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Sometimes when I'm shooting a subject indoors, the lighting isn't what it needs to be.

I have a nice flash, but the light it produces is too hard. I need some kind of softbox or some kind of soft lighting solution.

I generally shoot from at least 6' away. I was looking at something like this, but I was wondering a few things...



http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/308804-REG/Impact_401471_One_Floodlight_Umbrella_Kit.html


  1. What kind of distance would something like this be effective at?
  2. Stupid question - How do I aim the light? Should the rear of the bulb be facing the subject, so the light bounces off of the umbrella? Or should the light be aimed at the subject, using the umbrella as a softener?
 

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Actually, the image of the umbrella you show is a shoot-through type umbrella, therefore you shoot the light through the umbrella at your subject (opposite of what you suggested).

If the umbrella has a reflective surface in it, i.e. black or white umbrella with silver/gold/etc. lining inside, then you shoot the light as it reflects from the shiny surface inside. (as you suggested).

Larger the diameter of the umbrella, greater the "source" of light, more the diffused light on the subject. Similarly, closer the umbrella to the subject, larger the source of light, more diffused, and "rounded" the light.... obviously, as you get closer to the subject, you dial down the power of the light to maintain the correct exposure.

The above is simplifying the whole process, but thats the short of it... if you tell me what you're shooting, I could be more helpful.

Farhad
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info.

I'd mostly be using this to shoot people indoors, cars indoors, or people with cars indoors.

I read that strobes are for photography and continuous lights are for video, however the continuous lights are WAY cheaper. What are the disadvantages of using continuous lights for photography?
 

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Umbrellas are fine for shooting people indoors... for a car... god damn you'd need a lot of umbrellas.

Shooting cars indoors is not easy, and for soft/diffused light you'd need a really large softbox(es). You could use smaller light sources for shots which have a more "accent lit" look. Cars are objects that are used outdoors, so outdoor photoshoots do tend to work better imo. Indoor car shoots are best left to the professionals with pro gear imo.

As far as shooting people is concerned, that is a lot easier, in fact there are a number of tutorials that you can purchase/read about that will explain this in as much detail as you wish. In short, 2 flash + 2 umbrellas would be a great starter setup as you'd have quite a few creative options. Throw in some reflectors, etc. and your options multiply.

I would say start by practicing the classic lighting techniques (rembrandt, hairlight, etc) and take it from there.

Regarding the difference in lights, typically video ligts are less powerful than studio strobes, as stills are usually shot at 1/200 or so second, and need a more intense light source as against video which is shot at much longer shutter speeds. Having said that if you're gonna concentrate on people and this is a hobby only, you dont need strobes, flash is sufficient.

Farhad
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Umbrellas are fine for shooting people indoors... for a car... god damn you'd need a lot of umbrellas.

Shooting cars indoors is not easy, and for soft/diffused light you'd need a really large softbox(es). You could use smaller light sources for shots which have a more "accent lit" look. Cars are objects that are used outdoors, so outdoor photoshoots do tend to work better imo. Indoor car shoots are best left to the professionals with pro gear imo.
Ouch.

As far as shooting people is concerned, that is a lot easier, in fact there are a number of tutorials that you can purchase/read about that will explain this in as much detail as you wish. In short, 2 flash + 2 umbrellas would be a great starter setup as you'd have quite a few creative options. Throw in some reflectors, etc. and your options multiply.
Tell me more.

Can you link me to a tutorial?

I would say start by practicing the classic lighting techniques (rembrandt, hairlight, etc) and take it from there.
I don't know what either of those mean.

<--noob

Regarding the difference in lights, typically video ligts are less powerful than studio strobes, as stills are usually shot at 1/200 or so second, and need a more intense light source as against video which is shot at much longer shutter speeds. Having said that if you're gonna concentrate on people and this is a hobby only, you dont need strobes, flash is sufficient.
I have the Nikon 600 flash for my camera.

If I use that in conjunction with the pair of umbrellas I linked, would that suffice?
 

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the brother inlaw is a pro. He has quite a large studio but I have never ever seen him shoot models or objects from more than 3-5 meters away (in the studio with lighting).. the effective distance seems to be determined the intensity of the light source or the muting put around it. His studio is probably 10X15m
I'm sure there is a formula for shooting distance and light source type and intensity.
 

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i suggest just use a diffuser its only a $15 fix. you already have a good flash. try it! umbrellas will make it too complicated and you will lack portablility. follow the link:

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Sto-Fen-Omni-Bounce-OM-600-Flash-Diffuser/dp/B000HDFXU2[/ame]
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So this will soften the light a bit...what about shadows? Will it make them less harsh?
 

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take a look at the different diffusers available:

it also explains how it will soften the light shadows etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great information, thanks karl.

That orbis looks cool, but at $200, it's a bit much.

The one you linked me to looks like it's worth a shot.
 

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I find candy helps the subjects stay still during shooting.

That, and duct tape.
:bowlol: why not... Why not!!

Reading through this thread, that guy knows his SH!t... then I read your post LMAO thanks!!
 

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Indoor car shoots are easier than outdoors. Why? Because you have a ceiling and walls to bounce light off of. This can get light where you cannot outdoors on a night shoot.

To get the ultimate professional look you need a giant light bank, but that costs mucho dinero. All you really need are 2-3 strobes and you're set. You can use them indoor or outdoor. You need remote triggers to set off the external flashes. Some people use umbrellas to soften the light so you don't see a big white flash spot on the car's reflection, and some just point the flash head right at the car. The main problem with umbrellas is when you use them outside you have to deal with wind.

I would not get reflectors to reflect sun. Not worth it to me. Learn to use natural light.

So for what you want to do look into buying 3 off camera flashes, some flash stands, umbrellas, and remote triggers. If you want to spend money then get a Cannon EX 550 master flash head and 2 EX 430 slave units. That will cost you $1000 right there. Pocket wizards are the most used remote triggers, and they cost $150 per trigger. Light stands are about $20-40 each, and umbrellas are around $30 each depending on the size.
 

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I'm using speelite and i can direct the flash on different angle and the difference is night and day. Bounce lighting makes the color soft and natural..

 

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So for what you want to do look into buying 3 off camera flashes, some flash stands, umbrellas, and remote triggers. If you want to spend money then get a Cannon EX 550 master flash head and 2 EX 430 slave units. That will cost you $1000 right there. Pocket wizards are the most used remote triggers, and they cost $150 per trigger. Light stands are about $20-40 each, and umbrellas are around $30 each depending on the size.
Personally, I use 1 Canon 580 EXII as my main flash and have built up the rest of my lighting through this website:
http://www.dealextreme.com

The YN 460 is a superb, adjustable power, 40 dollar flash light. Also, their cactus range of remot triggers are a popular and cheaper option to the PWs.

Farhad.

ps Kooldino... I think this thread has generated sufficient discussion for us to now expect to see some of the results..

PICS....!!
 

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I've had a Gary Fong Lightsphere for a couple of years and athlough it's a funny looking thing, it eliminates shadows and softens skin tones when using a speedlite(flash). Great product and eliminates the need for strobes or off-camera flashes(in most situations) which makes your shooting it alot more portable. I've been shooting SLRs for about 15 years now so it's nothing new to me. I Would definately recommend this. I also have a pretty good amount of studios equipment, strobes, umbrellas, etc. But the Lightsphere is what I use most.







Product Information:
http://www.garyfongestore.com/

http://www.garyfongestore.com/featured-products/lightsphere-collapsible.html

The Gary Fong Lumisphere II Flash Diffusion System has by far the best diffusion ability among all systems I have tried including reflectors; from the modest white card with rubber band, used by early freelance PJ's and itinerant street photographers I've met, to the Nikon speedlight dome. -J. Ramon Palacios/Nikonians.org
Full Review:
http://www.nikonians.org/html/resources/non-nikon_articles/lightsphere/




 
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