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| p.1 #12 · Starting home studio lighting on a budget -- please help |
For $500 being your budget constraint, and the fact that you are new to off camera flash and artificial lighting, here are my recommendations:
-Start with a 1-light setup, and invest in light modifiers such as grids, umbrellas, and a beauty dish.
-Don't worry about wireless triggering yet - use a corded connection (saves $$ for stuff that's a lot more important
-Learn how to use light modifiers to achieve different looks, and evaluate from there before purchasing any additional fancy gear like light meters, radio triggers, battery packs, etc
I would buy the following:
-Alien Bees B800 strobe ($270 new, has enough pop to match and sometimes overpower direct sunlight, built tough, good support, and reasonably priced accessories)
-Alien Bees 22" white beauty dish ($80 new, excellent light modifier for portraits. Even as a beginner, it'll help you capture shots that make pros, clients, family members and friends go, "Cool!")
-Shoot through white umbrella ($30ish new, depending on brand - awesome light modifier for that big, soft white light look in portraits)
-Arri AS-2 light stand (kind of expensive at $110 new, but robust, built to last, and can accomodate a good amount of weight without sandbagging - go cheaper if you need to save $$)
-Reflector ($20-60ish depending on brand - useful in lieu of a 2nd strobe for "fill light")
I hope that helps!