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Old 02-08-2012   #21
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Lots of great information posted, Thank you!!


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Old 02-10-2012   #22
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Go over to Photoflex.com and take a look at their site. They have some classes on lighting.
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Old 02-10-2012   #23
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgrubb View Post
Go over to Photoflex.com and take a look at their site. They have some classes on lighting.
Or stick around here and ask specific questions..
There is a wealth of information here on this site.
THere are several answers to your question and all are not necessarily wrong.
Certainly using one light to start and learning how to use it properly and THEN getting a second is probably the best answer, but if you can afford them, or you get a discount for a package, or whatever, then the answer is the more you can afford, the more you want, the more you can get.

If you buy one and get to using it, you can decide, if for whatever reason, it's not for you, then you don't have to be invested in the whole system, like camera bodies and lenses, fpor items like soft boxes, etc.

The simplest thing is get a light, any light, and start using it. You'll quickly decide what you like and what you don't like. And they aren't quite as expensive as a house so it probably won't be a fatal error if the first one you buy isn't to your liking. They can always be used later for bg lights etc. It's possible to get parlysis by analysis.
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Old 02-10-2012   #24
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Or do both! It is not like it has to be either or.

As far as "best" , get two lights. Fran is completely clueless here. JK LOL

"Best" is completely subjective here. I do recommend minimum two lights as I like full control of my fill and later if you don't need the fill you can use it as an accent, hair or background light, plus you have a back up. You can sell two lights just as easily as one and probably easier.

I also suggest two umbrellas and one medium soft box. If really on a budget, then two umbrellas, as you can always us a piece of cardboard as a gobo, if you need to keep light off the background.
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Old 02-11-2012   #25
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Even in school, we started with one light. When I took my first workshop (also at school) we started with one light. BUT, it wasn't just take the the light and shone it one someone or something. No. Take that one light and show me how you can manipulate it, say, 5 different ways.

For instance, use it as it is. Bare light, nothing else. Now how about putting some diffusion material in front of it to soften the light. What if you added a reflector on the other side to fill in the shadows and lessen the contrast a bit? What if you added a mirror behind the subject and up a little bit to reflect the main light to create a hair light? Or any combination of that.

Suddenly your asking yourself "What do I need another light for??"

Right now, I am shooting a project using traditional portraiture. I do have 3 lights but only because it's a group of people and I need them to all have the same "look" and it's easier to set my fill and hair and just move my main around to either side and fine tune it. BUT, I could easily turn my fill off and just use a reflector and get great results as well. If not better. I do like my separation light so I always have it. But I really don't "need" the fill light.

My first job assisting was with a top commercial guy who shot with one large softbox and nothing else but reflectors. A lot of product shots are done that way. So don't think one light is not enough. Learn what you can do with it.
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Old 02-11-2012   #26
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolando View Post
My first job assisting was with a top commercial guy who shot with one large softbox and nothing else but reflectors. A lot of product shots are done that way. So don't think one light is not enough. Learn what you can do with it.
In the eighties and nineties pretty much every commercial photographer went through a "single light" (usually soft box) lighting phase. That was very common then though not so much today.
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Old 02-11-2012   #27
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Commercial table top and product is different than shooting people. It is all about styles. Both you and Fran think one light is enough. I don't. Just a difference of opinion which is why I had all those winky smily's in my post.
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Old 02-11-2012   #28
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
In the eighties and nineties pretty much every commercial photographer went through a "single light" (usually soft box) lighting phase. That was very common then though not so much today.
True. Dang it! Ha!

But learning how to milk one light for all it's worth is really the best way to learn how to control light. Then with a second or third, it just make those other tasks, i.e. fill, separation, etc., easier.
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Old 02-11-2012   #29
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

I've still got lots of Black Books from the eighties and nineties and there was some beautiful work done then with a single soft box and a couple of fill cards!
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Old 02-11-2012   #30
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Default Re: How many studio lights do I need to start out?

As most have suggested, get the best you can afford... if that means just one light for the moment, get one light and learn techniques.
I know a pro who shoots portraits in a studio, I call him the "One Light Wonder". He's very good at what he does... he has a tonne of lights, but a lot of his work he shoots with one light.


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