Looking for first studio lights

Started Aug 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 11,911
Re: Looking for first studio lights

I'm not familiar with the lights you are considering so I can't comment on their suitability. What I will say is buy quality. I made the mistake of buying low quality the first time and it was a complete waste of my money. The second time I did my research and testing and bought good quality lights with good quality modifiers. Yes, I paid more money the second time but what I have will outlive me. Here is the article I wrote about equipment for a small home studio.

Sailorblue - Digital Photography Review - Equipment Guide for Setting up a Small Home Portrait/Glamor Studio

When you are starting out you absolutely want modeling lights.

What gives a flat portrait a 3D look is the way you light the face to produce both highlights and shadows. Flat lighting without shadows will give you a portrait with no 3D appearance. Modeling lights are critical to you being able to see how the light falls on the face to produce those highlights and shadows. Without modeling lights you are guessing where to put the lights, testing, moving the lights, testing, moving, testing, etc.

With most modern monolights you can buy battery packs with built in AC converters so the monolights become "portable", a bit heavy but portable. With most of these monolight/power packs you can turn on the modeling lights but they quickly drain the batteries so you only do this as little as possible.

Something else you should factor in is that you definitely want a flash/ambient light meter. A recommend the Sekonic L-358 or L-479.

Here are some good links to look at.

Portrait Lighting - Names for different portrait lighting set-ups in photography

Benji's Studio Lighting and Posing Tutorial

Benji - The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Benji - PS Technique For Checking Exposure (Portraits)

Ed Shapiro - The fabulous fill light...an article

Ed Shapiro - Facial Analysis in Fine Portraiture- Corrective Techniques

Sekonic - Joe Brady - Control the Light and Improve Your Photography: Part 1 — Portraiture Using Available Light

Sekonic - Joe Brady - Control the Light and Improve Your Photography: Part 2 — Better Environmental Portraiture

Sekonic - Joe Brady - Blending Flash & Ambient Light for Beautiful Outdoor Portraits

Sekonic - Joe Brady - Control the Light and Improve Your Photography: Part 3 — Studio Portrait Lighting

Sekonic - Frank Dispensa - Classical Posing and Portrait Lighting

B&H - Peter Hurley - The Basic Headshot - YouTube

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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