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What equipment do i need to start out taking portrait shots.


lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 6:00PM

Quote:you son had a splendid haircut. How does he feel about this picture now?


At the time I had a deal with a trendy Knightbridge hairdresser that I'd do occasion pictures for him and my family got excellent haircuts in return. How does my son feel about this picture now? He wants his hair back - it has all - yes all - gone now!

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Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
2 Feb 2014 6:02PM

Quote:No they don't. Flash meters often measure ambient and flash, but ordinary (ambient) meters cannot usually measure flash


The two I linked to do both, one is called a flash meter but that is just marketing, they both measure ambient + flash.

Sure you can get a very basic cheap as chips flash meter, but anyone that is serious will very quickly grew out of it, its as good as useless once you want to start mixing light.
Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 6:10PM
Not if you understand how to use it properly.

Besides, the OP would be best advised to start simple if you read their question...

Quote:With this in mind, and being on a tight budget to start with, what are the essentials that i need? can i get away with not having a massive lighting set up and is there a way i can improvise on backgrounds? any ideas and tips are greatly recieved.


As I said, the two you linked to are well over 100.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
2 Feb 2014 6:11PM

Quote:And, tbh, I wouldn't complicate matters at first by trying to mix flash and ambient. If you want to do basic portraiture, I'd suggest sticking to either outdoor or indoor without flash, continuous light indoor, or flash indoor, but only use one type of light source


Another reason for getting a meter, a camera can not measure ambient light and it can not measure flash, I did not say to start straight away with mixing the two although this bit is totally up to them.

As I said, the two you linked to are well over 100.

Yes they are the bog basic meters, I`m nor suggesting anyone should need to pay for anything more, these meters can be picked up second hand for 50 to 60 quid.
Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 6:29PM

Quote:a camera can not measure ambient light


Of course it can. It can measure reflected light from the subject, and you can get white domes that fit over the lens to measure incident or use a grey card....though modern metering plus knowing what you are doing will get you the right exposure.

To know what lighting ratio you want when you mix flash and ambient, you have to interpret the meter readings anyway, so knowing how to work it out is much better than using ttl (which is known to be inconsistent) and hoping for the best.

But the OP wants to spend as little as possible, so even 50 for a meter, 50 for a flashgun, 20 for a cheap stand and a bit for say an umbrella or softbox, you aren't getting much change from 150.
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 6:33PM

Quote:But the OP wants to spend as little as possible


Who cares what the OP wants? This is an opportunity to show how clever we are Wink
Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 6:35PM
I'll get my coat..... Blush
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
2 Feb 2014 6:38PM

Quote:But the OP wants to spend as little as possible, so even 50 for a meter, 50 for a flashgun, 20 for a cheap stand and a bit for say an umbrella or softbox


All I recommended was a light meter and a flash, nothing else, you are a drama queen Smile

And you have a short memory, I`ll post it again just for you.




Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 7:00PM
And as you seem to have difficulty understanding, window light and lamps the OP may have at home are free, require no specialised stands, no specialised metering, and reflectors etc can be fabricated out of stuff they may well have at home already.....ie the OP can have a go at portraiture...for free.

If using flash, the OP will need to buy a flash, plus something to hold it off camera, and will probably need something to modify the light, as a bare flashgun is not very flattering whether on camera or off.

You may only be suggesting a flash and meter, but it's hardly being a drama queen to point out the OP wanted to spend as little as possible, and your suggestion will be at least three figures for the basic minimum.

Ps. I find your comment offensive, and adding a smiley after it doesn't change the insult. You may have to consider the possibility that you are not always right, or that others might know at least as much about photography as you do.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
2 Feb 2014 8:13PM
Drama Queen Smile
Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 8:41PM
Know-it-all Smile

Only, you don't. Smile
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
2 Feb 2014 8:48PM
No I never claimed to know it all, its just the fact that the light meter is largely over looked these days, people have forgotten or if new to photography will never realise how useful a light could be.
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
2 Feb 2014 8:53PM

Quote:You may have to consider the possibility that you are not always right, or that others might know at least as much about photography as you do.


Wha........you.......well...I never!!!Wink
3 Feb 2014 5:40PM
Well well that escalated fast Smile however all the information you have both provided has really helped me a lot. The links are great and the videos too. I'm now going to see what Flash gear i can get which won't cost me the earth to start with. The window light option is great too. The portraits on my page are all with window light so I know how useful that free light is. I used the sekonic flash meter in my college days, back then I had absolute no interest in portrait photography so very rarely attend class. Regret that now but I have a good eye for spotting potential, I think I do anyway, doesn't often reflect it on ephotozine but other sites keep me happy Grin

Thanks all

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