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Thread: Help with studio lighting (softbox/equipment information)

  1. #1

    Help with studio lighting (softbox/equipment information)

    Hi there. This is my first post and I have not done much browsing of this forum in the past, so please forgive me if I am asking a question that has been asked many times before.

    I have been asked to do some studio ball photography. Very simple stuff. People stand in front of a screen and get their picture taken.

    I know nothing about lighting. I have been doing a bit of research, but am still a complete noob.

    I was thinking of using two softboxes with two strobes - Nikon SB600 Speedlights (NOT the continuous bulbs).

    What I want to know is, exactly what equipment do I need to achieve this?

    Obviously I need a softbox. The difficulty I've found with this is that most of the ones on warehouseexpress.com (the only UK photography seller I've found to date) seem to be the softboxes that attach to lights/continuous heads, rather than hotshoe strobes/flashes/speedlights. So I've had trouble finding a suitable 60x60-100x100 softbox of this specification. Any recommendations/tips?

    Then I will need a lightstand, and the brackets to attach the hotshoe flash/strobe/speedlight to the stand and also a bracket to attach the softbox to the stand and the hotshoe strobe. Unfortunately I don't know the specific names of these brackets and so I haven't been able to search for them. Any help regarding this matter?

    NB. I need cheap or relatively cheap softboxes that range between 60x60 and 100x100 (I guess most practical size would be about 80x80 considering I have to buy two, although if necessary I suppose I would have to settle for 60x60 if too expensive). The softboxes I buy don't have to be professional or ridiculously amazing build quality, if they last me for 3 or 4 studio sessions then they will have been worth the price. And obviously I will take care of them extremely well so if I have to sacrifice a little bit of build quality in order to get cheaper ones, then I will do so.


    Any help is much appreciated!

  2. #2
    OldCrow's Avatar
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    Dave Corbett

    Re: Help with studio lighting (softbox/equipment information)

    Why have you decided to use softboxes? If it's people in front of a screen, you can do a fine job with unberellas, for less money.

  3. #3

    Re: Help with studio lighting (softbox/equipment information)

    It's more a familiarity thing really. I know that umbrellas are much cheaper, but a friend of mine did exactly the same setup for a ball photography gig last year which I observed and he used two softboxes (one to each side of the subjects) and that's what I witnessed. I don't know, I guess I'd feel even more out of my depth with umbrellas, since all the softbox is is a square that you point at the subjects and hey presto! Although you're right, I should really give them a fair chance. Perhaps I'll find out how much the softbox set up would cost and then compare with umbrellas.

    Also, I thought umbrellas weren't as good at evenly diffusing light as softboxes?

  4. #4
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    Re: Help with studio lighting (softbox/equipment information)

    I strongly suggest checking out the "Strobist "website at http://strobist.blogspot.com/ for information about small portable flash. Read lighting 101. There is also a flickr strobist group (55000 members in that group!) http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/[/URL]. Searching the flickr group will get info about equipment available in the UK. You would require 2 stands, 2 umbrella adapters and two 36 to 45 in. umbrellas. I suggest white ones for portraits as silver is not flattering to skin. If you are using your Nikon strobes the cheapest solution is umbrellas. They give more output per flash than a softbox (usually about 1 stop more if white). You should set both unit to manual maybe at 1/2 power so you would get faster recycling time. Not being a Nikon user I don't know if you will require some type of trigger unit. Practice at home before you do it for real! here is a typical umbrella shot.
    There was a third sb-28 unit hung from the background support bar at 1/16th power for the hair light.
    451274219_97b37896e8.jpg
    Last edited by Poljazz; 19th July 2009 at 04:55 AM.

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