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Thread: DIY Lighting setup for home portrait shoot

  1. #1

    Post DIY Lighting setup for home portrait shoot

    Just wanna share a possible setup for those with an external flash with slave capabilities who wanna take some portraits at home.

    Was looking at the stuffs in my room and i decided to give this a try.
    I do have full free access to a professional studio with about 6-8 studio lights 12/7 with an array of equipments.
    But hey, will anyone invest in those kinda EQ just to shoot non-commercial portraits at home. I for one can't afford that kinda setup for my home.

    So equipped with only 1x slave able external flash and a reflector here's the results I've got.

    shots taken at 1/100, 85mm, f/14 <--> got the settings thru trial and error, no light meter and shooting digital.

    Just a slave flash on the Left hand side of the SUBJECT

    Placed a reflector on the Right hand side

    ooops, cheapo room-studio-wanna-be exposed!

    from a different perspective

    Imo, it doesn't have to be a reflector on the other side.... a mirror would also do. Experiment with the stuffs around your house and you'll be surprised on what you can get/`achieve'.

    Needed to take a passport photo for myself which i need the next thing in the morning tomorrow.... replaced the Monkey with yours-truly and i got a decently exposed shot, ready to submit.

    Hope the above helps

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Khatib - Singapore


    Hi Tsystem,

    I am trying out to create a home studio (well reason being that I'm stuck at home with an injury and cannot go out as often). Can I check with you on a few matters?

    1) Back Drop. is it neccessary to get a proper backdrop? If so what type of backdrop should I get.
    2) Shadows. How to eliminate shadows? I tried bouncing the flash, diffusing it but the shadows can be pretty obvious.
    3) Backlighting. How to include backlighting so that the hair don't flush with the backgound.
    4) Is it possible to limit the depth of field to the subject when using flash? Usually flash settings dictates that the aperture by stopped down to around f8. If I want to limit the DOF, without flash I'd usually use aperture priority but with flash how is that possible?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. #3


    Like you, I'm also still learning and can't really explain what's going on ....bout lightings .
    I can only share with you what i think i would do:

    1) getting a back drop is really important. The one i posted was taken with a table cloth which wasn't a good example. Maybe some other forumers can share the recommended type of material?

    2) Try moving your subject further away from the background ;D or reposition your flash. Best == get two flash on both sides of the subject.

    3) This will require an additional source of light on your backdrop. And to achieve that, i normally position two strobes at the backdrop (at a studio...not at home) behind the subject - pointing towards the subject to create the highlight-outline which is very nice imo.

    4) think its only logical to lower the flash power and try to UP your shutter speed - that's what i can think of.
    for me, when i take portraits, i will want to use something smaller than f/8 (e.g. f/10 - depends on metering).

    ps. I get better results using studio lightings...coz their more dummy proof.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Here is my take...

    This is what i did.....

    My home studio....


  5. #5
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


  6. #6


    can i ask what u all use to mount the shoe flash to the tripod? is there a tripod screw to shoe flash attachment?



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