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First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting a...
  
 
synergism
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


I've been designated to take pictures for our command Christmas party and unfortunately have very little experience with controlled lighting/studio setups. The only thing I have so far is a backdrop support system, a 10 x 8 backdrop, and an ABR800 ring flash. I have a used D300 and SB-910. We only have the 18-200, 30mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4 lenses and have a budget of $350.

I was googling around and came up on some example and one struck me the most and was hoping if I can achieve similar results and still be within budget (as most of the budget will go towards raffle prizes). Examples below.

Will continuous lighting suffice for this? (to keep the heat and wait time down). If so, particular modifiers? Also, the background, I think it looks really nice bright and very lit up: do I need lighting left/right of the background? How should I lay out my lighting if so?

Hope it's not way out of my budget lol. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!



















Will 2 24" softboxes up front L/R of the camera shooting straight be good enough for my main lights?

As for the background will 2 continous lighting with umbrellas from the sides be good enough?

I found these cheap strobes and flourecent lights on amazon. If anyone can comment or point me in the right direction to find the right answer, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Strobes - http://www.amazon.com/NEEWER-180W-Location-Portrait-Photography/dp/B0043GT9Y0/ref=pd_sim_p_11

Continuous lighting - http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-Photography-Portrait-Continuous-Umbrellas/dp/B003WLY24O/ref=sr_1_13?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1386874293&sr=1-13&keywords=continuous+lighting




Dec 12, 2013 at 06:53 AM
eburge
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


My 2 cents:
First, light the background (thatís to get separation between the BG and the people). The 2 umbrellas should work. However, they have to be far enough to the side to not be in the picture and the people should be far enough in front of the BG to not cast shadows.

Two, the 2 soft boxes should work also. You should set your f-stop to about f8 to accommodate large groups (youíll probably need most of the power those little strobes can provide).

Three, do some test shots ahead of time. Get 3 or 4 helpers to stand in line to test for depth of field and lighting.

I use a Nikon D200 with a Pocket Wizard Plus II (channel 1) and a Pre-Trigger cable on the camera. And I use Pocket Wizard Plus IIís on the lights (channel 2). I also have a Pocket Wizard Plus II (channel 1) for someone in the group to fire the setup.

If you use continuous lights, you only need Pocket Wizards for the camera and to fire it.

Hope this helps get you started.

PS. I'm looking for a youtube video that shows this. If I find it, I'll post the link.



Dec 12, 2013 at 07:59 PM
eburge
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


I found it.




Dec 12, 2013 at 09:36 PM
MarcosH
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


You already have a decent amount of gear. I would just add a large modifier for the ABR800 like the 56" moon unit or 64" soft silver PLM with the front diffusion panel and place it just above the camera.

Don't overcomplicate the lighting setup, the "2 Dudes and a Booth" only use one or two lights. In this setup they are using one light directly above the camera - http://www.twodudesphoto.com/blog/2013/9/7/show-me-what-youre-working-with . The background is well lit because it is so close the subjects, everything is lit by the key light.

I would avoid using continuous lights, they are not nearly as powerful as the Alien Bee and may not overpower the ambient light.



Dec 13, 2013 at 05:28 AM
synergism
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Thanks for the advice! The wireless trigger is a fantastic idea and will definitely have to be incorporated in the setup! I assume 'ebay triggers' should be good enough for this?

eburge wrote:
I found it.





Dec 13, 2013 at 06:38 AM
synergism
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Thanks for showing me that link. I thought they were using real backgrounds! (esp the blue one I posted). I honrstly thought digital backgrounds would look too fake. Is it difficult to compose the images in post? Anyway, good to know. I also didn't know one massive light can do that. Saves me from having to haul/setup more equipment than I thought. Definitely starting to feel a bit more easy about this since it's not as complicated as I thought. Thanks.

MarcosH wrote:
You already have a decent amount of gear. I would just add a large modifier for the ABR800 like the 56" moon unit or 64" soft silver PLM with the front diffusion panel and place it just above the camera.

Don't overcomplicate the lighting setup, the "2 Dudes and a Booth" only use one or two lights. In this setup they are using one light directly above the camera - http://www.twodudesphoto.com/blog/2013/9/7/show-me-what-youre-working-with . The background is well lit because it is so close the subjects, everything is lit by the key light.

I would avoid using continuous lights, they are not nearly
...Show more



Dec 13, 2013 at 06:50 AM
eburge
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


synergism wrote:
Thanks for the advice! The wireless trigger is a fantastic idea and will definitely have to be incorporated in the setup! I assume 'ebay triggers' should be good enough for this?

Any triggers will probably work. I use PW because several years ago I had a generic trigger fail during a shoot. But the generics are a lot better now (and a lot cheaper).



Dec 13, 2013 at 04:31 PM
eburge
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Let us know how the photo booth went.


Dec 21, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Pandemic
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


synergism wrote:
Thanks for showing me that link. I thought they were using real backgrounds! (esp the blue one I posted). I honrstly thought digital backgrounds would look too fake. Is it difficult to compose the images in post? Anyway, good to know. I also didn't know one massive light can do that. Saves me from having to haul/setup more equipment than I thought. Definitely starting to feel a bit more easy about this since it's not as complicated as I thought. Thanks.


That blue backdrop is not digital, it's a real one. It's listed here: http://www.twodudesphoto.com/backdrops/standard/

You have a D300, an AB ringflash- you don't need anything other than a kit lens. I use that same flash in my booths; it is MORE than enough light.

I say that you'd want a kit lens because A) its cheap B) at higher f/stops, sharp enough C) lightweight D) can zoom in case you get more people.

You haven't stated what software you're using to control the booth.....



Dec 24, 2013 at 03:48 PM
 

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mason72
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Hey guys, I thought I'd chime in since I'm one of the "dudes".

Depending on the venue, I use different combinations of lights and modifiers - in this particular example (with the blue background), I had two lights at 45 degree angles fitted with one small and one medium Photoflex octodome, and did not have a light mounted on the center pole.

I use Hensel Integra lights; they've been great workhorses for years and they sync flawlessly using the Hensel wireless system. For modifiers, I try to use as large as possible for the space.

As far as software, I'm working with DSLR Remote Pro; it's funky, but fairly reliable and very customizable which is nice. Has anyone tried the new Darkroom software from Imaging Spectrum?

Edited on Jan 05, 2014 at 07:36 PM · View previous versions



Jan 02, 2014 at 11:00 PM
eephoto
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


mason72 wrote:
Hey guys, I thought I'd chime in since I'm one of the "dudes".

Depending on the venue, I use different combinations of lights and modifiers - in this particular example (with the blue background), I had two lights at 45 degree angles fitted with one small and one medium Photoflex octodome, and did not have a light mounted on the center pole.

I use Hensel Integra lights; they've been great workhorses for years and they sync flawlessly using the Hensel wireless system. For modifiers, I try to use as large as possible for the space.

As far as software,
...Show more

Thanks for chiming in! What lens do you use for your booth?





Jan 04, 2014 at 07:26 PM
mason72
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


No problem!

I usually use the 24-105 f/4L, although for the images above, I was using my 24-70 f/2.8L II, which is a bit overkill for a photo booth.



Jan 05, 2014 at 07:35 PM
eephoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Thanks again! Very helpful, although I'm not the original poster, I'm running my first photobooth next month and appreciate all the advice/input!


Jan 12, 2014 at 06:28 AM
marik
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Just came across this forum; super old thread but in the off chance I get a reply I will post.

Putting together a photo booth for my sister's wedding. Tested it out at a couple of events and have some tweaking to do. Any pointers / tips are much appreciated, really want to get great shots for my sister!

Setup:
- 24-70 lens
- 580EX with a diffuser just to the right of the camera (husband built me a super cool wooden "photo booth" that houses everything and though it's not ideal to have the flash just to the side of the camera, it was the best way to build the booth and it seems to do the trick)
- DSLR remote pro software (find it to be a bit quirky, but hopefully with a bit more playing with it will figure out all of the settings)
- foot pedal trigger

Questions:
- tips on setting focus initially (how far in front of background?); I keep everything on manual (exposure and focus)
- keeping large groups in focus (I'm at about 35-40mm focal length with a f7.1 or f8 but still seem to have a hard time getting images tack sharp)
- for a wedding reception where the room will be rather dark, the flash creates some ugly shadows on the background; should I add a continuous light of some sort to help brighten things up. any thoughts on a cheap/easy solution for this?
- flash - manual not TTL?




Apr 17, 2015 at 03:17 PM
mason72
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Hey there,
I'd suggest setting your flash at max power and take a meter reading to figure out the proper exposure...you'll want as much DoF as you can get if you're not focusing...a good idea is to put some tape on the the floor and set the focus point there. At f/11 or so, you should have a fair bit of a focus zone.

Try bouncing the flash off a large white card instead of using the diffuser. Assuming your diffuser is a Fong, you're throwing 90% of your battery power out into the room...if you bounce it off a card or a wall, you'll get more directional light that will still be diffuse.

Most photo booths are not high on quality, so you're ahead of them for even thinking about it. If you want to get images like above, you'll need more power than a 580EX, and a larger light modifier.



Apr 17, 2015 at 03:30 PM
marik
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Thanks for the reply! Your photo booth pics are fantastic, really really fun and the quality is amazing.

So prior to building our box that houses everything I did a photo booth at a friend's birthday just with my camera on a tripod and the Gary Fong on my flash. I was pretty happy with the results, the light was really nice and soft (there was ambient light in the room as well the whole night), I just didn't love my camera being out in the open and easily knocked over, especially since this is meant to be for a wedding reception and I won't be next to it all night. Hence the housing we built.

Per what you are saying about how the Fong throws out light, it didn't seem to make sense to do that within the box, so I switched to a NEEWER 6"x8" Softbox so that light was just going out directionaly towards the people in the shot.
I'll play around the upping the flash power and increasing my depth of field, but will have to give some thought as to how to modify our flash setup and keep it contained so the whole thing can run unattended. Attaching photos of booth. Camera lens is right where the camera is drawn, flash is to the left, display monitor below so people can do a live view and see if they are in the shot, then they can see their images after each one is taken.

This one sample shot I was pretty happy with the results though I think the focus could be improved and I had to brighten the images a bit. The latest time we tried it though they did not look as good; colors were very strange, very pink (shot on AWB same as this sample shot), shadows were really severe, focus was terrible. I think it was combo of people coming too close to the booth (will mark off a "box" on the floor for the wedding to guide people as to where to stand), there was almost no ambient light in the room, flash might have been on TTL instead of manual, and we had to set up the booth a bit closer to the background. So many variables!














Edited on Apr 18, 2015 at 01:25 PM · View previous versions



Apr 17, 2015 at 04:43 PM
mason72
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · First time setting up photo booth indoor. Need lighting advice.


Auto WB is going to wreak havoc on the colors - every picture will look different. I would do my best to eliminate any ambient light in the photo and then set your custom WB to match the flash.


Apr 17, 2015 at 05:00 PM





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