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Best lighting for at home and location shoots
Old 01-16-2006, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi gang, newbie here and just diggin my heels in [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
I recently purchased a Canon RebelXT, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, Canon 589ex flash. I do my own glamour/pinup photoshoots and recently upgraded to the Canon rig I have now. I also have a older Vivitar 283 and slave unit.
My question is regarding lighting. It would seem thats my weakest link right now and I've been leaning towards constant lighting as apposed to flash/strobes, though the Alien Bee stuff I hear is great.
The light rig I've been eyeing is by Photoflex and consists of 2-1000 watt soft box rigs.
Is this a good choice ?, is it portable ? ( since I do some location shoots )
I thought I'd start this route and later if I switch to strobes its not a total waste and still can be used easily ( I would think anyways )
Luv to hear your comments
Wylde
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Re: Best lighting for at home and location shoots
Old 01-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well the Photoflex Starlites are not very portable. They are fairly large and are very hot. They are also quite expensive. You can buy two Alien Bee heads for the price of one of the Starlites. There is a cheaper way to go on the Photoflex like lights with something like:

http://www.amvona.com/v7/shop/?page=...roduct_id=2063

Also if you really are interested in hot lights, something like the Spiderlites are very versatile since they allow either halogen or fluorescent bulbs.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Best lighting for at home and location shoots
Old 01-17-2006, 01:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm partial to strobes for shooting people for all the usual reasons you've probably read elsewhere but a couple of important things you might consider...
-- Strobes generally allow you to easily freeze motion AND shoot a mid-range aperture without making your subject squint.
-- If you plug two 1000W hot lights into a typical AC circuit, you're gonna pop the breaker frequently... which is really inconvenient.

One route would be to buy a single monolight strobe, a good softbox, an umbrella, maybe a set of grids and a fold up reflector/scrim kit (photoflex multidisc). Learn to work with that one light and a reflector. You can do a hell of a lot with a single light and it will force you to think creatively about how you go about lighting a scene. Once you feel solid with that one light, you will have had the time to save up for one or two more.

Just some thoughts.

Good luck,
Chip
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stay away from hot lights
Old 01-17-2006, 02:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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OK, so a few folks here will probably disagree, but if you're indoors (or outdoors for that matter) shooting people, glamour, etc, strobe is the only way to go (for all the aforementioned reasons - heat in the room, the need for excessively bright lights, ability to use smaller f-stops, get crisper images and use less power. Also strobes are the pro way to go. I recall when I was starting out (no, it wasn't by candlelight), I was concerned about strobes - how would I know where the light was, how would I know how intense it was? Well... back then we had light meters and Polaroid backs, and we used strobes with a modeling light in them to see the light, and aid in focusing. Now at least you still should have a flash meter to get you into the ball park, but you can use the LCD screen to replace the Polaroid. I haven't peeled back a Polaoid in a couple years, even when I was shooting film, because I'd use my Nikon D70 as a mock Polaroid, and it worked great. Once you do strobes for a while, it becomes second nature. BUT.... doing strobes on a glamour shoot, you need strobes with modeling lights and some flash power, not just the hot-shoe style flash units. You could use one or two of those on a slave for background purposes, but that's about it. You need to see the light. Get the Alien Bees or any other real flash unit, and learn how to use them like every other photographer has. (Andy's version of tough love). [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio

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Re: Best lighting for at home and location shoots
Old 01-17-2006, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Go with the Alien bees and their "Vagabond" system. Probably the best bang for the buck.


These were both shot with a single Alien bee(b800)powered by the Vagabond.



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Re: Best lighting for at home and location shoots
Old 01-17-2006, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Do some searching in the forums and you'll find lots of discussion on this topic. Strobes are a better long-term solution. Hot lights can have their uses, but for still photography strobes are a more useful and flexible tool. The learning curve can be a little intimidating to a beginner, but using strobes isn't nearly as difficult as many think it is. The handheld meter and modeling lights are your best friends.
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Re: stay away from hot lights
Old 01-17-2006, 08:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
OK, so a few folks here will probably disagree, but if you're indoors (or outdoors for that matter) shooting people, glamour, etc, strobe is the only way to go (for all the aforementioned reasons - heat in the room, the need for excessively bright lights, ability to use smaller f-stops, get crisper images and use less power. Also strobes are the pro way to go. I recall when I was starting out (no, it wasn't by candlelight), I was concerned about strobes - how would I know where the light was, how would I know how intense it was? Well... back then we had light meters and Polaroid backs, and we used strobes with a modeling light in them to see the light, and aid in focusing. Now at least you still should have a flash meter to get you into the ball park, but you can use the LCD screen to replace the Polaroid. I haven't peeled back a Polaoid in a couple years, even when I was shooting film, because I'd use my Nikon D70 as a mock Polaroid, and it worked great. Once you do strobes for a while, it becomes second nature. BUT.... doing strobes on a glamour shoot, you need strobes with modeling lights and some flash power, not just the hot-shoe style flash units. You could use one or two of those on a slave for background purposes, but that's about it. You need to see the light. Get the Alien Bees or any other real flash unit, and learn how to use them like every other photographer has. (Andy's version of tough love). [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio



[/ QUOTE ]


Yep,... I second that! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

There are so many more uses for strobes, like the Alien Bee lights mentioned, over hot lights..

JP
 
 
Re: thank you everyone
Old 01-17-2006, 09:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, It would seem most everyone favours the Alien Bee way. For the same money as the Photoflex lights looks like I can quite the Alien Bee rig. I'm sold! Now to pick my colours.
Wish I didn't return my Minolta light meter. Doh! now I have to get that again. Good thing they love me and the money I spend at the camera shop - I just drive them crazy [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] lmao.
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Re: thank you everyone
Old 01-17-2006, 11:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Thanks everyone, It would seem most everyone favours the Alien Bee way. For the same money as the Photoflex lights looks like I can quite the Alien Bee rig. I'm sold! Now to pick my colours.
Wish I didn't return my Minolta light meter. Doh! now I have to get that again. Good thing they love me and the money I spend at the camera shop - I just drive them crazy [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] lmao.

[/ QUOTE ]

Gosh, Alien Bee makes so much off of sales from this forum...you'd think they'd be a sponsor here or something too..? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

JP
 
 
Re: Best lighting for at home and location shoots
Old 01-18-2006, 12:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, as a new member and just on the brink of purchasing a lighting system this topic is very timely. I have been using the Nikon Creative Lighting System with 3 SB800's. For a lot of things and this system works except for limited light power and double A batteries. So I've made a list to order an AlienBee AB800, the power pack, and an octobox, the heavy duty tripod and I'm thinking of getting their wireless system. Is anyone using that? And I'd appreciate suggestions as to what else to add to the kit.
Thanks

David English davidenglish@Gmail.com
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