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Old Nov 4, 2003, 9:28 AM   #1
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Default Looking to set-up a studio - lighting questions

OK, I'm by no means looking to become the next Professional Photographer but I am looking to set-up a small little studio to do some still photography of products for my company. I'm more the computer wiz and know that anything, almost, I bring into photoshop I can correct certain problems, lighting, contrast, brightness, color balance etc...

I'm looking to be all digital since that seems the new wave and since DSLRs seem to have gotten good enough to make decent print quality pics. Our brochure will be 8 1/2 x 11. The largest print might be a full spread 11 x 17 but most will be 1/2 page or smaller.

I read that constant light, makes your shuttle speed slower, which to me wouldn't really matter since it would be on a tripod. Should I still go with a flash/strobe? I do notice that the Flash units are abit more expensive. I was looking a a Dyna-lite set-up before but that seems to be out of the ballpark. Could I get away with:
3...650 watt lights (1950 total output)
3...Barndoors
3... Professional heavy duty 40" white / black umbrellas
2...307 heavy duty light stands,
1...Boom
which would run me about 500 as apposed to a couple grand?
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Old Nov 4, 2003, 9:48 AM   #2
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I am not familiar with the manfacture but the setup sounds fine.

Most of this only applies if you go with a strobe setup.
Hot Lights can't use most of the addons.

Only thing you are really missing is a flash meter.
One question these heads have modeling lights? Trying to do lighting wihtout them is a nightmare.

I am not partial to umbrellas, IMHO a SoftBox gives nicer even light.
You might also want to get a snoot(hollow cone) and honeycomb(directional grid) as well. They allow you to tightly control where the light falls. Gobo's, scrims, and reflactors you can make yourself fairly easily.

First thing make sure your camera can fire the strobes! A lot of them don't have PC sockets anymore. Or if you are using the cameras hotshoe get a wein safesync(isolates your camera from any potential bad voltage comming from the strobes).


Applies to strobes or hot lights:
Then start learning about lighting 1 light at a time.
Trying to balance multiple lights and a pile of reflectors can be interesting at times . Especially controling shadows and unwanted reflections.

Oh and hot lights are HOT, really HOT, they will melt things that are sensitive to heat! including people models in front of them so speed is necessary! And care is needed they can set things on fire.


Most of all have fun!
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Old Nov 8, 2003, 7:21 PM   #3
BK
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Default Studio Lighting

There are certain advantages to "hot" lights for someone at the beginning of the learning curve. You can "see" the light, and the Highlight/Shadow ratio. In time You will aquire a little of both systems. Look into Speedotron's Product line. Shutterbug ADs for used equipment.
If your "studio" has white ceilings, or if you can paint them white.
I would suggest that you "bounce" the light off the ceiling. This will give you the effect of a large "bank light" I would suggest two flash heads in your "arsenal". I have done a lot of work with just one. The longer the distance from the light source to ceiling to subject the softer the lighting effect. The trade off is less light illuminating the subject. The tripod is a must. A flash meter would be nice but not required for digital. I use one but I shoot film and have it scanned. You MUST bock light from the lens. A lens shade may not be enough. Cardboard cards clamped to a light stand work fine. Make sure that they are just outside your field of view. If the subject matter is highly reflective, get a large white card with a hole cut out of the center for You lens to shoot through. White side facing the subject. Photography need not be expensive. Experiment a lot and have fun..Hope this helps...bk
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 3:03 PM   #4
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Default Creative Lighting ideas for low $$...

BK - Good tips.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 3:30 PM   #5
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"You MUST bock light from the lens. A lens shade may not be enough. Cardboard cards clamped to a light stand work fine. Make sure that they are just outside your field of view. If the subject matter is highly reflective, get a large white card with a hole cut out of the center for You lens to shoot through. White side facing the subject."

Could you explain this, please? What is its purpose? Thanks.
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