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Lighting / temporary studio setup

NikLG 12 1.7k England
15 Oct 2009 10:46AM
I have been tasked with taking some photographs for work of clothing ( that is being worn ).
I haven't done any 'studio' based photography before so was hoping that I could pick the brains of our esteemed members.
I have a room that I am going to use, which should be big enough, and will more than probably be hiring some stuff in for a week or so. I am thinking that I need a backdrop ( white ), and 3 lights ( fill, key and background ).
The images are going to be for internal use only, as reference material for our character modelers ( I work in computer games ) so can I please ask that no-one gives me the 'if you don't know what you are doing you shouldn't be doing it' answer ? Smile
Anyway, any advice would be welcome. I'll probably be using my D200 and a 50 or 85 lens. My biggest quandary is whether to use flash or continuous lighting ( which I think might make things quicker.. )

Thanks in advance..

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miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2009 11:48AM
Nik, I am sure some "studio Gurus" will answer your question. One thing that I have found useful is to find some examples of the end result, as this will help you decide on the lighting.
toneb75 8 187 England
15 Oct 2009 11:57AM
Have you thought about hiring a studio to use instead? You will get the use of their lights, backgrounds etc and may work out cheaper than actually hiring just the lights. This may also giver you more choices on what lighting to use etc, as you will not just be stuck with the lights you have hired.
Sparkleson 9 134 England
15 Oct 2009 1:12PM
I'd hire a studio if I were you. Studio hire is relatively cheap (from 20 per hour).

Hiring a studio also has the advantage that you will get free help and advice from the photographer/owner. That way, even if you aren't sure on what you're doing, they will and will be able to advise you.
NikLG 12 1.7k England
15 Oct 2009 1:15PM
Cheers for the advice so far...
I don't think studio hire would be an option as it'll be done 'now and again' rather than a whole days shoot, if you what I mean, plus I have my real job to do at the same time Smile
If lighting hire is costly, I might be able to convince my boss to buy some equipment instead Smile
miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2009 4:11PM

Quote:I have a room that I am going to use, which should be big enough, and will more than probably be hiring some stuff in for a week or so. I am thinking that I need a backdrop ( white ), and 3 lights ( fill, key and background ).

Not an expert, but if have a room and can control the models and the environment I suggest:

5 lights: 1 each for key, fill, and separation (hair or rim) and 2 to evenly light the backgroud. Models need to be about 2 metres away from the backdrop. A one or two stop difference between model and backdrop should enable you to have either a pure white or black backdrop. You may also find a boom arm useful to hold your light.
NikLG 12 1.7k England
15 Oct 2009 4:13PM
Cheers for that....
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
15 Oct 2009 9:06PM
Hire or buy a Lastolite " Hi-Lite " Background.....Smile

Rather like this one..

This gaurantees a perfect white background every time.

You'll need at least one strobe around 300 watts to light the HiLite.

Then at least one key light strobe, Maybe 2 ( 300/400 watt ), Depends on what your doing, Softboxes/Brollies/snoot whatever else you fancy.

I'd recommend a couple of 1 metre reflectors ( White & Silver mix ), With holders if you don't have the luxury of an assistant....Smile

Heres a cheap skate option that comes in very handy, Have a look around for old " Projector Screens " , The sort that pull out, They come in many sizes, Can be found on ebay for peanuts, Or second hand shops, Or charity shops, I have never paid more than 5 quid for one....Smile

They do make very good reflectors, And can be positioned very easily, Great for bouncing speedlights off as well.

110_TURNER 11 16 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2009 4:10PM
Just to add mt thoughts

Studio Hire all the aforementioned advantages + only need to hire for the required amount of time 20 / hour means you can hire for an hour - they can be set up within 5 mins and off you go.

I have been in a studio about half a dozen times and achieved results each time. To buy or hire five lights and start from scratch would I feel be prone to difficulties.

Start cheap quick and easy see how it goes then talk to the boss nicely to get your own stuff - that you can use whenever neccesary.


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