Fluorescent light for studio portraiture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    I am considering setting up a small studio for portraiture using a
    digital camera. If I used fluorescent lighting, what would be a good
    set-up?
    Would I get away with just one large light source?
    What total wattage would you recommend?
    What make would you recommend (UK)?
    --
    Chris
    Chris, Dec 22, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Chris

    Ali Guest

    I posted recently about fluorescent lights, so maybe worth a read (although
    there are a couple of people with a personal dispute with each other, trying
    to show who's got the biggest knob).

    I am still undecided what light sources to use, as all light sources have
    their pro's and cons.

    For flash photography, Alien bees don't appear to be generally available in
    the UK, so Elinchrom and Bowens seem to be the way to go.

    For tungsten, Lowel don't appear to be generally available in the UK. So,
    Arri maybe??? I don't know.

    For florescent, I don't really know what to make of it yet.

    For strobists, there are of course people producing pretty decent photos,
    although it's maybe not a cheaper option IMO, just a way to get some light
    out in the field with versatile lighting.
    http://bertstephani.com/blog/?cat=6

    At the moment, for me, I hate shooting restricted by shutter speeds with a
    passion, so am undecided.




    "Chris" <nospam@[127.0.0.1]> wrote in message
    news:ZGzdhGH$sWbHFwcB@[127.0.0.1]...
    >I am considering setting up a small studio for portraiture using a digital
    >camera. If I used fluorescent lighting, what would be a good set-up?
    > Would I get away with just one large light source?
    > What total wattage would you recommend?
    > What make would you recommend (UK)?
    > --
    > Chris
    Ali, Dec 22, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Sat, 22 Dec 2007 19:53:35 +0000, Chris wrote:

    > I am considering setting up a small studio for portraiture using a


    Do you know anything about studio portrait lighting or any artificial
    lighting techniques? If not, there are three categories of lighting you
    should be familiar with, first: Natural Light, that is NO artificial
    lights, just the sun and skylight; Classic or Traditional; and Glamour
    and Theatrical. So, before making any lighting purchases, become
    familiar with what type of lighting you'll be using the most.

    > digital camera. If I used fluorescent lighting, what would be a good
    > set-up?


    You mean a manufacturer? Doesn't really matter. If you mean, number of
    lights, size of reflectors, etc., I suggest that you start simple:
    medium softbox, at least 3x4 feet, and a few flat reflectors of various
    sizes and reflectivities, that is, matte white to shiny silver. As you
    gain experience, add additional lights to suit your needs.

    FYI: In my 30 year career as a commercial photographer, for most any type
    of portrait I was contracted to do, I hardly ever used more than 3 lights
    and a large reflector. Most of the time, less. KISS.

    > Would I get away with just one large light source?


    Sure.

    > What total wattage would you recommend?


    For fluorescents? Well, the first fluorescent softbox, I built many
    years ago, had 5 or 6 (I've forgotten exactly) 4 foot 40 watt tubes.
    With 400 speed b&w film, rated at 200, at f8, shutters speeds were around
    1/15 second. (I used it almost exclusively for medium format people
    shots: head shots to 3/4 length, individuals to groups of no more than
    4.)

    > What make would you recommend (UK)?


    Can't help you. I'm in the US.


    Stef
    Stefan Patric, Dec 23, 2007
    #3
  4. Chris

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <m8ibj.17084$>, Stefan Patric
    <> wrote:

    > Do you know anything about studio portrait lighting or any artificial
    > lighting techniques? If not, there are three categories of lighting you
    > should be familiar with, first: Natural Light, that is NO artificial
    > lights, just the sun and skylight; Classic or Traditional; and Glamour
    > and Theatrical. So, before making any lighting purchases, become
    > familiar with what type of lighting you'll be using the most.


    For portraiture, you don't need a ton of power unless you're lighting
    big groups.

    > FYI: In my 30 year career as a commercial photographer, for most any type
    > of portrait I was contracted to do, I hardly ever used more than 3 lights
    > and a large reflector. Most of the time, less. KISS.


    Three should be plenty.

    > For fluorescents? Well, the first fluorescent softbox, I built many
    > years ago, had 5 or 6 (I've forgotten exactly) 4 foot 40 watt tubes.
    > With 400 speed b&w film, rated at 200, at f8, shutters speeds were around
    > 1/15 second. (I used it almost exclusively for medium format people
    > shots: head shots to 3/4 length, individuals to groups of no more than
    > 4.)


    I wouldn't recommend fluourescents. The closer you can keep things to
    5600K on a consistent basis, the better off you'll be in the long run
    for repeatable results.
    Mr. Strat, Dec 23, 2007
    #4
  5. On Sat, 22 Dec 2007 21:43:19 -0800, Mr. Strat wrote:

    > In article <m8ibj.17084$>, Stefan Patric
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> [snip]
    >> For fluorescents? Well, the first fluorescent softbox, I built many
    >> years ago, had 5 or 6 (I've forgotten exactly) 4 foot 40 watt tubes.
    >> With 400 speed b&w film, rated at 200, at f8, shutters speeds were
    >> around 1/15 second. (I used it almost exclusively for medium format
    >> people shots: head shots to 3/4 length, individuals to groups of no
    >> more than 4.)

    >
    > I wouldn't recommend fluourescents. The closer you can keep things to
    > 5600K on a consistent basis, the better off you'll be in the long run
    > for repeatable results.


    For film, standard fluorescents do cause problems, but only to the
    inexperienced. With digital cameras, a manual white balance will correct
    most of the off-color with the final tweaks done in post. However, there
    are true Daylight balanced tubes that work quite well. They are also
    available in 3200K, standard tungsten.

    Stef
    Stefan Patric, Dec 23, 2007
    #5
  6. Chris

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <WVBbj.48864$>, Stefan Patric
    <> wrote:

    > For film, standard fluorescents do cause problems, but only to the
    > inexperienced. With digital cameras, a manual white balance will correct
    > most of the off-color with the final tweaks done in post. However, there
    > are true Daylight balanced tubes that work quite well. They are also
    > available in 3200K, standard tungsten.


    My first recommendation would be strobes with modeling lights.

    But fluorescents, even the daylight tubes you buy in most stores, still
    aren't 5600K. If someone is going to do any kind of work on a regular
    basis using artificial lighting, they'd be best off with something that
    is 5600K.
    Mr. Strat, Dec 24, 2007
    #6
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. R2D2

    DIGITAL vs FILM PORTRAITURE (Focal Lengths)

    R2D2, Feb 4, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    524
    Chris Brown
    Feb 4, 2004
  2. wavelength

    Most needed tools for outdoor Portraiture.

    wavelength, Aug 11, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    441
    Ben Brugman
    Aug 19, 2005
  3. Annika1980

    PORTRAITURE & THE 20D !!!

    Annika1980, Sep 8, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    259
  4. Kev

    Fluorescent light interfering with ADSL

    Kev, Jan 26, 2008, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    27
    Views:
    1,424
    nobody >
    Jan 27, 2008
  5. Giuen
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    732
    Giuen
    Sep 12, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page