September 16, 2014, 10:03:08 PM

Author Topic: Studio lighting advice for a newbie  (Read 1493 times)

mackguyver

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 11:04:33 AM »
Quote
Do you really use a light meter that much these days?

if you are particular about lighting ratios then yes. a histogram doesn't tell you what your ratios are, just overall exposure. if you have a 3-5 light scenario where you really want to control values of each light then a light meter becomes tremendously helpful.
I could certainly see that being useful if you're going to for exact ratios.  I guess I'm just a little looser with my lighting :)

Start reading a good book about lighting like "Light - Science and Magic". It will teach you the basics (and more) about lighting - and then you'll understand what you really need.
Great recommendation on that book - it's a nice overview of lighting in general and an especially useful guide for product lighting.  It's not quite as helpful for portraits, but the concepts in the book are a huge help for photography in general and have even helped me when shooting with natural light.
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I only shoot at ISO 100 with perfect technique - should I get a Nikon?

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 11:04:33 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2014, 11:07:36 AM »
However I highly recommend getting a light meter.
Do you really use a light meter that much these days?  It seems like several people have listed it as one of their least-used items and soon after going digital, I ended up selling mine.  If I was a location shooter with limited time, I think it would be handy, but as long as I have 5-10 minutes to play with the lighting and check my histograms, I haven't found a need for one.
After forcing myself to get into using one again, Its much faster and easier than the shoot/chimp/histo check. It also helps that its built into the Cybercommander but I use my L-508 if i'm throwing speedlites into the mix.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 11:10:09 AM by RLPhoto »

mackguyver

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2014, 11:12:21 AM »
However I highly recommend getting a light meter.
Do you really use a light meter that much these days?  It seems like several people have listed it as one of their least-used items and soon after going digital, I ended up selling mine.  If I was a location shooter with limited time, I think it would be handy, but as long as I have 5-10 minutes to play with the lighting and check my histograms, I haven't found a need for one.
After forcing myself to get into using one again, Its much faster and easier than the shoot/chimp/histo check. It also helps that its built into the Cybercommander but I use my L-508 if i'm throwing speedlites into the mix.
Thanks for the answer and I've been getting back into more studio shooting and have considered a meter, but hadn't thought about the Cybercommander.  It looks so bulky on the website - how is it in actual use?
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, M 11-22 f/4-5.6 IS | 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III
I only shoot at ISO 100 with perfect technique - should I get a Nikon?

LDS

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 11:14:25 AM »
My advice is to avoid the studio at all cost and enjoy the outdoors.
Controlled studio lighting is a different way of photographing. It lets you create images from scratch - with almost total control. It's also a technique that requires a lot of learning, to be mastered fully. May require a lot of time from inception to setup to create the final image - and can be expensive.
Some find it very appealing because of the creativity and control, others don't, and may feel it more "artificial". Depends on what kind of photographer you aim to be, and what kind of images you want to create.

RLPhoto

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 11:18:48 AM »
However I highly recommend getting a light meter.
Do you really use a light meter that much these days?  It seems like several people have listed it as one of their least-used items and soon after going digital, I ended up selling mine.  If I was a location shooter with limited time, I think it would be handy, but as long as I have 5-10 minutes to play with the lighting and check my histograms, I haven't found a need for one.
After forcing myself to get into using one again, Its much faster and easier than the shoot/chimp/histo check. It also helps that its built into the Cybercommander but I use my L-508 if i'm throwing speedlites into the mix.
Thanks for the answer and I've been getting back into more studio shooting and have considered a meter, but hadn't thought about the Cybercommander.  It looks so bulky on the website - how is it in actual use?

Its fantastic as when you fire for the meter reading, it automatically inputs that data into your einstein and will tell you what F-stop its at and will update the f-stop info as you power up and down. Genius really as it makes metering that much easier.

Besisika

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2014, 11:24:28 AM »
However I highly recommend getting a light meter.
Do you really use a light meter that much these days?  It seems like several people have listed it as one of their least-used items and soon after going digital, I ended up selling mine.  If I was a location shooter with limited time, I think it would be handy, but as long as I have 5-10 minutes to play with the lighting and check my histograms, I haven't found a need for one.
Me neither, I don't bring my light meeter on my usual days. I like retouching so I do it in post - just my style.
I don't even need 5-10 min. I just take 3 shoots and I know what to do. 2/3rd over or under expose doesn't bother me.

However, when you need to do a favor to a friend (being sick for instance) and shoot a complicated lighting for a product, you cannot do without a light meter, especially if he (or his customer) dictates the ratio.
Besides, even for a portrait shoot, in front of the customer, tethered, you would want each of your shots to be very close. 


LDS

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2014, 11:32:02 AM »
Great recommendation on that book - it's a nice overview of lighting in general and an especially useful guide for product lighting.  It's not quite as helpful for portraits, but the concepts in the book are a huge help for photography in general and have even helped me when shooting with natural light.
IMHO before attempting portrait it is advisable to start mastering lighting (and equipment) using inanimate subjects, which are usually much more patient and don't complain much about the results :) This also allows to understand how light "works" and how different surfaces and shapes "react" to it - even in portraits people may wear spectacles, jewels, clothes or other accessories that need to be lighted properly. Environmental portraits more so.
"Light - Science and Magic" has only one chapter that covers portrait (head and shoulder portrait mostly), but covers the basics - than there are specific books to choose among.

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2014, 11:32:02 AM »

mackguyver

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2014, 11:34:17 AM »
However I highly recommend getting a light meter.
Do you really use a light meter that much these days?  It seems like several people have listed it as one of their least-used items and soon after going digital, I ended up selling mine.  If I was a location shooter with limited time, I think it would be handy, but as long as I have 5-10 minutes to play with the lighting and check my histograms, I haven't found a need for one.
After forcing myself to get into using one again, Its much faster and easier than the shoot/chimp/histo check. It also helps that its built into the Cybercommander but I use my L-508 if i'm throwing speedlites into the mix.
Thanks for the answer and I've been getting back into more studio shooting and have considered a meter, but hadn't thought about the Cybercommander.  It looks so bulky on the website - how is it in actual use?

Its fantastic as when you fire for the meter reading, it automatically inputs that data into your einstein and will tell you what F-stop its at and will update the f-stop info as you power up and down. Genius really as it makes metering that much easier.
Thanks, I think I'll give it a try, especially given the reasonable price.
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, M 11-22 f/4-5.6 IS | 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III
I only shoot at ISO 100 with perfect technique - should I get a Nikon?

Hannes

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2014, 02:43:08 AM »
Speaking of mastering, when you've got the hang of reverse engineering a light set up go look at works of the classical masters, i.e. paintings. You can learn a lot from the light in a Rembrandt painting for example

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Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2014, 02:43:08 AM »