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Studio Lighting
Old 06-15-2007, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am getting ready to try my hand at studio lighting. I am currently looking at a couple of Alien Bees to start out with.
Where can I turn to for lighting set-ups, styles, etc.
I have used a set of lights once, with only fair results. When I compare to most of you I can see that there is alot to learn.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-15-2007, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haselton View Post
I am getting ready to try my hand at studio lighting. I am currently looking at a couple of Alien Bees to start out with.
Where can I turn to for lighting set-ups, styles, etc.
I have used a set of lights once, with only fair results. When I compare to most of you I can see that there is alot to learn.
Thanks in advance for your help!
There are many good sources for lighting. One quite straight forward source is a book called "Master Lighting Guide" by Christopher Grey and published by Amherst. You can check it out on Amazon.

Also from time to time you'll see lighting diagrams on G1 that one or more of us provide. Here's an example (although it uses 3 lights - but you can drop one of the two background lights and still get close to this setup):

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Re: Studio Lighting 


If you're going to start with two lights, then put one on the background and one as your main on the model. Then move the light around and up and down and take shots and see what works best for you. If you put the light in a soft box, then you get a softer light. Move the box in very close for the softness light. Keep in mind that soft light is a quality of size of the light and distance from the subject.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 12:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Take your time, save your money, and remember, lighting first, lenses second, camera bodies third...read this first, http://www.glamour1.com/forums/main-...uggestion.html and if you have time, wait, buy the best lights and don't get stung by bees...thanks, rg sends!

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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 12:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Heyyyyy... what's with the pissin on the bees? I love my bees. They're fantastic tools. Hensels are wonderful... so are Profotos... so are Elinchroms... so are Normans.... and Broncolors. The point is... they're tools. If they do their job ( and AB's certainly do ) - who cares which ones are used? It's like saying that you can't drive to the grocery store unless you're in a Lexus. My minivan gets me there just fine.



- Shot with a killer Bee.

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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 02:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here we go again.
and my dad can beat up your dad.

Happy fathers day!
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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been blogging about pretty girl shooting since last summer. there's a lot of info on it re: studio lighting. just search through the archives.

http://prettygirlshooter.blogspot.com

also, i agree with mr. resident evil about lighting gear being tools and shooters not needing a lexus to get where they're trying to go. sure, some systems make life easier in production and hensel is certainly one of those systems. but i'm thinking, where you're at right now, it's more important for you to learn about lighting than worrying about production flow. besides, systems like the bees are always re-sellable on ebay when you're ready to upgrade. you'll probly get nearly what you paid for them when they were new.

Tera Patrick, fashion editorial for Playboy, two modified Novatron monolights.

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Waiting at the Airport....
Old 06-16-2007, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You know me, Jimmy, I'll be waiting at the airport when my ship finally comes in.

I went backwards, I've been shooting all my magazine, advertising, and catalog work for over 25 years using Speedotron Blackline pack and head lights. Several years ago I picked up a little Alien Bee 800 and the Vagabond portable power source to help with my location shooting here in Miami. The damn things work so well I probably use them 80% of the time, particularly now that I have the ABR800 ring light.


If I had a studio that would allow me to leave my pack and head lights set up all the time, and I had a clientele which required a lot of studio work, I'd probably use my Speedo's more frequently. But as they say in racing, horses for courses. The Bee's satisfy my need for portability, particularly when the location is around water (as it is so frequently here in Miami). If I damage or destroy a Bee, I'd be pissed, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. (Fortunately that hasn't happened in the four years I've had them!)

I am laughing about "lights first, lenses second and cameras third". I flashed on a newbee sitting around with a model while he is firing his expensive strobes and saying, "just come back in a few months when I can afford a lens and hopefully a camera and you'll be able to take some of these pictures home!"


But that's just me, I always get things backwards!

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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 06:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ROTFLMAO !


Fish... " Come back in a few months..."

Falls back on floor laughing....
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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 06:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't want to rehash all the chatter and sound like mac vs windows here, but I will say, I had two friends, one took their date to the senior prom in his mini-van and the other borrowed his father's sports car for his date. One scored a homerun, one struck out, wanna guess?

Oh, if you must know, I drove a truck, in Texas, you either own a Truck or a Suburban or you'll get hit by one.

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To clarify my statement, since Fish brought it up, about lights first, lenses second, cameras (bodies) third, as said before, I've seen individuals spend over $5,000 on camera bodies, shoot with cheap Sigma lens and cheap lights. Lights (as well as lenses) are "long-term" investments, not "short-term" like camera bodies today that change every Monday when the Board of Directors meet. Invest in lights with an "initial" inexpensive kit (build when you can), afforable but built to last and make your shooting easier and efficient, invest in great glass, then worry about the bodies, though buy what you need, not what you won't use. Obviously if you have a natural built-in reflector like Fish, then you don't need lights.

Ten years from now, your lights should be ten years old and still working, same as your lenses. In today's digital world, I guarantee you, you'll have a new camera body ten years from now.

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As an example, I see many Canon Mark IId's, Mark whatever's, with F/4.0 and higher f/stop lenses, I just don't get it. I'd rather shoot with a less expensive Canon 5D or 30D with a Canon F/1.2 or F/1.8 lens before I'd purchase an F/4.0 Sigma lens with cheap lights. When I'm out photographing the San Antonio Spurs during an NBA game, I can tell you, F/4.0 will not work and there is not one photographer, out of the 50 or so there with a lens slower than F/2.8.

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Re: Studio Lighting 

On lights, buy smart, and what I mean by that, make an "educated" purchase not an educated guess, compare watt-second to watt-second first, by the dollar per real watt-second and then decide what you get for that dollar that will allow you to work smarter and effectively with efficiency. You'll be shocked to find out that the difference in watt-seconds between cheap lights and higher-quality lights is about a nickel (five centavos) per watt-second, too bad a Porsche vs a mini-van are not a nickel per horse(power) like in photographic lights.

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Re: Studio Lighting 

Problem today, people hear Hensel, Profoto, Broncolor, etc., and they immediately think $$$$ and get scared. Yes they are expensive, but they have starter kits too. Build slowly if you're on a budget, don't put yourself in a situation were you pay twice for your lights in the longrun What you'll realize if you do the research, it's not as expensive as it sounds if done correctly. Besides, why buy lights twice when it comes to cheap lights. Sure, I wouldn't want any light to drop in the pool or ocean, cheap or not, but then again, I take precautions, like sand bags. No, not because I worry about the light, because any brand of lighting dropped in the water next to where I'm standing can cause electrocution--safety first along with common sense.

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For the record, I own a Chevy Silverado 4-door, 4-wheel drive and a Chevy Suburban, black of course, Z-71 with a heavy-duty front grill, God forbid either one ever gets hit by a mini-van, that scenario would be like the prom date

Yes, I take lighting seriously, afterall, it's the lifeblood of the image...wishing you the best, rg sends!

(9x12 magazine advertisement for Samy's Camera, wanna guess what lights were used? )
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Re: Studio Lighting
Old 06-16-2007, 08:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Rolando,

First you piss on Bees... now you're pissing on Mini-Vans? I LOVE THAT VAN.

My only thought regarding the mini vs. the sports car is: Both of your high school friends had bad taste in women. If the cars were the deciding factor... ewwww... skanksville.

You obviously love your Hensels. I think they're wonderful too. In fact, as you know, I almost bought some. I don't see the purpose in belittling any other light - if for no other reason than because it wasn't as expensive. A great butt looks great in Rio Jeans and Guess Jeans. I don't credit the jeans. I credit the butt.

So let's review:

1. Alien Bees are great lights.
2. Hensels are great lights too.
3. I don't depend on brand names to give value to my work.
4. Mini-Vans ARE COOL.
5. Somewhere in Texas, there's at least one girl who will put out for men who have a sports car... because of the car. And one that won't because of a mini-van.
6. Great butts look great in jeans.
7. If you're making great images - who cares what brand you're using.
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