Last visit was: It is currently Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:39 am


All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:43 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:21 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
In having no real experience in using my camera in "studio" conditions, I'm a are real earning point in respect to this course. I mostly do landscapes, and travel photography.

After completing Unit 3, I assembled a simple backdrop and lighting set-up in my house, with the idea of replicating the exercises found in that section. Also, knowing that Unit 4 is all about Portraits, I figured I need to start somewhere.
I used halogen light bulbs from the local home center, and my NYIP diffuser/reflector. The really big question now is are the lights strong enough (75 W) to make quality images to formulate a portfolio?

I'm looking for comments, first impressions, and personal experiences with low budget lighting.

Shown are my light rig, and my apples....

Thanks!

JD


Attachments:
Home studio apples.jpg
Home studio apples.jpg [ 81.21 KiB | Viewed 1421 times ]
Home studio set.jpg
Home studio set.jpg [ 80.07 KiB | Viewed 1421 times ]

_________________
Jeff Dugan
NYIP Pro Course Graduate (Aug.2012)
Edits and critiques are encouraged.

JJD2500@gmail.com

http://jeffdugan.500px.com/
Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:06 pm
Posts: 5288
Location: Québec, Canada
Hi Jeff!

Here's my own experience.

I'm low budget too, and I don't want to go into debts for photography. So it takes long to build my gear, and it's one thing at a time. I have bought a basic lights and backdrop kit early in the course. It worked like a charm for still life, like your apples, because you're on tripod and can use a longer shutter speed. I had bought for $180 a kit with 2 lights and fluo bulbs + light stands + 2 umbrellas + backdrop stand + white-black-green chroma key muslins. The fluo bulbs are 45W and worked great with still life. Then, I got to Unit 4-portraiture. OMG! Couldn't do portraits without faces being blurred. So, I bought really big 68W fluo bulbs. It was better, but I still needed to crank ISO (so, grain invloved) and shoot portraits on tripod ALWAYS. Not very handy. I don't know how, but I managed to do my Unit 4 photo project with them, urging my models not to move an inch, not even to blink. Then, I had to shoot a 50th wedding anniversary, and I installed a studio in the corner of the ballroom. OMG, I was frustrated with the lights. That was it, I started looking for strobes. I was going for Alien Bees, which are expensive but reliable. Then, a photog friend of mine told me about his strobes-shopping and what he had bought; that was no name but same power as Alien Bees, for A LOT less expensive. So that's what I bought. For $700, I got 4 strobes + stands + 2 med soft boxes + one large softbox + backdrops+ snoot + barn door + wireless trigger + more accessories. I would have paid less had I bought the 3 lights kit on Ebay ($450), but I wanted 4 lights and a large softbox. I HAVE NO regrets at all. I love my strobes and I just can't believe I went through unit 4 without them. That's power my friend (4 X 300W with modeling lights). The same thing would have cost me $2500 with Alien Bees.

At that moment, my washing machine died on me! So, with the price difference, I was able to buy my strobes, a new washing machine AND a light meter for less than $2000.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AIKIPHOTO-900W- ... 43a47233c0

_________________
Sunny
NYIP Pro Course Graduate

IMAGE EDITING OK


Last edited by Sunnywood on Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:52 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:41 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Pennsylvania
JD, your shot looks very professional to me, granted, i am no pro (yet) but it looks very good. Here i am with good AlienBees and i could'a gotten by with less(glad i got them though since i am getting very interested in portraits). I am just starting unit 4 too and posted my practice and setup shots today.

_________________
All units finished and sent in, waiting for unit 6 evaluation.


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:59 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:06 pm
Posts: 5288
Location: Québec, Canada
I wish I had Alien Bees too, but I also want a 5D Mark II and a 70-200mm 2.8 and a 24-105mm, but I don't have $10,000.00 to get it all. So I have strobes that perform really well, and I put money aside every week to upgrade camera and lens later, while being able to shoot whatever I want, outdoor or in studio.

_________________
Sunny
NYIP Pro Course Graduate

IMAGE EDITING OK


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:05 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:41 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Pennsylvania
Sunnywood wrote:
I wish I had Alien Bees too, but I also want a 5D Mark II and a 70-200mm 2.8 and a 24-105mm, but I don't have $10,000.00 to get it all. So I have strobes that perform really well, and I put money aside every week to upgrade camera and lens later, while being able to shoot whatever I want, outdoor or in studio.

ME TOO, to have a full frame. Maybe if my washing machine don't break down i'll get one(some day, i bet my machine breaks down just before i order the 5D).

_________________
All units finished and sent in, waiting for unit 6 evaluation.


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:21 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Awesome!
Thank You both Sonia and Frank for your thoughts and comments. It's exactly the kind of insight I was hoping for.
Now I know what kind of equipment is needed to get things done right when it comes to shooting portraits and people which is something I have not done very much of.

Although I have taken photos for years, getting involved with NYIP was a way for me to improve and "legitimize" my skill set, and it sounds like that will come with some further degree of investment.

It's not so much the cost of the equipment that troubles me, its whether it will get any use after the course is completed?! You know, the part about venturing out an and trying to "make a go of it" as a paid and professional photographer. That's the scary part! LOL! :o

JD

_________________
Jeff Dugan
NYIP Pro Course Graduate (Aug.2012)
Edits and critiques are encouraged.

JJD2500@gmail.com

http://jeffdugan.500px.com/


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:41 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Pennsylvania
JJD2500 wrote:
Awesome!
Thank You both Sonia and Frank for your thoughts and comments. It's exactly the kind of insight I was hoping for.
Now I know what kind of equipment is needed to get things done right when it comes to shooting portraits and people which is something I have not done very much of.

Although I have taken photos for years, getting involved with NYIP was a way for me to improve and "legitimize" my skill set, and it sounds like that will come with some further degree of investment.

It's not so much the cost of the equipment that troubles me, its whether it will get any use after the course is completed?! You know, the part about venturing out an and trying to "make a go of it" as a paid and professional photographer. That's the scary part! LOL! :o

JD

Believe me, you will LOVE strobes. Just go for the Monolights......Also Sunny, we showed you ours so why don't you show us yours(strobes that is).

_________________
All units finished and sent in, waiting for unit 6 evaluation.


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:32 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:06 pm
Posts: 5288
Location: Québec, Canada
They look exactely the same as these from this link, except mines are 300W instead of 200W. I've bought them from Aikiphoto in California.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AIKIPHOTO-STUDI ... 3f06ea8010


I can mount them tomorrow in my living room and shoot the set up for you to see. Jeff, you will love strobes to shoot on a white backdrop. To have it pure white, you need power to blow out the muslin. Say I shoot the subject with f5.6 or f8 lighting, I will splash the white background with at least f11 or f16

_________________
Sunny
NYIP Pro Course Graduate

IMAGE EDITING OK


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:36 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:41 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Pennsylvania
Sunnywood wrote:
They look exactely the same as these from this link, except mines are 300W instead of 200W. I've bought them from Aikiphoto in California.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AIKIPHOTO-STUDI ... 3f06ea8010


I can mount them tomorrow in my living room and shoot the set up for you to see. Jeff, you will love strobes to shoot on a white backdrop. To have it pure white, you need power to blow out the muslin. Say I shoot the subject with f5.6 or f8 lighting, I will splash the white background with at least f11 or f16

;D I watched a Sekonic webinair the other day and they said to crank up the background light at least 2 stops from the main light to blow it out to white. Sekonic has some very good FREE Webinairs for lighting and metering......Cant wait to see your set up Sunny. Good deal on the lighting you got too, i see you get a radio trigger with it!

_________________
All units finished and sent in, waiting for unit 6 evaluation.


Top
Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Unit 4 prelude...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:15 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:21 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
I can see that you get allot of "bang for your buck" with both of the lighting kits you suggested Sonia.
Again, thanks for that good information!

I'm wondering one thing thou as I approach this portrait section.

In the first section of Unit 4 "Basic Portrait Lighting" there is a great amount of text devoted to the explanation of how to set up lighting using old school, high watt, incandescent bulbs. Specific instructions on how to promote shadow lines about the cheeks, and nose, setting up the "triangle" below the eye of the model, etc. I plan on doing a practice of this tomorrow, I an attempt to learn the technique.

However, my question to you guys is regarding the use of the strobe lighting kits. Frank, your images of your "model" were solid and looked good, but I did not see any evidence of the lesson I read yesterday afternoon. Are these older techniques described in the first section trumped by the use of high tech strobes and soft boxes, or am I missing something?
In other words are there now two different approaches to lighting?

BTW, I really appreciate this conversation!

JD

_________________
Jeff Dugan
NYIP Pro Course Graduate (Aug.2012)
Edits and critiques are encouraged.

JJD2500@gmail.com

http://jeffdugan.500px.com/


Top
Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Theme created StylerBB.net & kodeki