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I'm NEVER going back!
Old 07-03-2009, 09:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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... to hot lights. I have, as a starving artist with $20k yearly medical bills for the last few years, made a virtue of necessity and shot everything with an ad hoc mix of halogen fixtures, tungsten hot lights and home-made reflectors and diffusers. I'm pretty proud of what I could accomplish with what I had, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn about light the hard way, but I've just been handed a complete set of studio lights, and I have to say, I'm NEVER going back!
If nothing else, it's just easier to get the same effect from strobes than hot lights. Plus, I can get the same effect at iso 100, rather than 400 or 800... Then there's the fact that you can actually mount an honest-to-goodness softbox to a strobe, which is, shall we say, a dicy proposition with 1000 watt halogen lights.
And grids! I can use grids without having to weld them up out of steel so they don't burst into flame! (I've got a LOT of heat- and fire-centric stories...)
Don't get me wrong; light, in a certain sense, is light, and you can get some great shots out of the proverbial Home-Depot lighting setup; everything I've shot is testament to that. But CONTROL is the difference between good and great, and I'm determined to get to great. This is the third picture I took with my new lights; the original is an advertising handout printed at 4x6, with film grain effects added. I now need to start concentrating on post processing for web-sizing AND print, since I can't seem to manage both on the same photo; there are killer highlights on her gloves in print...

Thanks to the incomparable Electric Babydoll for a ridiculous amount of patience as I sorted out the lights...
"good enough" ... never is
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Re: I'm NEVER going back!
Old 07-03-2009, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very nice.
I know what you mean. I fell in love with strobes the first time I used them. Only time since I've wished for hot lights was a latex painting session in a cool, draft attic - could've used the heat. OTOH, I think it's easier for someone to learn with a hot light - you can SEE what the light does.
I don't have any fire-oriented HL stories, but I can tell you about the joy of replacing fuses (yes - pre-breaker) during a shoot.
Take care, Sam, and congratulations on the acquisition.
"Keeping shooting will do more for the excellence of your photography than most any camera will!" JimmyD, PGS Extraordinaire.
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Re: I'm NEVER going back!
Old 07-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the world of strobes. I too started out with a few 1,000 watt hot lights, burned a few gels, burned lots of gaff tape on my homemade light modifiers, saw a lot of hot and sweaty models (and I got plenty hot and sweaty) while shooting in a small room. And, like you ... I'll never go back to hot lights (but sometimes I combine them with my strobes in a few setups). And finally ... like you, someone gave me my first set of strobes (a Norman powerpack, four heads and a lot of modifiers)

So ... what type of strobes did you inherit?
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