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Strobes or continuous
Old 10-03-2006, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just setting up a studio for the first time......

Anyone using halogen for glamour as opposed to strobes - I am leaning this way as the light is as you see.......

I know strobes have modelling lights but these I am led to believe only give an indication of the result.

Will be using D1X and this will be mainly for glamour

Any examples would be appreciated and if you are against halogen then reasons why etc

Thanks
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-03-2006, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I started with bulbs in clamp-on fixtures in 1981 and graduated to Smith-Victor 600 watt quartz-halogen lights. I used a three light setup for a couple of years. Then went to strobes. The up side to halogen is what you see is what you get and with digital, you can set your white balance and shoot away. The down side is the heat coming off of the lights makes it hard to keep the shine off of the model and will damage just about any light modifier you use that isn't metal. Another plus to using continuous light is that if you pay attention, you will learn to "see" the light and when you do move to strobes with modeling lights, you can still "see" the light.
Shooting with strobes isn't as big a deal with digital as it was with film because of the color temperature, but I wouldn't give up my strobes to go back to halogen.
If you can pick up a cheap set of halogen or "continuous" lights, by all means start there. When you do move to strobes, you will be glad you gave yourself the learning experience.
One extra piece of advice...get a good light meter and use it. It will help you to "see" more and give you more creativity to your images. And if you work in a studio set up where there are windows...cover them up or work at night now and then and watch how just moving that light a foot to the left or two feet back will totally change the feel of a picture. Arkie.
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-03-2006, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkie
I started with bulbs in clamp-on fixtures in 1981 and graduated to Smith-Victor 600 watt quartz-halogen lights. I used a three light setup for a couple of years. Then went to strobes. The up side to halogen is what you see is what you get and with digital, you can set your white balance and shoot away. The down side is the heat coming off of the lights makes it hard to keep the shine off of the model and will damage just about any light modifier you use that isn't metal. Another plus to using continuous light is that if you pay attention, you will learn to "see" the light and when you do move to strobes with modeling lights, you can still "see" the light.
Shooting with strobes isn't as big a deal with digital as it was with film because of the color temperature, but I wouldn't give up my strobes to go back to halogen.
If you can pick up a cheap set of halogen or "continuous" lights, by all means start there. When you do move to strobes, you will be glad you gave yourself the learning experience.
One extra piece of advice...get a good light meter and use it. It will help you to "see" more and give you more creativity to your images. And if you work in a studio set up where there are windows...cover them up or work at night now and then and watch how just moving that light a foot to the left or two feet back will totally change the feel of a picture. Arkie.

Many thanks for that ........ are strobes better for getting pinsharp images as they freeze the movement even if they are dialled down - does it also mean that using halogen means shooting at a much slower speed wide open most of the time.

Thanks
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-03-2006, 06:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lot's of people are anti-hot lights. The main reason --- is that they are hot.
But now days, there is a new breed of "hot" lights that many photographers are using with great success. They are using fluorescent lighting. The lights are not hot at all and you can use any modifiers that you want with no heat problems. As long as you get daylight balanced bulbs, you have no problems with White balance.

You will often be shooting at slower shutter speeds, however. Typically when I use fluorescents I shoot at 1/60th, but I shoot on with a tripod. If you build your own fluorescent setup, then you can use something like 4 shop lights that will give you something that looks like these:



The above is an example of a setup used by Rolando at his workshops. You can build the whole thing for $100 (get daylight balanced bulbs). The lights are just the 2 bulb (48" long) and you need 4 of them as you can see in the photo.

Here is another example built using 2 by 4's:



It also shows a close up of a typical bulb.

If you get more expensive fluorescent lights with a better ballast, then you can shoot at higher shutter speeds.

Here are some example shots using the above lighting:





cheers,
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-03-2006, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am using tungsten halogen (professional photo lights, though - not a lashup). Yes, they are hot, and they make the studio warm, especially when you run them flat out to white out the background.

They are not as bright as strobe, so you will be using higher ISO, larger apertures, slower shutters. This means you won't be freezing motion.

I'm using them at the moment because I still need to see the light - I'm still learning. And I'm not a fan of the flashing.

I will probably move on to strobe at some point, because I want faster shutter speed, less heat, but I'm glad I am learning my lighting with continuous lights - it is a lot easier to move a light and see the results during the movement.
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-03-2006, 08:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've not found that freezing motion in a studio setting while shooting glamour is a problem. You simply arrange the model in her pose, tell her to hold it, and then shoot. I've never had any problem with motion in these settings. I usually use a tripod, however, when shooting since at longer focal lengths you won't be able to hand hold. But I shoot lots of the shots at about 5.6 which give a reasonable zone of focus on the model.

As for strobe shooting and being able to preview what you'll get, its a lot easier now with digital that it use to be. I use to shoot Polaroids to get the lighting ratios setup and confirm good exposure. With digital this is a snap. But if you use strobes with proportional modeling lights, then you see exactly what you're going to get. Alien Bees are examples of strobes hat have that kind of modeling light. In fact you can put the camera on a tripod, an shoot a shot with ABs using modeling lights only, and then turn the flash on and shoot the same shot and assuming you compensate for WB, you'll get almost identical shots.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-04-2006, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies........ the examples using strip lights are fantastic...... I have ordered a Interfit Stellar Pro Halogen which is 1000w and fully adjustable with only a 300k colour shift - I have reflectors etc so hopefully will be posting soon...............

Again many thanks for all your help
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Re: Strobes or continuous
Old 10-11-2006, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the HL1000's and am very happy with them. The best part about them is that you can control how bright the lights are.

I find I get more out of the hot lamps than strobe. I also think that I can get more color variations (not temp wise, just color of the light) out of the hot lamps. Most of my photos are long (1/3 sec and above) and I think you can also do more than just glamour with hotlight. I like stills and the lights are perfect for it.

Dave
 
 
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