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Home Studio set up
  
 
pinn
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Home Studio set up


Hi

have just set up a home studio in a small room - using a black (and white on reverse) muslin backdrop - I have the back drop on the ground also and am using a piece of plexiglass sitting over this.

I have 2 Jinbei EF200 LED lights and have snoots, softball diffuser and a godox 120 cm octagon softbox - my light stands only lower to 100 cm.

I am looking at doing dog portraits - head shots - showing a very black background - just looking for some advice as to the best way to set up lights for this - I assume the diffusers are not the best for this as I want to have defined light on the dogs head - so is it best to use the snoots? is there any advantage in using barn doors (which i would need to buy). Also with this i have been using 2 lights to the left and right of the dog - shining in/down on the dogs head and not on the backdrop - also have the dog as far away as possible from the backdrop - maybe 120 cm or so. The lights are pointing down as they only go to 100 cm - would i be better buying stands that allow me to point the light horizontally? In terms of camera settings - just 1/250 sec hand held ISO 2000 and f stop around f8 in order to get eyes and nose in focus (focus point on eyes)

the other shots i am looking at doing is having the dog lying (or sitting and doing full body shots) on the plexiglass to get some reflection from this.....so just wondering what lighting setup i would need for this and also whether this will be best on white or black background

i am a sports photographer so new to all this - thanks for any help!



Mar 15, 2017 at 11:36 AM
sk66
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Home Studio set up


I would probably use one light in the softbox with the softbox as close as possible to the subject and feathered. The second light I would probably use as a rim light to separate the dog from the BG.


Mar 19, 2017 at 09:51 PM
pinn
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Home Studio set up


thanks sk66 for your reply - will try this and post some images....


Mar 20, 2017 at 01:01 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Home Studio set up


Iso 2000 isn't going to give great image quality and cheap LED lights gives a very uneven spectrum of light. When speedlights from godox etc. with radio and remote power control are like $130 why not get these? You'll also have less issues if the dog moves.

Keep in mind that although your BG is white, it will typically go grey without lights on is separately. Also in a small room spill from the walls will be a struggle; your idea of snoots and barn doors is wise.

There is no one or 'right' way to light something. Post some examples you like and we can assist further.



Mar 20, 2017 at 01:43 PM
pinn
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Home Studio set up


thanks for the comments Mark - so are the Jinbei ef200 lights considered cheap lights?


Mar 21, 2017 at 12:24 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Home Studio set up


pinn wrote:
thanks for the comments Mark - so are the Jinbei ef200 lights considered cheap lights?


In LED terms, yes. Only the top end have a good colour spectrum and don't shift (much) when the power is changed and even they struggle seriously for power.



Mar 21, 2017 at 03:39 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Home Studio set up


when you post your examples be sure to post either behind the scenes shots of the gear setup or a diagram illistrating thee setup

on a side note if you go to speed lights check out magmods suite of accessories I think you'll find the snoot and magbounce of interest.



Mar 22, 2017 at 04:42 AM
pinn
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Home Studio set up


thanks for all the comments - finally got chance to take some shots today

this image was taken using a 1DXII with 24-70 f2.8 II USM - 50 focal length - 1/50 sec handheld - f5.6 - ISO 6400!
using i Jinbei EF 200 with Beauty dish and honeycomb grid to the left of camera - pointing down and diagonally into dog - dog was about 65 cm from light - and about 1.7 m from background - am worried the ISO too high

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B604eJioxKjGUlVhVDNXQktlWW8/view?usp=sharing



Mar 23, 2017 at 12:48 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Home Studio set up


You've got the separation (black dog black background) and good modelling on the dog's head/texture in the fur.

Pick up some speedlights and you'll be able to shoot as base iso and stop down further if you want more in focus. Almost everyone in photography uses flash because it's just so much more powerful (and compact).



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:25 PM
pinn
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Home Studio set up


thanks for the comments Mark....ive got an old 550EX here which i can try when i buy some triggers - would i need more than 1 speedlite - wondering if i should invest in the 600 EXII? or something else?


Mar 26, 2017 at 10:54 PM
 

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Mark_L
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Home Studio set up


Look at godox speedlights, they are the market leader at the moment. The newest ones have inbuilt triggers with remote power control and lithium batteries for a fraction of canon/nikon prices.

As for how many, you'd probably want two if you want a main light and one as a separation light like you've done in your example.



Mar 27, 2017 at 08:57 PM
pinn
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Home Studio set up


thanks Mark for your help - appreciate it


Mar 28, 2017 at 12:21 PM
AUMusicNerd
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Home Studio set up


You may also want to have a third light coming down from over top of the background to help give the neck and back of the head some definition, especially if you get your shorter light stands and start lighting the dogs more horizontally. The third light (with snoot or barn doors) will also give you a little more forgiveness on keeping the background black as it will create more contrast separation between the dog and the background.


Mar 28, 2017 at 02:37 PM
pinn
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Home Studio set up


So ive been researching this a bit more given everyones comments (thanks) and now am wondering if I should go with the GODOX V860 and the transmitter for my camera and also receiver for my 550 ex speedlight (around $ 445) giving me 2 speedlites - or should i go with something like the Jinbei HD610 portable battery monobloc (cost $900) - more expensive but maybe better in the long run? thoughts?


Mar 31, 2017 at 06:10 AM
sk66
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Home Studio set up


In general, proper strobes w/ modeling lights are better than speedlights. But you probably don't need more than 200-300WS for home studio. Mains powered is also a better option than battery if it's not too cumbersome.

Personally, if I were getting started I would be buying all Godox 2.4GHz stuff... I just ordered a pair of AD200's which are a great "in between" type of option.



Mar 31, 2017 at 07:19 PM
pinn
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Home Studio set up


So I am still debating about what to do and ive been researching this via Mr Google also....ive called a few pro photo shops too and some say speedlites are only good for outside - some say they will be ok for what i want to do inside - so i am confused. My options are still Godox V860 and receiver for my canon 550EXII - or Godox AD 200 and use with 550 EXII or the Jinbei HD610...just wondering which options others would take?


Apr 03, 2017 at 11:01 AM
Bohemien
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Home Studio set up


As always, it depends what wou want to do with it.

For headshots to full body portraits inside, where you control the light, speedlights are sufficient IMHO. For your intended use of dogs against a black background, you should be set.

I don't understand why the "pro" photo shops you called said speedlights are only good for outside. That statement doesn't make sense in this context. Maybe they meant for inside, a good studio flash head in a large softbox gives the best light, but IMHO you can get pretty far with speed lights inside.

The different story begins when you want to go outside and try to overpower the sun. Here, the more power your flash has, the better. I've shot half-body portraits with just a SB-910 outside, but you have to get really close with the flash, meaning your light will falloff very quickly (inverse square law).

For inside, I think the Godox V860 should be fine, especially when paired with the Canon speedlight so you can work with 2 lights. For a bit more power, I'd consider the AD200. Me, I'd go with the latter, as it has the option to be used bare-bulb, that might fill a large softbox more evenly.

But if you plan to go outside at some point and are willing to spend the $$$, I'd go with the Godox AD600B.

Markus



Apr 03, 2017 at 11:46 AM
sk66
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Home Studio set up


pinn wrote:
So I am still debating about what to do and ive been researching this via Mr Google also....ive called a few pro photo shops too and some say speedlites are only good for outside - some say they will be ok for what i want to do inside - so i am confused. My options are still Godox V860 and receiver for my canon 550EXII - or Godox AD 200 and use with 550 EXII or the Jinbei HD610...just wondering which options others would take?


Studio strobes have advantages indoors:
Proper modeling lights to help visualize the lighting
Mains power for very quick recycle times
Integrated attachments for stands/modifiers
Bare bulbs
Optical slave mode (less common on speedlights)
Power for cost

Speedlights have advantages outdoors:
Smaller size/weight to transport
No cords
TTL/true HSS (less common on studio strobes)


IMO, if you get strobes that are 500-600ws for a small home studio you may well run out of power adjustments as you will be working at/towards the minimum settings.
On the other hand, if you use speedlights (~70WS equiv) you will tend to be working towards the max power settings, which will eat batteries and have long recycle times.

The Godox AD200 (and AD360) are kind of cross breeds with some of the advantages/disadvantages from each category.



Apr 03, 2017 at 12:23 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Home Studio set up


buy some mid level studio strobes that have modeling lights and then some soft boxes with grids on them so light doesn't spill on background. Minimum i'd say 3 lights-main, hair light and background light. Hairlight could be a slaved flash into a small softbox. You need to get your iso down to 100-400 range and you also need enough ambient light so the pets' pupils aren't so dialated. If possible i would shoot portraits more in the 85-100mm range-especially with long-nosed dogs as subjects.


Apr 03, 2017 at 12:34 PM
RKnecht
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Home Studio set up


I often shoot black dogs against black in my home studio. For lights, I use 2 Einstein 640s. One is about 30 degrees off to either side of the dog and the other is above and behind the dog angled down used as a rim light and to keep light off the background. In the last shot, I also used a clear plexiglass floor under the dog. Here are a couple examples:




















Apr 04, 2017 at 01:28 PM
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