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 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Home Studio Questions


    I have a question concerning the set-up of a studio at home. Basically, I need to furnish a space in which to take portaits. I already own a good tripod and 35mm SLR, but am unsure of what should or shouldn't be used in a studio environment.

    Can anyone please give me advice on:

    a) Lighting: What do I need to start off with.
    b) Reflectors. Will I need them?
    c) Umbrella-thingies. What do they do and will I need one?
    d) Hand-held lightmeter. Will I need one? Should I trust the Matrix-system in my camera?
    e) Anything else you think I need to know.

    - bobD

  2. #2
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Hi Bob. I believe there is a studio lighting forum somewhere here that you might find useful. I'm still a rank beginner, although I've shot quite a bit of studio work in the last two years with a very basic setup.
    1: minimal lighting in my very humble opinion-two 100 watt/sec or better slave strobes, preferably with modeling lights, plus one 100 wat/sec or better strobe. SP systems has a very, and I do mean VERY basic setup, for about 500 bucks that has this minimal configuration, plus 2 umbrellas, barn doors, snoot, and a basic (very very basic) guide to studio photography. It's the system I use, and I get by with it, but one day....
    2:Reflectors-get at least one, preferably double sided. I use the main strobe to bounce off a gold reflector for front fill, and the slaves for side/back fill, and the combo works well for me, but I'm not all that creative yet.
    3:Umbrella thingies-YES-get these. I have two sets. I have a white set that I fire the slaves through, and a gold set that I reflect from, depending on the lighting effect I want.
    4:Hand held meter-absolute must have. You DO NOT WANT TO SHOOT WITH YOUR CAMERA'S METER. Unless of course you want to shoot oodles of test shots to get the right exposure. Get a light meter, attach the pc cord from your master strobe to it, and set the ISO on the meter to match your camera's, set the flash sync speed that your camera will be using on it, and the flashmeter when triggered, should give you the appropriate f stop for the camera. Adjust the power output of your slave strobes to change the f stop readings. And of course, you will be shooting manually.
    5:a digital camera with a pc connector is very handy for checking exposure settings, unless of course, your main camera is digital :-)
    Well, I hope that helped at least a little. I'm still new to studio, haven't had a lot of time to study anything beyond very basic studio setup, and I'm lousy at explaining things-always seem to leave out some important details.

  3. #3
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Chicago Suburbs
    1) Learn with oen light. A good strobe with a modelling light. You would need a light meter for that.

    2) Reflectors are great to have. A white piece of foam board or lexan mirror work great. The mirror in particular can simulate multiple light sources using just one light.

    3) Umbrellas are used to soften the light. Especially the shoot-through kind. Do you ned them? No. A big sheet of bleached fabric will work just as well. As will bouncing the light into a piece fo foam core. The larger the light source, the softer the light. Bouncing into a bright white wall works as well.

    4) A handheld meter is a must unless you have digital and want to take many shots to get the histogram right. Models do not like having the flash popped in their face for no reason. The lights do not communicate with any camera, therefore TTL and matrix metering are not possible.

    5) Start basic, the more lights and other crap you have, the harder it will be to track down errors, and the harder it will be to learn. One light, one reflector. And don't spend big cash on fancy reflectors, go to a hardware store and get some 10 dollar foam core.

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    ABQ, NM
    I agree with sebastion here. I started with one light, I made a panel and put a sheet of white nylon to shoot through, and used a white board as a reflector for fill.

    You really need a meter; period. With a very dark, or very light background your in-camera meter will never get it right. Consider this shot, she was exposed about 1/3 over, and the background about 1 1/3 over.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Home Studio Questions-rach_3630_comb.jpg  

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. using studio flash lights for home lighting?
    By joebloetemp in forum Studio & Lighting
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-13-2004, 07:00 PM
  2. Workflow questions
    By Gabe in forum Photo Printers, Drives, Computers & Other Hardware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-06-2004, 09:25 PM
  3. Very basic home studio setup?
    By mjm in forum Studio & Lighting
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-23-2004, 07:22 PM
  4. First SLR camera today... Rebel... many questions :)
    By Sean Dempsey in forum Digital SLRs
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-18-2004, 09:35 AM
  5. Help with setting up a small home studio
    By Petereos in forum Studio & Lighting
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-04-2004, 08:28 AM

Posting Permissions

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