British homes are just too small

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
mbloof Senior Member • Posts: 1,376
Re: British homes are just too small

onechobeach wrote:

Many thanks had a good read and look at your web page.

I live in Manchester and an enthusiastic amateur who has always ignored flash and lighting. Has a good eye and fairly decent but wants to take my photography up a few levels.

Finally started to sit down and have a good read . Has had two Canon 580 EX 11 Speedlights for ages now and not got around to using them. Always seems to have had a blind spot with artificial lighting.

Plans to change that.

Still trying to decide whether to buy a Bowen's Kit or keep to a very simple three speed light set up.


Much can be done (and learned) with a few light stands and umbrellas/lightboxes and your EX's. To save space I've often used bare EX's for the fill and hair lights when I only had room for 1 umbrella/softbox for the key light. Shooting down the hall or across the room helps. If you have white walls and ceiling you can bounce your EX's off them for some surprisingly good results to!

The fun/hard part when working with small spaces is juggling focal length, FSTOP and DOF so that all/most of your subject is in focus and your background is blurred while keeping your lights off your background.

Bare minimum would be adding one umbrella+air cushioned light stand for your key and tossing in a white foam board or 3-4' round white reflector for the fill. I used the 3 EX's for over a year before deciding on getting 'proper' studio lights.

The Gemini 400 2 light kit was what I bought as an 'upgrade' to my 3 Canon EX's, outside of their light stands I could not be happier with them. I think it comes with a 12-16' 'sync cord' that plugs right into most higher end canon bodies. The other light I use the built in optical slave function. The kit comes with a nice bag. Solid and reliable lighting. Lots of inexpensive compatible modifiers can be found on Ebay and other places too.

The 250W modeling lights run VERY hot and mine burnt out fairly quickly. My local store wants $25+ for 'official' Bowens replacements. Cheaper replacements can be found on Ebay for $15 but I ended up replacing just one with a skinny 100W Halogen which is used primarily to help the auto focus. (the 'modeling light' feature was not all that useful to me)

Check your local store - the light stands that came with my Bowens Gemini GM400 kit were non-air cushioned - a must have IMHO when lowering a light +large heavy light box - and I was glad I already had some decent cushioned ones to replace them with.

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