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04-16-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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Home Portrait Lighting

Any recommendations on a kit that I can get off the shelf for home portrait shooting? Thanks.

04-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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had to look at what is in the US for affordable but decent starer system

this BH kit looks pretty good for the price with softball snoot and umbrella and 3 lights. Not super powerful but definitely enough for a basic home setup

Interfit EX150 MK2 Three Monolight Home Studio Flash INT183 B&H
04-16-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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If you have a couple of flash guns it might be cheaper to buy some stands and umbrellas with a cheap trigger system from China

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04-17-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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I have seen some reasonably priced sets at our local Ritz Camera Store.

Westcott Ulite Light with Two Light Kit - 404 - RitzCamera.com They had one set on clearence for $125.79

.

04-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #5
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I built a diy portrait lighting set up using several 5000k CFL bulbs (4 for $13) in 2 Bayco work lights ($10 from walmart) with Y adaptors to put two bulbs in each work light ($4). I use a shower curtain liner to diffuse the light from those lights. I have 4 bulbs on one side, and a silver reflector on the other. I also use an FGZ-360 flash with a diffuser (off camera, triggered by the on camera flash). It's a very cheap set up, and barely bright enough for indoor work.

Here's the outcome:

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

For $50, it's okay. But I need something better that looks like less of a fire hazard.
04-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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The first question is, now much do you plan to spend?

I like Brian's $50 kit.

If you have a couple shoe-mount flashes, you can use those with some white foamcore panels or even an umbrella. If you don't have flashes, you can buy a couple old Vivitars for $40 or $50 each.

Or you can spend hundreds of dollars on fancy lighting systems.
04-24-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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There are a number of nice kits on Amazon that don't cost too much. I'm looking into a Cowboy studio kit myself at some point here. They seem like they get decent reviews.
04-25-2012, 06:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by brian78 Quote
I built a diy portrait lighting set up using several 5000k CFL bulbs (4 for $13) in 2 Bayco work lights ($10 from walmart) with Y adaptors to put two bulbs in each work light ($4). I use a shower curtain liner to diffuse the light from those lights. I have 4 bulbs on one side, and a silver reflector on the other. I also use an FGZ-360 flash with a diffuser (off camera, triggered by the on camera flash). It's a very cheap set up, and barely bright enough for indoor work.

Here's the outcome:

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

For $50, it's okay. But I need something better that looks like less of a fire hazard.

I shot the promo stuff for an event using 2 towers of 4 cheap spotlights from canadian tire on either side a few years back for an event on a severe (ie non existent) budget in it's first year. Returned all the lights the next day. Worked ok, but ever since i've twisted here arms for a proper light setup rental (they require continuous light which i won't buy so Video guys can do interviews as well)

04-25-2012, 06:20 AM   #9
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you might want to look at a strobist site or 2 for ideas. they have a lot of info

Strobist: Round Up: The "Starving Student" Off-Camera Light Kit

and midwest Photo has several strobist kit options that are fairly affordable (that could probably be put together by most local shops- if you have one - for similar pricing)

Midwest Photo Exchange Strobist® Kits - STROBIST®
04-25-2012, 06:36 AM   #10
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If you want dirt cheap try cowboystudio stuff. You can buy direct from their website, ebay store or amazon.

Complete Studio Package

New Umbrella Stand, lighting kit Soft Box items in Photo Studio Lighting Kit store on eBay!
04-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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the biggest downside to my diy setup is that it looks very amateur. Not necessarily the impression you want to give to your portrait subject. I'll eventually upgrade to one of the less expensive setups recommended on the strobist site -- or maybe a cheap setup with continuous lighting.
04-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #12
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While were on the subject, What are the pro's and cons between continuous lighting vs. strobes? At a recent wedding we attended I noticed the photographer just bouncing a pair of strobes off the ceiling of a very dark large room with high ceilings. I happened by chance to snap off a few images in synch with his strobes and the images were quite outstanding.
04-29-2012, 02:45 PM   #13
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Just an FYI, check the Warehouse section on Amazon. I just picked up two Cowboy light kits for a song. I'd been eying those for quite a while and I just found them nicely discounted on there.
04-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #14
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Good results can come frome a really basic kit consisting of only wireless trigger and reciever, cheap manual flashgun and a white ceiling or wall with the subject sat/stood next to a window...

Like other have said... Depends on your budget...
04-29-2012, 04:28 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Good results can come frome a really basic kit consisting of only wireless trigger and reciever, cheap manual flashgun and a white ceiling or wall with the subject sat/stood next to a window...

Like other have said... Depends on your budget...

exactly, reality is you can get excellent results just with the window (maybe with a reflector) if you do it at the right time of day

Edit as an example Richard Avedon did many of his most famous shots with available light

Last edited by eddie1960; 04-29-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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