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Need Help With Lighting

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seneca, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    I am going to purchase some lights...but I'm not exactly sure where to place them. I hear so much about soft boxes...but I just don't know what is good and how much to spend. I'm sure I can spend a lot...but if there is someone out there that can tell me which brand to buy...I know expense doesn't nessarily mean good...I'm sure I can buy cheaper ones out there that would work just as good.

    I've seen some here show graphs as to where to place your lights...if someone can show me that as well...I would be most grateful. I know I'm asking a lot...but I also know there are lots of talented photographers here. Lighting is such a big part of taking good pictures...and I just want to get better with lighting.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. You can start by placing them 45 degrees to the left and right of the model. Move them up close to the model and use a diffuser of some type, either umbrella or softbox. Use a 2/1 ratio (main to fill). Umbrella's provide more harsh lighting than a softbox. If you haven't decided on lights yet the Alien Bee's are good and many here on the Cafe swear by them. You could just get a kit from AB and be done with it.
  3. What are you planning to photograph? Your lighting needs will vary whether you're doing small still-life photos, or large group portraits.
  4. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    I mainly want to use it for head shots...and shots from the waist on up.
  5. This one would be a great start for you. Also, the information here should get you on your way with posing and lighting a subject.

    If you want to start off with a less expensive setup Woody is always touting one AB400 used in conjuction with a white foam core board as a reflector on the fill side of the model. This would be around $300.
  6. I'm no Pro, so the only portraits I ever shoot are family.
    You'll all probably get a big laugh out of this, but heres what I do. I get a
    white bed sheet, fold it in half, and have someone hold it off to the left.
    Point my SB-600 straight up (when the camera is vertical, it fires to the left)
    and bounce it off the sheet. experiment angling the sheet, and moving it closer or further away. The results are far better than bouncing off the ceiling, And I store it in the cedar chest. It takes up no room!


    I'm thinking I might start looking around flea markets for an old ground glass slide screen to use, till I come up with the money for an outfit like Gordon recommended. Might be awhile, as I want to upgrade some lenses first.

    Regards. RRRRRRRR
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2007
  7. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    Thanks Greyflash...this is exactly what I needed to know.
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