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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:08 am 
Recently I've been thinking of getting into traditional portrait photography. I'd like to ease into it (meaning not having to spend loads of cash to start) and eventually develop the hobby until I can make some money off of it. So far I've read and seen videos on this type of photography but I was wondering if anyone can share their beginning experiences with this. I'd also appreciate advice on any kind of lighting kits and back drops (hopefully not too expensive). I imagine myself using the fairly open space in my living room so real estate isn't too much of a problem. Is one light enough to get decent printable pictures while on a budget or are two lights a must? Do they have to be hot lights, or will a flash such as the Canon 430 EX be enough? Thanks for any help!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:44 pm 
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I'm no pro, but from what I've read in the books, it's definitely wise to get at least two lights, three or four would be even better. Ideally, you wouldn't want to light whoever you're photographing from the front, but from the side. To fill the other side of the person's face, you could use a reflector, but in my mind, a second light would be more effective and easier as well.

And you'd want to have some light on the background as well, to get it purely white (if that's the colour you're using).

Be sure to save enough money, good quality studio equipment can be very expensive...

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:37 am 
Learn with one light before moving on with more. There's no substitute for knowing how to manipulate a light source.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:59 pm 
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You could probably get away with using a reflector and one light. Maybe you should try that out first and see what kind of results you get. If you had an off camera flash it could act as your "third" light (maybe from behind to get the back lighting effect). You could use your expensive light + reflector to act as your front 2 lights then use a low power setting on the flash. You might be able to emulate the traditional 3 light portrait like this.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:01 am 
Oh man this reminds me of "basic training"

There's several lighting techniques, there's Rembrandt, Paramount, Clamshell etc. but if your on a budget, I'd buy the Impact flash kit for USD $100 and two flashes to get you started. Since you're a Canon user you need a way of triggering the flashes, go for the Elichrom Skyport Universal.

Once you have the lights, start experimenting bounce, swivel, diffuse, and even "Le Louche" the light. Practice makes perfect!

Keep me posted! :D


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