Photography Studio and Lighting Forum

Hosted by fabulous Florida-based professional fashion photographer, Asylum Steve, this forum is for discussing studio photography and anything related to lighting.
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mod squad gahspidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.Y. U.S.A.
    Posts
    8,368

    Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Ok, here's what I got and want to do. I have a Flashpoint 300 watt continuous light quartz halogen head, 10ft light stand, 40" white reflector umbrella, Canon 420EX speedlite and 580EX ll Speedlite.
    Basically, I want a very versatile and portable set up that I can travel to location with if needed.
    I am looking to do some basic portrait type stuff at home and possibly in the homes of the subjects. Also interested in shooting objects and still life in my home.
    I am considering another light stand and umbrella, another 580EX or the Canon ST-E2 remote triggering unit to have both the 580EX ll and 420EX on stands with umbrellas. A Sunpak or Vivitar Flashead to be as optical slave for maybe the background light or hair light.
    I would either utilize the Fashpoint continuous light as ambient light, or not use it altogether depending on the situation.
    What do you think? Would I be able to have a fairly good versatile set up with the system I described? What would you suggest alternatively or in addition.
    please do not edit and repost my photos


    gary


  2. #2
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Middle Florida
    Posts
    3,667

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by gahspidy
    What would you suggest alternatively or in addition...
    Light-wise your setup seems fine. Nothing you mention is all-too-powerful, yet they match up pretty well, so you should be able to keep your ratios pretty easily.

    The two stands is a good idea. Those flashes are pretty small, so there's no need for super ultra rugged ones. Which means cheap!

    The only thing I'd add to the mix is your basic and essential assortment of light modifiers. Don't ever underestimate the value of these, and often times it's the grip stuff that makes the style of the shot.

    So, I'd make sure I had reflectors, light panels (easy to make your own from pvc and fabric), flags (small rectangular flats - easy to make from foam core or heavy board), and lots of black photo tape!
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

    Running the Photo Asylum, Asylum Steve's blogged brain pipes...
    www.stevenpaulhlavac.com
    www.photoasylum.com

  3. #3
    mod squad gahspidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.Y. U.S.A.
    Posts
    8,368

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Thanks for the response, Steve. Yeah, the stand that I have is an Adorama brand (their stuff is not bad and very cheap) and I am happy with the one I have so I'll get another. Also, their 40" umbrella is very good. It is a white reflector but has a silver lining topped with a black lining. So, the reflecting is very efficient. The Black and silver lining (one two layer piece) comes off so that it can convert to a shoot through. Do you feel that for most situations a shoot through is preferable to a bounced light?
    Do you think it is a good idea to utilize the Halogen head with the strobes? I have tried some portraits with the Halogen head as main and a strobe as fill and did not like the inconsistent light temperature . the main light was warmer making the subjects face warm on one side and cool on the other. . .
    Yes, the things most overlooked are usually very effective tools such as the grip items you brought up. Reflectors and lots of tape for sure
    btw, what are flags and what are they used for?
    please do not edit and repost my photos


    gary


  4. #4
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Middle Florida
    Posts
    3,667

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by gahspidy
    btw, what are flags and what are they used for?...
    Flags are opaque pieces of stretched fabric or board used to block unwanted light from various areas of your shot. They can be any size from, say 4'x8' panels all the way down to very small circles and rectangles (called dots and fingers). Think of it as sculpting light.

    Gary, I hope you see the irony in this thread. Here you are, a great street-scene shooter interested in and asking me about lighting setups, and me with years of studio experience giving it to you, but in the back of my mind really wishing I could hang with you for a day, shooting the streets of NYC...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

    Running the Photo Asylum, Asylum Steve's blogged brain pipes...
    www.stevenpaulhlavac.com
    www.photoasylum.com

  5. #5
    mod squad gahspidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.Y. U.S.A.
    Posts
    8,368

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Steve, it would be my pleasure to be able to hang with you and shoot around town. I would have the most to gain from that scenario. If your schedule ever brings you out this way be sure to drop me a line. NYC is great and alive but Brooklyn is rich with street flavor and many crumbling old shoddy places that I can see you setting up some of your awesome model shoots.

    Thing of it is I'm feeling very limited in always waiting for the right conditions and happening upon scenes. When I look at the works of photographers such as yourself that set up and control their shooting environment, I realize that I need to learn to have more control of my "set" and create the type scene that I vision. This means learning and applying the use of lighting and other equipment so that I can aquire greater control over my subject and environment. btw, the latest model shots I have seen in your Ezine are fantastic. The Windy City Winter series. I think I saw the one with the girl in a hallway with a fire escape sign posted on Viewfinder?
    Anyway, thanks again for your help. Your a generous one and PR and it's members are lucky to have you.
    please do not edit and repost my photos


    gary


  6. #6
    MJS
    MJS is offline
    Digital Video Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    1,390

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Hey Gary, I would also like to travel the streets with you in NYC sometime in the not too distant future. Check out the head shot I did with a portable strobe set up in the home portrait thread. Not much time to get the shot for publication and done with 2 pocket strobes, 2 by standers, a reflector and smal shoot through umbrella. I carry the portable stands in an old tripod bag, along with the extra strobes and umbrelas, one shoot through and the other a black backed white one.
    Michael
    Nikon Samurai #8
    Avid Editor
    Sony Shogun

  7. #7
    mod squad gahspidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.Y. U.S.A.
    Posts
    8,368

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Mike, I viewed that thread several times over the last few days and was very impressed with what you did so quickly. It is a good headshot. Did you use a portable bg or something?
    I have ordered a stroboframe flash bracket and will be getting another 580EX ll. I plan to use my 580EX ll shooting through a 40" umbrella either right or left of the subject, my other 580 EX ll on the stroboframe as fill, and my 420 EX with a grid or snoot attached as hair light. The beauty of the Canon system is that I can easily adjust the ratios from the master 580 EX ( mounted on stroboframe) so I can have a 1:2 or 1:4 shadow/highlight ratio. Also, I can set everything manually so that if i were doing a bunch of portraits I could keep a consistency without the E-TTL system varying the exposures due to clothe, skin, or hair colors. It is portable a versatile which is the beauty of it. I had the same idea as you with the tripod case. I have two as a matter of fact. I never use them to carry tripods around but I am glad I never threw them out because they will be ideal to carry around lightstands, umbrellas and the Speedlites.
    For the other type of stuff that I'm really interested in doing such as the moody portraits, location shoots,
    and just more creative type stuff I'm going to try experimenting in controlling and sculpting the light (as Steve so appropriately termed it) with grids, flags and panels. I have lots of full sheet black mat board that is white on the bachside which should make ideal flags and reflectors.
    Anyway, this is a whole new area of photography for me and as I'm looking into this I have really found a deep appreciation for the way you guys pull off the great shots controlling your lighting. As anyone who has attempted this type of work can say it ain't nearly as easy as it looks.
    If you guys ever make it over to the city I can show you around some real interesting spots. Brooklyn has alot to offer and we may even find an "Igloo of ill repute" for Steve.:blush2:
    Thanks Mike for your time.
    please do not edit and repost my photos


    gary


  8. #8
    MJS
    MJS is offline
    Digital Video Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    1,390

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Personally I think Steve should hold a lighting seminar in Orlando so we could all meet and blow off some time in the winter. Then another trip to your neck of the woods to meet up with you. Liz and Megan would be cool. Now all I need is that winning lotto ticket. the BG was some cheap royal blue (at least that's what they told me at the store) fabric from the store we use as part of our news set. It's always hung up on a rail with some heavy black stage curtains in the studio/classroom
    Michael
    Nikon Samurai #8
    Avid Editor
    Sony Shogun

  9. #9
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Middle Florida
    Posts
    3,667

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by MJS
    Personally I think Steve should hold a lighting seminar in Orlando so we could all meet and blow off some time in the winter...
    Michael, I will definitely be in Miami next month, possibly for more than a few days. No seminars planned but I'd love to meet up maybe for lunch or something...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

    Running the Photo Asylum, Asylum Steve's blogged brain pipes...
    www.stevenpaulhlavac.com
    www.photoasylum.com

  10. #10
    MJS
    MJS is offline
    Digital Video Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    1,390

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Just let me know dates so I can clear a weekend of my usual taxi dad, or SCUBA instructor duties. Are you shooting? You of course have full access to my limited lighting should you not want to lug a lot down. Might even be able to convince the deckcadet to come down from the hallowed halls of Gainesville if he has the time. He got himself on staff at the Independent Alligator up there and has been shooting a lot of PJ work.
    Michael
    Nikon Samurai #8
    Avid Editor
    Sony Shogun

  11. #11
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    7,856

    Fwiw

    Gary, I started working with lighting equipment exactly two years ago and I had similar requirements so here is what I started with:

    Canon ST-E2 transmitter
    (2) 430EX strobes
    (2) white umbrellas
    (2) cheap light stands

    Granted not very powerful, but portability and flexibility were important to me. Canít light up a large room entirely, but I did manage to use them successfully for several home interior jobs for accent/fill light. Iíve been pretty happy with the results for portraits and product-type shots as well. Iíve even used this setup to light fish in aquariums at a store.

    I recently added a 580EXII strobe to the mix but I still use my ST-E2 as the main controller. And as you say, the ability to quickly adjust the ratio is very handy. Even for one-strobe macro applications, even though I have an off-camera shoe cord, I still use my ST-E2 to trigger the flash (which I can hand-hold to get the desired illumination quickly).


    Like I said, Iím just getting started lighting-wise so take it as you may. And I too have a healthy respect to those who can do it well.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.


    What's a Loupe for anyway?

  12. #12
    mod squad gahspidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.Y. U.S.A.
    Posts
    8,368

    Re: Here's what I got and want to do . . .What do you suggest?

    Loupey, aside from it having a flash, the benefit of the 580EX ll as the Master controller is that it has the ability to control A,B, and C group of slave units. The C group does not figure into the ratio but is rather set from the master to fire at a pre determined power. It is meant for the hair, rim or background lighting.
    I found that the Canon manual that came with my 580EX ll is awful. It never mentions that when the 580EX is set to fire that it automatically defaults to group A. This means if you are using a slave unit as key you need to designate it into group B. I had been setting my key flash into group A and not understanding why I was not seeing any real diferences when adjusting my ratios. That made my Key and Fill on the same group, so no ratio adjustment would have any effect.

    Loupey, if you have not looked at the link that Alison posted ( Steve fortunately made it a sticky) at the top of this forum, take a look. Look at Chuck Gardeners section on Canon mulitple Speedlites. Very informative.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with the speedlites system
    please do not edit and repost my photos


    gary


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •