Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings
  
 
moresnowdays
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


I've been a hobbyist photographer for along time, and decided I want to make a go at professional work. Hoping one day to make a career transition over to portrait and wedding photography. I shot a couple weddings recently, and really enjoyed it.

I want to spend the next year developing a portfolio, and learning lighting outside my usual. I've tried to stick with natural light whenever possible, and used a flash on a bracket bouncing them when indoors for weddings.

What I would like to do is get a basic, economical, setup to learn more about portrait/studio lighting. Hopefully a kit that would be portable enough to use in different locations and have some practical use for weddings. Trouble is when it comes to lighting equipment I don't really know where to start.

I don't want to buy junk, but I don't want to break the bank getting started either. I don't want to buy stuff that I don't really end up using.

I had been using Nikon cameras, but recently decided to switch to Canon. I intend to eventually get a 5d mkII or III, but currently just bought a pair 5Dc to test the waters a bit. When I pick up one of the newer models, the 5Dc will become backup until another upgrade later on (I'll sell the 2nd 5Dc later as well).

Any suggestions appreciated!



Dec 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


moresnowdays wrote:
...What I would like to do is get a basic, economical, setup to learn more about portrait/studio lighting. Hopefully a kit that would be portable enough to use in different locations and have some practical use for weddings. Trouble is when it comes to lighting equipment I don't really know where to start.


I suggest starting with Speedlites. Many will tell you that "portraits" and "studio" require monolights or even pack-and-head strobes, but I think since you mentioned wedding work as a primary function, the portablility of Speedlites trumps the versatility of strobes. (I know there are battery packs for some strobes, but I still think Speedlites are a better place to start.

Before buying any gear, I'd suggest getting some books that go over photographic lighting both in general and specifically for portraits and weddings.

In my order of recommendation:

http://www.amazon.com/Camera-Techniques-Digital-Portrait-Photography/dp/1584282584
(How to make flash photography not look like a typical flash snapshot.)

and

http://www.amazon.com/Speedliters-Handbook-Learning-Craft-Speedlites/dp/032171105X
(All about gear and techniques.)

Once you've lived with the above two for a while:

http://www.amazon.com/Off-Camera-Flash-Techniques-Digital-Photographers/dp/1608952789
(The sequel to the first book, with more on getting professional-looking results; this time with multiple flash.)

BTW, in case you're not aware, many of the same kinds of light modifiers that are used with strobes are available for Speedlites. Here's some of my gear, which includes a 28-inch Apollo soft box (soft light for portraits), 11-inch RPS BeautiDish with grid (accent light), 45-inch Photoflex umbrella (group light for wedding formals), and 20-inch RPS BeautiDish (crisp key light for portraits).

HTH.

















Edited on Dec 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM · View previous versions



Dec 15, 2012 at 04:10 PM
moresnowdays
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


Very cool. I actually just got the first book on your list the other day. Look forward to going through it soon.

Thanks!



Dec 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


moresnowdays wrote:
Very cool. I actually just got the first book on your list the other day. Look forward to going through it soon. Thanks!


You're welcome. Stand by for more suggestions (many differing from mine) as the day progresses. Also, if you haven't already done so, peruse the Wedding forum. There's lot's of talent over there. (Although some of them can be a little hostile to new-comers and part-timers.)

Regarding the book, Neil van Niekerk also has a Web site that's worth visiting:

http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

See especially the clickable list of articles in the sidebar on the right of the page.



Dec 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



jefferies1
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


You can never go wrong with a battery pack for on location work. Pick your brand but the Vagabond ( Paul Buff brand) battery pack is a low cost option.Many like his lights also so that is an option. This pack and 1- 2 lights will give you all you need for basic bright sun or evening location work. Also can light up a reception hall if required but you usually have a plug to use inside.

For speedlights I would suggest one or two Canon model because they do everything and has the low light assist you may need in a dark reception. Add to that some low cost off brands and learn to shoot in Manual flash mode. At $65.00 each you can have 2-3 as off camera units for next to nothing ( use a flash trigger to fire ) and use as back-up because that Canon will burn out at the wrong time. Add the power pack made by canon or a lower cost off brand (I have 3 and all work fine) for fast re-cycle time both on and off camera. On camera I feel it is a must to get the flower toss with 3-4 super fast shots. Yes the kind that shorten the life of your flash!

For my in studio work I would go nuts with speedlights. I prefer strobes but then I do a lot of shooting. I have 4 for the background if I want bright white look ( 2 at the least required). One over head for hair or accent. 3 others for whatever position I want them for.

Strobes to me are Just more consistant, can use larger SB etc. No way would I want to charge enough batteries to keep me in business. That would be another full time job.



Dec 17, 2012 at 10:44 PM
moresnowdays
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


Sounds like good suggestions, much appreciated. Going to spend the next couple weeks doing alot of reading I think.

Any more thoughts, or brand/model specific suggestions appreciated.

I was looking on the website for Alienbees, and noticed they offer some package deals. Maybe something like this;

http://www.paulcbuff.com/pkg-busybee.php

I see the Alienbee stuff is by the Paul Buff brand mentioned by jefferies1. Don't know of their stuff personally, but guessing from frequent mention in the FM forums here that it is a good way to go.

Maybe just add speedlights to the above package, and the mentioned battery pack?



Dec 18, 2012 at 05:16 PM
moresnowdays
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


Been trying to get some reading and research done on the subject, but it's been a slow go after the holidays. The day job tends to get in the way a bit.

I stopped at my local photography shop. They had a flourescent bulb kit for $200. It's a 1000w system that comes with two 8' stands with large/long flourescent bulb on each, and a sliver umbrella on each. Plus two shorter stands with a smaller bulb on each. Also comes with a bag.

Kind of looks something like this, but with one more small stand and bulb;
http://www.amazon.com/Cowboystudio-Photography-Portrait-Continuous-Umbrellas/dp/B003WLY24O/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357304616&sr=1-2&keywords=studio+lighting+day+light

And the large bulbs look more like this;
http://www.amazon.com/Photography-Daylight-Fluorescent-ePhotoINC-105WATT/dp/B004RPYOUQ/ref=sr_1_69?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357304698&sr=1-69&keywords=studio+lighting+day+light

I know it's cheap stuff, and you get what you pay for. However, is it really a bad idea to start with something like this?

On the one hand I like that I can afford it now and start playing. I also think, from what little I read, that a lighting system that is constantly on (instead of flash) has alot of benefit for a novice at this. Maybe I'm wrong here?

Also like the idea that the bulbs are not hot, although environmentally not friendly in construction I wouldn't expect this to work for weddings either, but more for home studio/experimentation.

My one concern is, although it seemed to provide alot of light in the store, is there so much spill light with something like this that I wouldn't really have good control over the light to learn more with?



Jan 04, 2013 at 01:09 PM
novicesnapper
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Getting started with lighting for portrait and weddings


I have both setups. A 2400 watt three cfl softboxes and also multiple speedlite flash setup. 1000 watt constant is not as bright as you think. Not when flashes are measured in Watt/Seconds. Having both, I would suggest a speedlite(s) and a shoot thru umbrella or softbox with stand to start with. Or a speedlte on a monopod, commonly referred to as, a light on a stick, great for weddings. Then maybe an optical triggered flash with another softbox or beauty dish or? And somewhere in there, some triggers.

One thing I learned with my constant setup was this, the histogram is very touchy, and I mean touchy. Nothing like a speedlite shot, where you can grab and jerk four stops from a raw image. Constant light has it's uses, but for general all around shooting, I would go speedlite.

Or edit to add, the strobe route. I have seen some good deals on them lately.

A little low on wattage but decent
http://www.adorama.com/FP320M.html
Here's another setup, don't know much about JTL
http://www.adorama.com/JTTL250SK.html



Jan 04, 2013 at 06:11 PM





FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password