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\"Home Depot Lighting\"...? do pros use this or....
Old 12-10-2005, 11:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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"Home Depot Lighting"...? do pros use this or is it just a way for the pros brag about how spectacular they are @ manipulating light sources... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

What does your "H.D." gorilla style lighting consist of, and how do i make it?
This is a general question to anyone who will answer...especial people at the top of photographic food chart....
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Re: \"Home Depot Lighting\"...?
Old 12-10-2005, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Easy answers; no and no. While it's true that 'light is light' and that the secret is in controlling the light, not the brand name of the manufacturer, there are reasons pros use actual electronic flash. HD lights are great, but they are not made for photography, they are made to be used when working on a car. As for why pros don't use them. there are many reasons, but most basic is that they are not bright enough, they are HOT and they don't flash. No pro, whose mortgage money and the beans his kids eat comes from his photography, will use lights which restrict his ability to shoot a variety of photographic styles or which limit him in any way. HD lights are absolutely limiting.

They are a step backwards. The logic that home depot lights are fine for photography, would say that continuing backward progress says we'll be using flash powder next. After all, why not save money since we can mix up flash powder in the garage for next to nothing and our only expense would be a small tray for holding it while it flashes.

Home Depot lights work as will any light source, but they are limiting. What happens when one falls over and sets the curtains on fire or and burns a model's face? Hope you have really good insurance! HD lights will work for some things, but they do not allow the latitude needed for general photography. Try lighting a five member band or a car with HD lights. Try lighting any group or using them to overpower sunlight. Try using them in a softbox or with a snoot or grid to control light.

When pros talk about HD lights, far from bragging, they are generally trying to pass on some techniques which will allow amateur or novice shooters to get some articifial light without investing in studio set ups. If teaching is bragging, then maybe they are. Go into their studios and what you'll are expensive and extensive flash heads, not relatively dim jury rigged set ups.

Only on internet forums will you see HD lights as a desirable thing!
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Re: \"Home Depot Lighting\"...? do pros use this or....
Old 12-10-2005, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pro or not is how to understand what the light does.

Many Home Depot lighting photographers that use it end up manipulating the hell of it in photoshop and some don't. Many brag on the light source but it's harsh and direct unless controled properly. Subjects will have to be styled and good make up and skin tones are required to get that hot light glamour look. You can't just settle on home depot lighting and be successful with it just because other pros use it. They manipulate it and control it to great results.

Lighting in it's various forms is also a style and it's handed down to us by other colleagues, pros or not.

It's important to understand the manipulative process's in all lighting scenerios.

J T

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what he said
Old 12-10-2005, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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X 2.

Great explanation. I've never seen any serious professional photographer use them as their main lighting source. And thats based on hundreds of studio visits.

Great Post Doug.
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Re: \"Home Depot Lighting\"...? do pros use this or....
Old 12-10-2005, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I bought some HD lights for my first "studio type" setup. I think I used them twice before I was able to get a Novatron set. There is no substitute for correct lights.
Granted I'm still learning lighting tecniques, but at least I'm not spinning my wheels with the wrong setup to start with.
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Beautiful light
Old 12-10-2005, 02:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I love that image Doug! Beautiful lighting whoever made it!
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Light is what you make with it.........
Old 12-10-2005, 02:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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.........learn how to use it. Whether natural or artifical.

<center>
One HD light</center>

-mp
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Re: \"Home Depot Lighting\"...? do pros use this or....
Old 12-10-2005, 05:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Speaking only for myself, I don't use hot lights on humans... pretty much for the same reasons Doug outlines. For still-life product shots? Sure I do. With continuous light and a tripod you can tweak a scene for the finest details... assuming an AD isn't standing over your shoulder. I don't have any home depot lights but I do use a variety of hot lights, some homemade.

For models, strobe is the way to go.

Weird stuff happens if you mix'em...


Chip
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Re: Light is what you make with it.........
Old 12-10-2005, 05:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's a cool shot for such a hot light.
Chip
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Re: \"Home Depot Lighting\"...? do pros use this or....
Old 12-10-2005, 06:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well some pros do use "home depot lighting". In fact the founder of Garage Glamour often uses them at his workshops. Here is a photo of one of his setups that I've seen in use at two different workshops he presents:



These are fluorescent lights and the total output of what you see in the photo is 320 watts. They are very cool (heat wise) lights by the way. You can buy the bulbs that are daylight balanced. You can get beautiful results from this kind of lighting for portraits and the whole setup costs about $100.

Here is an example shot with the above setup:



Here is a photo of another one of these ringlight setups made from two by fours:



Here is a shot with this setup:



So I guess it depends on what sort of things you want to do. I often use 4 fluorescent twist bulbs (23 watts each - but equal to about 120 watts each). I put them into little clamp reflectors that I bought for $4 each. I use the four all the time for lighting small products and macro subjects. Here is what these items look like:



I also use Alien Bees and Novatrons for glamour shots. So it depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. If I want a 40's Hollywood look, then certainly I'll consider hot lights and the cheaper the better. Add a fresnel in front of one of them and you have a focus-able light that gives great results.

Cheers,
rfs
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