Red-Head lightning for portrait photography

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,661
Re: Red-Head lightning for portrait photography

ryan2007 wrote:

ALEXR86 wrote:

Hi everyone.I would like to arrange a small amateur-level studio.What do you think about RedHead lamps?I would like to buy two 800w lamps with barn doors and gel-diffusers.Can I use them combined with a flash fot portrait photography? thanks!

Alex -

Any hot light or constant light source is Only for video needs.  Strobes are for everything else.  You can not just use any gels with hot lights, they will melt or cause a fire!

You will be better served saving and budgeting $800 to get a good kit.  I recommend Elinchrome, you can buy kits that come with stands, soft-boxes etc. for reference check B&H photo.

i do both people and product photography and strobes are the only way to go and it's worth saving or using B&H bill me later, they have options.  Just can't stress enough to not use hot lights for people.

I tend to agree with you about strobes vs hot lights, but for still life/product shots some photographers swear by hot lights. They are very WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) so setup is easy. Studio lights have modeling lights, but they are generally not very bright compared to your strobes, and it can be hard to see the effects of your modeling lights if the ambient light is bright.

I could see the advantages of hot lights for subjects like jewelry, where carefully controlled highlights are really important. with hot/continuous lights, you can see the lighting through the viewfinder, adjust, check again, and shoot when you get a setup you're happy with.

Baz (Barrie Davis), a retired pro who frequents these forums, swears by continuous fresnel spots for some applications. He loves the ability to adjust the beam. He says that fresnel flashes don't cut it because the modeling light is in a slightly different position than the flash tube, and it's enough to make the modeling light beam a different size and shape than the flash beam. I haven't used fresnel spots for photography myself, but he makes a convincing argument.

In short, my preferences, like yours, tend towards flashes over continuous lights, but there are arguments for both types of lighting. I don't agree with your absolute "Any hot light or constant light source is Only for video needs" statement.

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