Best type of light for portaiture?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Best type of light for portraiture?

TristatePhoto wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

I agree with Barrie, get studio strobes and lights with 300-400Ws of power are excellent choices.

I'm going to be the first to disagree.

Why spend so much money on studio strobes that are heavy and require huge battery's to use on location when you can get a cheap $70 flash that can be used on camera to bounce flash indoors, is highly mobile and easy/fast to set up, and you can get 4 of them for less than the cost of a studio strobe and have a whole studio set up with 4 flashes.

The main reason why is because of the modelling lights that are available in proper studio flash units.

Modelling lights are absolutely invaluable (indispensable?) during the process of learning how to light subjects. Seeing how the shadows and highlights fall, AS the lights are positioned, is intrinsic to the whole business of lighting, and is NOT a luxury....

... in fact, it may be said that any flashes that do NOT have modelling lights, like the typical camera-top units you are advocating, can only be used to their fullest and most effective degree...

... when the photographer ALREADY HAS previous experience with REAL lights (meaning ones with lights in them!)... and has already learned what (likely) power to use and where is (likely) best to place 'em.

So, while camera top flash has its uses, and multiple units used off-camera can also be pressed into service as substitutes for real studio units, when you know what you're doing...

....  they are the last thing anyone should choose while learning their lighting skills

For learning you need lights, not "darks!"

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"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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