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Lights In Photographs

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Lights In Photographs
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, May 10, 2004 10:33 PM
I want to setup a basic 3 point light system

Anybody know some online sites that sell lights for photograpy

also any pics of your lighting setup would be great as well
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, May 10, 2004 11:15 PM
B&H Photo in NYC is one of the very best on-line photo shops. I've bought LOTS of stuff from them. They're fast, secure, knowledgeable & helpful.

Check their lighting:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home;jsessionid=AgS1V2c8LJ!-884524000?O=NavBar&A=FetchChildren&Q=&ci=1161

Hope this helps.
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, May 14, 2004 8:57 AM
I've gotten good results, without spending a great deal of money, by making a compromise between genuine photographic gear and cheaper stuff. You can go to a homeowner's store (e.g., Lowe's) and buy three "clamp lights," which are basic light sockets with steel reflectors and clamps that can be mounted on virtually anything (e.g., a step ladder). While you're there, pick up a package of white cheesecloth, which is sold in the paint department. Any decent camera store can sell you some blue "photoflood" bulbs, which will screw into the sockets of the clamp lights. The total outlay, even with the bulbs (which, around here at least, cost about $7.00 apiece), will be well under fifty dollars.

After screwing the bulbs into the sockets, wrap the fronts of the reflectors with two layers of the cheesecloth, held with masking tape. That has the effect of diffusing the light and softening the shadows.

There are two problems with this system. One - the bulbs have a life expectancy of about three hours. Two - they get VERY hot, quick. You're actually not supposed to use them in anything but ceramic sockets. They're quite capable of melting, or even setting fire to, the plastic sockets in the clamp lights. (I speak from experience.) The solution is to turn them off and let them cool off every few minutes.

If you get blue photofloods, though, you can use daylight-synchronized film with no filter. (I particularly like Fuji Reala, ISO 100.) With this setup I've taken quite a few ship model pictures that have gotten published in magazines.

One other thought - a key element in model photography is the background. Photography shops and mail order dealers (e.g., B&H and Adorama) sell big rolls of really nice paper in lots of colors. Another good source, though (I thank my wife, who's a public school teacher, for this one) is a school supply store. Such places sell "bulletin board paper" in big, wide rolls, or sometimes by the yard. The one near my house has a shade of blue that I like; it costs 79 cents per yard.

Maybe you already knew all this; if so, I apologize for insulting your intelligence. But maybe some of it will help a little.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Stockton CA USA
Posted by roosterfish on Friday, May 14, 2004 9:17 PM
Photographic lighting is quite a subject. Do people really know how much there is to learn and remember?

The whole idea is to get the camera and related processes, which does not take a picture of reality, to fool the viewer of the image to see what the photographer was imagining. The camera and the lights are a couple of tools to help relay the idea of the photographer. You can get main, bounce, fill, and snoot lights. And it is a completely different world if you use flashes for your photos. You are really good if you can use mixed lighting, lighting with continuous and flash. You add and subtract lights for the greatest effect. You end up getting into light ratios and the equipment to measure it. Exposure and contrast have much to do to relay a photograph to a viewer.

With that said I agree completely with jtilley and keep your set up light set up simple. Expensive equipment will not necessarily make a good photograph but a good photographer can make a great photo from inexpensive equipment. It is just a matter of learning about lighting and the limitations of a camera.

I like to make display photos and most of it is done with the simplest equipment I have. I used to use expensive equipment where I worked at but I have found the equipment you use doesn’t have to be fancy to make a good photo. Now I use equipment that I find around the house. It gets fun and interesting to improvise.

Here is an example of a photo I made two days ago. The background was my speaker stand. The green base holding the wine glass was an Epson printer brochure. The main light was from a skylight. Besides the lit flashlight in the glass I had a second 3 LED flashlight as a very diffused light source. I used the second flashlight as a background light to separate and give the rose a warmer look. The same flashlight was also a skim light to lighten the edge of the rose. And the photo had to be metered and exposed correctly or the mood would have been lost.

Keep the lighting and equipment to a minimum.

Winners never quit; quitters never win.
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