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Thread: Lighting advice please?

  1. #1

    Default Lighting advice please?

    Hello all... I am new to this site and was wondering if anyone could offer me some lighting advice. I am going to be shooting some corporate headshots for a doctor's office, and was wondering what sort of light set to purchase. As i now I have no lights, I've always worked with natural lights, or the lighting I had available in the studio while I was in college. I'm looking at a set on B+H which is the Lowel LS2-10 L-Light Kit - consists of: L-Light, Stand Link, Barndoors, Bulb, Light Stand - 100 Total Watts (120V AC). Does anyone know if this would be adequate or what else I might need (diffusion. different bulb, etc.?) any and all responses would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lighting advice please?

    Welcome Kristen.

    I'm sure a few more experienced phtographers would chime in, if they could envision wht you are trying to achieve, but are you sure you want to purchase lighting equipment specifically for a one-off portrait shoot? Or do you have an entire series lined-up, and more importantly (if economics are a factor), does what you are going to earn from this and possible future projects justify the purchase and import of light equipment?

    Coming back to point, what exactly are the results you want or need to achieve? Once you've got that sorted out (and share with us), perhaps we could offer more specific assistance.

    If not, my advise would be to explore a mix of existing light, and fairly inexpensively obtained diffused or chanelled bounce flash from a compact speedlight or two (aka - on camera flash with a difussion, magnification or cone attachment). A few reflectors or bounce surfaces, well-planned could do wonders as well.

    It all boils down to what results you want, and your mastery of light control.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 24th March 2007 at 12:50 AM.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: Lighting advice please?

    Thank you for the response Dream. Let me explain myself a bit more clearly.
    Purchasing the lighting equipment (especially the set I mentioned, for it is fairly inexpensive) is not an issue to me. I will be using it for future shoots, and it is something that I truly need.

    For this particular shoot, it's pretty basic... just head shots of several different MD's, nothing creative or fancy. The only problem I have is that I'm shooting in their office which does provide some natural light, but I don't believe it would be enough to accomplish what needs to be achieved.

    As of right now I do have a reflector... any reccomendations for a good on-camera flash?Price for one? I haven't really used that many. Do you think the Lowel set would not be appropriate? Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lighting advice please?

    Most important factor is understanding how artificial light behaves and works. Any brand of lights will work fine.

    If have the $$$$$$, then obviously go for either Broncolours or Elinchroms. This 2 lightings brnad are exceptional reliable.

    If you are shooting just headshots, actually 3 X SB800s will work fine for me. If you are a Canon user, then the 3 x 580Ex lor.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lighting advice please?


    Let me be perfectly honest - I've only had limited experience with Balcar lights for stills, and Kinoflo for cinematography.

    What I would suss out from what little you have mentioned, you would be looking at several heads, and all the accompanying basic accessories. I am not familiar with the Lowel set, but what I would look for in a professional set would be the entire available range (for future expansion needs), performance and reliability, after-sales service and replacement parts (and cost within a certain region) as well as what I simply refer to as 'rentability'.

    What I don't have, or don't want permanently, or can't buy at a certain location or in time, I would look at renting as a viable option. At least, if I were shooting professionally, as you hint towards, the rentability factor is something I would seriously look into.

    Have you considered least just for this project? Also, would you consider a different approach? I have seen beautiful still portraits taken on the fly with cinematic lights (aka: Kinoflo). Colour balance needs to be addressed though as the Kino tubes are inherently warm (think 'hotlights' without the uncomfortable working temperatures).

    Like I mentioned at the beginning, I hope that a few much more experienced photographers would chime in. I am only a rank amature who dabbles (and quite woefully might I add) in the dark art of photography from time to time.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 24th March 2007 at 02:12 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Re: Lighting advice please?

    what are thoes lights? hot lights?

    if u only got two... i suggest u dont do a shot with any deep backgrounds or space...
    i think 400w is the minimum u should get, if there are 400w at all

    u need
    clips, gaffer tape
    at least 3 c stands

    2white boards 2 black boards

    a roll of tracing paper at least 4 feet wide

    and black wrap.

    naturally hot lights throw is very wide, so u cut it down with the barndoors, aim at the subject...
    surely the hot spot is still very hot on his face or whatever, try flooding the hotlight.

    if cannot u can try to bouce off the light into the subject, that will be very soft lighting but
    the light have a wide spill so, that is one problem

    alternatively, hold up the roll of tracing paper(with a c-stand), and shine the light thru it,

    the light will be softer with a slight hotspot but a beautiful fall off of the light.

    block any unwanted spill by a.wrapping the hot light with black wrap at the unwanted spill.
    B. blocking with some black board(cutter).

    so that should be you Key light.

    now the fill. just whack one white board on the subjects shadow area and that should be it.

    now u got one more light...

    maybe u can use it to light up a small area as a back ground
    but with one 100w light i doubt u can do much really..
    the smallest hot light i saw was 800w

    hope that helps

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lighting advice please?

    go to the library, borrow a book on lighting portrait shots...a picture or diagram from one of these books is worth any number words...find one with an outcome you prefer...if still want better understanding, ask a question here with reference to the setup you like from the book so it is easier for the people here to give you good suggestions

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Astin Studio

    Default Re: Lighting advice please?

    U need to first see how big is the doctor's office, it may not be big enough for u to setup lights.


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