of those "Now move and look sexxxxy!" and *click*click*click*click*click* jobs... It will be more like position 3, hold, *click*click* and then next, etc... Would getting like a Yongnuo YN-560 II for $70 be a huge improvement over the 3000W lights? I may be able to afford that, and/or maybe get one with a remote trigger so I can also use my in-camera flash together with this?

    In Case you missed it I did a fairly decent review comparing light's just this past January: http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=213632

    I think you'll find it interesting. Pay attention to the f/number, Shutter speed, and everything else I mention because it all plays a role.
    tom wise
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    Hey Tom! Thanks as usual, that makes sense.... I guess as long as I am willing to deal with the assemblies and be careful not to break anything, the 3000W will help. There were some telling me I should really get strobes for my stills, but I just cant afford to get both right now. Luckily we pretty much have all the shoot angles determined so this wont be one of those "Now move and look sexxxxy!" and *click*click*click*click*click* jobs... It will be more like position 3, hold, *click*click* and then next, etc... Would getting like a Yongnuo YN-560 II for $70 be a huge improvement over the 3000W lights? I may be able to afford that, and/or maybe get one with a remote trigger so I can also use my in-camera flash together with this?
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    They break easily as in when you drop them or when you are jus unscrewing them?
    Do u do video also? In my project video is a necessity so not sure what u would do for the video part if u jus have flashes.

    After hauling mine all over H & creation for the past two years, a student finally broke one this year. Just be 'normally' careful, place them back in their plastic-encasement they come in inside the box and you'll be golden.
    tom wise
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    In Case you missed it I did a fairly decent review comparing light's just this past January: http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=213632

    I think you'll find it interesting. Pay attention to the f/number, Shutter speed, and everything else I mention because it all plays a role.
    angevin1 wrote: »
    After hauling mine all over H & creation for the past two years, a student finally broke one this year. Just be 'normally' careful, place them back in their plastic-encasement they come in inside the box and you'll be golden.

    Thank u as usual... so would the 3000W set be somewhere in there between the 650W Fresnel and the Yongnuo? I have pretty much decided to get two YN-560's an call it a day... I'll have two of them + the on-camera flash, so 3 for stills with the daylight and other lights, should be plenty since I am not concerned with whiting out or illuminating the background... all this light is going right on the subject. So about $250 for all that, I think that ok for an amateur first setup? I'll try to take some room setup shots and show some results... the more rated G ones anyways, Laughing.gif. I am kinda nervous, that after all this, the output will be crappy and I will have to spend another week tweaking settings on the camera to get it just right... I hope the automatic will do a good enough for for me to start with. For the T3i, if you have ANY suggestions for this kinda set up that I should at least start with NOT on manual, please let me know if it will save me any angst, thanks!

    P.S. If I use the flourescents, isnt it ok to not use the umbrella? Arent those lights soft enough already not to cast ugly contrasts? I would think the diffusers/umbrellas would actually cause me to lose more light than help me with the softening.

    10
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    Thank u as usual... so would the 3000W set be somewhere in there between the 650W Fresnel and the Yongnuo?

    First of all the 3000 watt set is not 3000-watts. It is 675 watt's: 15 light bulbs @45 watts each= 675w.
    Look at the photo again. I have a CFL Softbox with 595w listed. That is seven 85w bulbs!

    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    I have pretty much decided to get two YN-560's an call it a day... I'll have two of them + the on-camera flash, so 3 for stills with the daylight and other lights, should be plenty since I am not concerned with whiting out or illuminating the background... all this light is going right on the subject. So about $250 for all that, I think that ok for an amateur first setup?


    All this light, right on the subject, sounds like a real potential mess! How many light sources? 3, 4, 5 no 7! plus the sunlight...if it were me and shooting stills. I'd use the sunlight and one adjunct flash either thru an umbrella or bounced if needed. You admit to being an amateur. Good. An amateur should keep it as simple as possible, because I promise you a Pro would!

    The biggest mistake you are making is not having the lights and practicing your Azz off prior to shooting! So get the lights and get some footage down, settings for camera and all...PRACTICE! You cannot go into this shoot and expect a decent outcome with little to no experience and no practice.

    Yes use the umbrella or Softbox and yes try it without them too. I can take perfectly serene lighting and make it ugly as hell! And I bet you $3 I could do your shoot with a reflector or two and that Sunlight you mentioned and you'd think I was channeling Ra! EDIT: And all this I say because I have practiced these concepts...incl the ugly part too!
    tom wise
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    First of all the 3000 watt set is not 3000-watts. It is 675 watt's: 15 light bulbs @45 watts each= 675w.
    Look at the photo again. I have a CFL Softbox with 595w listed. That is seven 85w bulbs!

    All this light, right on the subject, sounds like a real potential mess! How many light sources? 3, 4, 5 no 7! plus the sunlight...if it were me and shooting stills. I'd use the sunlight and one adjunct flash either thru an umbrella or bounced if needed. You admit to being an amateur. Good. An amateur should keep it as simple as possible, because I promise you a Pro would!

    The biggest mistake you are making is not having the lights and practicing your Azz off prior to shooting! So get the lights and get some footage down, settings for camera and all...PRACTICE! You cannot go into this shoot and expect a decent outcome with little to no experience and no practice.

    Yes use the umbrella or Softbox and yes try it without them too. I can take perfectly serene lighting and make it ugly as hell! And I bet you $3 I could do your shoot with a reflector or two and that Sunlight you mentioned and you'd think I was channeling Ra! EDIT: And all this I say because I have practiced these concepts...incl the ugly part too!

    (Apologies in advance for this long post and sort of rant... if you dont have time, I wont be offended if u just skip it... but I almost feel like returning all my crap and just going with my Lumix... the actual volume of sales will 99% be unaffected I bet anyways, and this almost seems like not worth it because now I feel like I am nowhere closer to a solution than a couple of months ago... but I do appreciate your help because u have pretty much held my hand throughout my process, so dont think I take your advice for granted!)

    Ok so with the wattage, this is whats confusing... some people generically throw around statements like "You need at least 1000W for an indoor portrait." Well some never specify if thats CFL/soft/halogen/tungsten whatever... so I ASSUMED that when not specified, it is defaulted to the equivalent wattage, which for the one I was looking at, was listed as 3000W. It seems to be that anyone who talks about light wattage in photography should be saying exactly what type of wattage that is then, but it doesnt seem like the case in real practice, and thus, I am mixing them up.

    I dont think my complication has more to do with budget than being an amateur. I am sure if I had $5000 to spend, getting the equipment part would be pretty standard, i.e., you could tell me in 5 seconds flat what light kit to get for my situation, and then done, not even worry about sunlight. But because I want to keep it at about $200, I am trying my best to get the best combo that will produce shots I can use and incorporate free sunlight. I tried to keep it simple and then it seems like thats not enough light.

    I know even I feel like this is a bit complicated, but then again most pro photographers seem to exude the fact that photography is complicated, and then they try to "simplify" it. Then I try to "simplify" it and then they say its not that easy... WHAT THE ^%#^@#????????? Even in this field, most professionals should be able to agree on certain things like, "That 675W kit will do nothing to add to the reflected sunlight so dont bother....." Then ok get the strobes, but then what about the video part? Just use sunlight only and hope I get full light wit no backup? (Obviously all this is not pointed at YOU per se... just my experience with "photographers" overall)

    I am not trying to be difficult but being in my shoes, I feel like I am hearing a lot about what I SHOULDNT be doing rather than "Do this:" and then sticking by it. And yes this comes from some tips from other "professional" photographers as well because I dont believe in putting my learning eggs all in one basket. I understand too many cooks in the kitchen thing, but we are not cooking some exotic Ethiopian dish, we are talking about an indoor portrait type shot, and I would think most knowledgeable professionals should be able to agree on a basic setup that will work for my situation. But this seem so far from being the case. But in the end it seems like there really isnt a solution for all that I really need, and if so, no one has told me that, except for one person who said "You need a bigger budget".... but she only said that because she thought I needed to light up the backdrop, which I dont.

    And I dont understand the problem with the 7 lights. I thought it was beat into me that MORE light is better for lower ISO/faster shutter speeds. But in essence, what u r really saying is something like that is NOT true unless u get just like 2-3 super bright lights, which will cost more than my camera and lens. I am just frustrated because I feel like instead of whittling DOWN the possibilities, it seems like the ideas are just circumnavigating on a mobius strip and there is no end at all in sight. I understand in photography there are thousands of ways to skin a cat. But I have one camera, one lens, one set room with set dimensions, with sunlight and reflector. I cannot believe even 2 people can agree on the simplest and most effective setup with about a $200 budget for a web product shot at max 700 resolution and decent video. I just dont understand that. ne_nau.gif

    (Apologies again, I am not mad at u if it sounded like it... I am a teacher myself in many OTHER trades, and it frustrates me greatly when others cant teach me something clearly and succinctly. Maybe I should just listen to you only and go, but I have just never operated like that when I learn, to only follow one person no matter how great they are. Sigh.)

    10
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    (Apologies in advance for this long post and sort of rant... if you dont have time, I wont be offended if u just skip it... but I almost feel like returning all my crap and just going with my Lumix... the actual volume of sales will 99% be unaffected I bet anyways, and this almost seems like not worth it because now I feel like I am nowhere closer to a solution than a couple of months ago... but I do appreciate your help because u have pretty much held my hand throughout my process, so dont think I take your advice for granted!)

    Ok so with the wattage, this is whats confusing... some people generically throw around statements like "You need at least 1000W for an indoor portrait." Well some never specify if thats CFL/soft/halogen/tungsten whatever... so I ASSUMED that when not specified, it is defaulted to the equivalent wattage, which for the one I was looking at, was listed as 3000W. It seems to be that anyone who talks about light wattage in photography should be saying exactly what type of wattage that is then, but it doesnt seem like the case in real practice, and thus, I am mixing them up.

    I dont think my complication has more to do with budget than being an amateur. I am sure if I had $5000 to spend, getting the equipment part would be pretty standard, i.e., you could tell me in 5 seconds flat what light kit to get for my situation, and then done, not even worry about sunlight. But because I want to keep it at about $200, I am trying my best to get the best combo that will produce shots I can use and incorporate free sunlight. I tried to keep it simple and then it seems like thats not enough light.

    I know even I feel like this is a bit complicated, but then again most pro photographers seem to exude the fact that photography is complicated, and then they try to "simplify" it. Then I try to "simplify" it and then they say its not that easy... WHAT THE ^%#^@#????????? Even in this field, most professionals should be able to agree on certain things like, "That 675W kit will do nothing to add to the reflected sunlight so dont bother....." Then ok get the strobes, but then what about the video part? Just use sunlight only and hope I get full light wit no backup? (Obviously all this is not pointed at YOU per se... just my experience with "photographers" overall)

    I am not trying to be difficult but being in my shoes, I feel like I am hearing a lot about what I SHOULDNT be doing rather than "Do this:" and then sticking by it. And yes this comes from some tips from other "professional" photographers as well because I dont believe in putting my learning eggs all in one basket. I understand too many cooks in the kitchen thing, but we are not cooking some exotic Ethiopian dish, we are talking about an indoor portrait type shot, and I would think most knowledgeable professionals should be able to agree on a basic setup that will work for my situation. But this seem so far from being the case. But in the end it seems like there really isnt a solution for all that I really need, and if so, no one has told me that, except for one person who said "You need a bigger budget".... but she only said that because she thought I needed to light up the backdrop, which I dont.

    And I dont understand the problem with the 7 lights. I thought it was beat into me that MORE light is better for lower ISO/faster shutter speeds. But in essence, what u r really saying is something like that is NOT true unless u get just like 2-3 super bright lights, which will cost more than my camera and lens. I am just frustrated because I feel like instead of whittling DOWN the possibilities, it seems like the ideas are just circumnavigating on a mobius strip and there is no end at all in sight. I understand in photography there are thousands of ways to skin a cat. But I have one camera, one lens, one set room with set dimensions, with sunlight and reflector. I cannot believe even 2 people can agree on the simplest and most effective setup with about a $200 budget for a web product shot at max 700 resolution and decent video. I just dont understand that. ne_nau.gif

    (Apologies again, I am not mad at u if it sounded like it... I am a teacher myself in many OTHER trades, and it frustrates me greatly when others cant teach me something clearly and succinctly. Maybe I should just listen to you only and go, but I have just never operated like that when I learn, to only follow one person no matter how great they are. Sigh.)

    10


    The first words I posted in this thread were, "If we could all agree on just one there'd be no need for an election this year!..hahaha!:D"

    I ought to have left off the haha!

    Your Complaints are valid. And if I may, your only real problem here is lack of experience in this vocation. So you and your capable logic are trying to entice others to come to a consensus for you.

    Lets talk one light. If I have one light and it is on a stand and it puts out enough light to light my scene where should I place it? In front of the subject? many will agree. In front of the subject and 30 degrees to the right pointing back to the subject center? Some will agree. In front of the subject 45 degrees to the left and pointing back to the center of my subject? Some will agree. Behind My subject and pointing down on her causing her eyes to be in shadow but face to be lit? Very few will agree. And on and on ad infinitum. You see a simple one light source can be a complete can of worms.

    So if you ask a simple question, you may or may not get a simple answer in return.

    Let me move on to the wattage issue. In the thread I linked to earlier and encouraged you to notice what was said, if you scroll down a post or two later you'll see I post a reminder of the wattage, actual wattage versus what I like to call marketing wattage. It's true, as Lifeinfocus mentioned earlier here, you ought to look at lumens if you'd like to compare light to lights. That may all be well and true. But to me watts is watts. Now I admit, I have one or two CFL45w bulbs placed in some dark corners of my abode. And they seem to really light up well. But I don't for a minute think they are so very much brighter than their tungsten cousins. So that being my experience, I say watts is watts. your 3000-marketing watts kit is 15 bulbs @ 45watts per bulb and that tally is 675 watts total out of three fixtures combined. or 5 bulbs per [email protected] 45 watts x 5 bulbs=225 watts per softbox. Pretty dim in my estimation. Especially when you compare it to the photo-montage I put together in the other thread and see what my 595w SBox looks like for comparison.

    On the 7 light issue. I'm not a big fan of analogies, but I think this one fits.
    Lets just say for a moment we're in cooking class and you need to cook a meal for your final. Would you prefer to use and have 7 pans cooking at once or maybe one or two to manage? That is the keeping it simple thing I was talking about. As far as I know I haven't tried to make things harder than they appear. And I know I haven't said, it's not that easy. What I have said is clearly written above and in other threads.
    TO get those very bright lights you mention if budget were no concern, would burn the house down in heat! Count on it, it is a fact! You cannot have High wattage and not have heat be the by product of it. Some say LED's: I say no, I don't want to have to buy $4500 worth of LED's to try and get some barely interview style video done. Many say CFL's oh hell, their CRI is crappy. They are right. And I don't care. And on and On. And most of what I speak of is in my experience. I use what I use and I make it work.

    Rather than worry over what folks tell you or especially tell you not to do there are some things you can do right away.

    1. READ the manual for your camera and then take tons of photos to prove or disprove what you think you read.

    2. Buy those flashes you mentioned and do the same with them.

    3. But before you use the adjunct flashes, use your on-camera flash and try to alter it's output so that it looks like you flashed the hell out of someone, then use it to make a regular decent but flashed straight on photo, then still using your flash make it look like you didn't use flash or maybe could have used flash, but all you/we know is the result looks great.

    4. And on and on with each new peice of gear that you buy, do this all over adding that new peice of gear.

    5. When you read something Online, go try it see if you can prove or disprove what you read. or repeat what you saw.

    There. 5 things that you CAN do, right now or as soon as you have the gear.
    tom wise
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 26, 2012
    Responded inline, easier.....

    angevin1 wrote: »
    The first words I posted in this thread were, "If we could all agree on just one there'd be no need for an election this year!..hahaha!:D"

    I ought to have left off the haha!

    Your Complaints are valid. And if I may, your only real problem here is lack of experience in this vocation. So you and your capable logic are trying to entice others to come to a consensus for you.

    Ha yea, well thanks for not making me feel like an idiot and being a real person with me... I relaly appreciate that and makes me feel like at least you understand what I am thinking, and thats half the battle right now. I dont like feeling like a moron in anything, and this is coming close to it!


    Lets talk one light. If I have one light and it is on a stand and it puts out enough light to light my scene where should I place it? In front of the subject? many will agree. In front of the subject and 30 degrees to the right pointing back to the subject center? Some will agree. In front of the subject 45 degrees to the left and pointing back to the center of my subject? Some will agree. Behind My subject and pointing down on her causing her eyes to be in shadow but face to be lit? Very few will agree. And on and on ad infinitum. You see a simple one light source can be a complete can of worms.

    So if you ask a simple question, you may or may not get a simple answer in return.

    I totally understand what you mean, but I'm saying, that cant be random still right? Yes photography is more "artistic" than replacing a hard drive, but still having a one light angle from 30 degrees right and a light straight on should have some "standard" purposes each right... like for product shots, no one is going to put the light behind the subject shining into the camera. I was basically just asking for "standard practice" advice, not artistic ways to take apparel product shots... this is why I was getting frustrated... some people just didnt seem like they got this point.


    On the 7 light issue. I'm not a big fan of analogies, but I think this one fits.
    Lets just say for a moment we're in cooking class and you need to cook a meal for your final. Would you prefer to use and have 7 pans cooking at once or maybe one or two to manage? That is the keeping it simple thing I was talking about. As far as I know I haven't tried to make things harder than they appear. And I know I haven't said, it's not that easy. What I have said is clearly written above and in other threads.
    TO get those very bright lights you mention if budget were no concern, would burn the house down in heat! Count on it, it is a fact! You cannot have High wattage and not have heat be the by product of it. Some say LED's: I say no, I don't want to have to buy $4500 worth of LED's to try and get some barely interview style video done. Many say CFL's oh hell, their CRI is crappy. They are right. And I don't care. And on and On. And most of what I speak of is in my experience. I use what I use and I make it work.

    Yes, I remember the temp vs brightness thing... but to me it seemed like it was like Biblical that you can never have TOO much light... so I figured why not pile on as much as I can afford with some decent non-crappy stuff, Laughing.gif...


    Rather than worry over what folks tell you or especially tell you not to do there are some things you can do right away.

    1. READ the manual for your camera and then take tons of photos to prove or disprove what you think you read.

    Holy cow, really, I need to read that? There are like 3 of them on the CD, and I printed them out and they total like 400 letter sized pages... ok, ok, just pretend I didnt ask that.

    2. Buy those flashes you mentioned and do the same with them.

    3. But before you use the adjunct flashes, use your on-camera flash and try to alter it's output so that it looks like you flashed the hell out of someone, then use it to make a regular decent but flashed straight on photo, then still using your flash make it look like you didn't use flash or maybe could have used flash, but all you/we know is the result looks great.

    4. And on and on with each new peice of gear that you buy, do this all over adding that new peice of gear.

    5. When you read something Online, go try it see if you can prove or disprove what you read. or repeat what you saw.

    There. 5 things that you CAN do, right now or as soon as you have the gear.

    I actually did some test shots a couple of months ago when I first got my T3i... I uploaded them here for you in case you have a couple of minutes... some are with sunlight ONLY, and some with the sunlight and the on-camera flash... I am sure someone like you can tell which are which, bec like an idiot, I forgot to label and record which was which. Afterward I was done taking, I was like, hmmm, I should have noted that. I used a tripod, I dont think I used a self-timer on most, and I think I set the ISO from like 1600-6400, but mostly I think 3200. I resized all images to 900px wide since my web photos will never be larger than this. No sharpening or post work done at all but cropping, saved in 9 quality JPG. When I zoom in on the full size 5000px+ originals, I really did not see much graininess on any of them, I was actually pretty impressed there weren't at those ISO's. Then again, these aren't photos of humans, but the again, I'm not taking headshots so, I think this is still a fair indication of what I can expect. The sunlight BTW is coming from the left on all shots. (Hopefully?) Any comments, let me have it!

    Here is the link to the photos
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 26, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    Responded inline, easier.....




    Here is the link to the photos


    Glad to let you have it!

    Please tell me you've had this Camera for 'Months' and HAVE taken more than these shots?
    You got two poses. A big orange-ish bar coming out of the Tigers back. BG is wrinkled. some stray piece of gear found it's way into 2 photos. And light source reflections are all over the place.

    Also, when you save your photos, don't select save for Web, because it strips the EXIF data that would easily tell you and the viewer what the Camera's settings were and if the On-board flash fired too.

    Need to set your White Balance for shots with different light sources.

    my 2¢
    tom wise
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 39 Big grins
    edited October 26, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    Glad to let you have it!

    Please tell me you've had this Camera for 'Months' and HAVE taken more than these shots?
    You got two poses. A big orange-ish bar coming out of the Tigers back. BG is wrinkled. some stray piece of gear found it's way into 2 photos. And light source reflections are all over the place.

    Also, when you save your photos, don't select save for Web, because it strips the EXIF data that would easily tell you and the viewer what the Camera's settings were and if the On-board flash fired too.

    Need to set your White Balance for shots with different light sources.

    my 2¢


    Ehh as far as shot volume, when I get more than 5 hrs of sleep a night, this will be the first thing on my list! Yes I have a small mouth and a lot of food... story of my life.

    I was gonna use the BG on the right that is a lot less wrinkled, and I can steam it more to make it even cleaner, the other one was serving as a test bg just "to see."

    Ya these were just total test photos... for lighting etc., I cropped these down, u shoulda seen the rest... so I'm not worried about the black thing at the bottom or the horrible gap in the middle of the bg, etc... but the reflections, yes that kind of thing will be a problem because I am not sure how to prevent that or what part you mean exactly, that will translate into a bad shot for a model shot who's apparel and skin will not be as glossy as the tiger's paint job.

    You mean when I save from the camera or from PS? I cannot remember what JPG I saved from the camera, but from PS I jut saved straight to JPG, no web, with quality 9.

    I still have a ways to go using white balance, will need to read up on that a bit and mess with it.

    But overall, it seems the ones with the flash produce a better overall quality with less reflections and shadows across the body right?

    10
  • novicesnappernovicesnapper Major grins Registered Users Posts: 445 Major grins
    edited November 5, 2012
    JMASTERJ, you might spend some time in this thread, the Pullbacks Thread. This will give you an idea of how the light will hit with different setups. Oddly enough I was looking for a softbox constant light kit the last few days and really liked that Fancierstudio. Before i even saw this thread. There's alot of variables on lighting, from kelvin, the wavelength of the lights, to height, to angles. Even sublte changes can change the shadowing drastically. Also the distance to the BG between it and the subject. The first few pics of the tiger, the left light source is stronger and seems to be flat to the tiger, same height. If you would raise the light source, the shadow behind will drop lower. As well as create drop shadows on the prominent parts of the face, nose, eyes, cheeks.

    As far as WB, as long as the sources are pretty close on kelvin, you can adjust it in LR. No biggie. As long as it isn't like way way off. I look for something between 4900 and 5300 kelvin and fine tune in LR. Sometimes the hard part is matching the outer light sources with a strobe, to match kelvin.
    Here's a linked kelvin chart to show where the light goes in what spectrum. Its not to complicated, its a constant.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PlanckianLocus.png

    The general rules of thumb I have gathered are:
    The bigger the softbox the better, more diffusion of light, the better
    The more powerful, the farther it can be moved away, to soften even more (diffuse) the light on the subject
    Straight strobes throw a harsh light, some type of strobe diffusion is an absolute must.
    To avoid BG shadows either move subject forward or splash a light shot of light across the BG to lesson shadow.
    You'll constantly run into the constant light vs strobe arguments. Constant makes flat light vs strobes making a nice pop, blah blah.
    The main thing it go with whatever you want to use and practice like crazy, did I say practice like crazy? Read and see what others are doing and what problems to avoid. I think the balance of light is just as important as strength. ie, If the lights are little weak, over expose the image in the camera some, and vise versa, to hot, lower the exposure. A lot of ways to approach this, no single one is "correct". There's plenty of lighting tutorials on YT, that will give you an idea of what does what.


    ETA and it doesn't have to be high tech, go the the autoparts store and grab a windshield reflector, they work great. Or the home supply store and grab a sheet of silver foam board, it also works great for a under the chin reflector. Cut to size, say 2 foot by 3 and prop it up to catch some spill off the main lights. Thanks Sue Bryce for that tip.
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