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Advice on lighting kit?


boyspace 4 24
3 Jul 2012 4:53PM
Hi I'm getting to the stage where I'd like to get a portable lighting kit for taking portrait shots. I think I need a continuous lighting kit though I'm not totally sure I'm right? Can anyone advise on an inexpensive kit? Thanks Nick

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ourdayphotos 3 229 Scotland
3 Jul 2012 5:05PM
I use 2 flashes, one on camera & the other off. I asked for advice here & took it, I have a Canon 580exii with a Nissin di622 which remotely triggers (only 118). I also have a brolly & stand, this whole kit is very portable & easy to use.
miptog 9 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2012 5:34PM

Quote:I'd like to get a portable lighting kit for taking portrait shots


How portable do you think you would want it. Small flashes would be the most portable, and easiest to set up, and not require connecting to the mains, but may not meet your needs.


Quote:I think I need a continuous lighting kit though


Why do you think you may need continuous lighting?
boyspace 4 24
3 Jul 2012 6:05PM
Good question? I need to shoot 15 portraits in various locations in the UK with a white backdrop and need to keep uniformity in the lighting.
Paul Morgan Plus
13 16.5k 6 England
3 Jul 2012 7:28PM
Running before you can walk ? Smile
boyspace 4 24
3 Jul 2012 7:47PM
Yeah maybe?
miptog 9 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2012 8:59PM

Quote:I need to shoot 15 portraits in various locations in the UK with a white backdrop and need to keep uniformity in the lighting.


Will these be full length, 3/4 or just head and shoulders? Would you be shooting inside and outside? What aperture would you be shooting at? Do you need to keep the backdrop white? Do you expect to be shooting against the sun. All these factors will help you determine your lighting needs. Strobes would likely struggle in daylight to give you the power that you need.
AnthonyM 10 388 2 United States
4 Jul 2012 1:53AM
Light is light. Continuous or flash. Set your lights correctly and the camera will not know continuos light from flash. (with regards to uniformity, etc...)
Continuous lights can cause the subjects eye's iris to open large. Not always a desirable look.
Also, if your subject is fast moving such as children or pets, continuous lighting is going to be difficult to work with -- without blasting sun-hot lights onto them.
But if you're not comfortable setting up lights, it may be best to start with continuous to better understand how the light works on the subject and interacts with other lights, and so on.

If you're doing these 15 shots around the UK, you're going to want to be mobile.
Having battery powered strobes will work (or just shoot with natural sun light). Unless you have access to power, its going to be difficult to use continuous lights.

Me; I say jump in with both feet. Rent some strobes and see how you feel with them. No one says you have to own the equipment you shoot with.
Get some good setups laid out in advance, and hit the ground running and ready to shoot the portraits.
boyspace 4 24
4 Jul 2012 10:38AM
Thanks for the advice. I will be shooting in doors. In small confined living spaces. Still subject 3/4 length knee to head with backdrop. I know I need the subjects to sit away from the backdrop to avoid shadow but in a confined space its difficult. I will use a white backdrop but im ok with it coming out off white...I just would like every shot to come out similar. Im feeling from what people are saying that the flash off camera is the best way to go? Iv never used STROBE so not sure what they do or how they work. Thanks Guys, Nick
4 Jul 2012 1:28PM
Why not go for a perfectly clean white background by using another light specifically fr the job? Or even using the Lastolite Hilite, i'm pretty sure you can rent a lastolite hilite 6x7 from somewhere.

As for the lighting, continuous lighting can get very hot, though studio flash heads have modelling lamps should you need to use them, so you can see where the light falls. As many have already said, there is nothing wrong with using regular flashguns which are mounted and diffused, with triggers, stands, brollys and 2 flash heads you dont really need to fork out more than 100 if you shop around. Im guessing you wont be using the flash on camera, so there is no real need for TTL unless you think you may need it at some point, but as lng as the flashguns have adjustable power settings, and work well as slaves then your sorted, and there are cheap as chips flash guns on amazon for less than 30 which are more than adequate.

As already mentioned, light is light, its what you do with it that counts.
miptog 9 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 1:42PM

Quote:I just would like every shot to come out similar.


Use the same lighting set up; model and light in the same position, same power settings, and same camera settings inc. focal length, and the shots should be similiar.
boyspace 4 24
4 Jul 2012 2:39PM
Thanks again for all the advice...Very useful...Im pretty sure I will go down the flash route with all the settings and positions the same for continuity. Cheers Guys

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