recommendations on book/ questions on lighting for beginner ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kate, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. kate

    kate Guest

    Now that I've had my camera for 1,5 years and used it quite a lot so that I
    know all the options and (kind of) know when and how to use them I would
    like to learn a little more on proper lighting ( more specific: portait
    lighting , people and cats.. the cats because my family isn't really
    coorporative when I put them in front of my lens and the cats kind of are at
    times ..)

    Can anyone recommend a good ( beginner to advanced ) book on the subject of
    proper lighting, the use of flash/strobes/umbrellas...and everything else
    involved ?

    I'm told the budget way to start this is by using 2 of those lamps builders
    use . One of the disadvantages of those things is that they get really hot -
    I don't plan on having long portrait session ( 1 hour max ) do to my own
    physical limitations, but also wouldn't like to set something on fire..

    Are there nice-n-affordable studio lamps ? Do they last as long as normal
    light bulbs ? What brands are recommended ?
    What's the difference between strobe/flash/lamps, what's easier to use ..
    ?Would I need a light/exposure meter, is it handy to have a
    colourtemperature meter to prevent casts ??

    Only things I've got so far is a camera,tripod, two backdrops ( one white,
    one black ) and a Ebay reflections screen set of 5 ( radius one meter )
    gold, silver, black, white and mesh white ( diffusor/softer light ).

    All info is welcome.

    I've googled a little, but prefer a real book to a website, trouble is that
    there are way too many on amazon to choose from.

    Kate.
     
    kate, Nov 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. kate

    Owamanga Guest

    On Tue, 2 Nov 2004 14:48:59 +0100, "kate" <> wrote:

    >Now that I've had my camera for 1,5 years and used it quite a lot so that I
    >know all the options and (kind of) know when and how to use them I would
    >like to learn a little more on proper lighting ( more specific: portait
    >lighting , people and cats.. the cats because my family isn't really
    >coorporative when I put them in front of my lens and the cats kind of are at
    >times ..)
    >


    Can't help you with a book, but many photography classes use a dimly
    lit room and a mannequin head to teach portrait lighting. I would have
    thought a cat is an entirely different subject, so wouldn't be much
    use (ie skills learned may not transpose well to human subjects). I
    also note that they prefer B/W for this lesson as it allows you to
    concentrate on shadows.

    Get a balloon and some paper mache (sp?) and make yourself a model
    bust [head + shoulders]. Add wig, couple of lights, digital camera and
    play. Once you have some ideas, you need a human model because skin is
    a fairly unique surface with it's own set of problems.

    Don't forget to try different light sources; natural (from a window),
    flash, off-camera flash and studio lighting (or tungsten lamps if you
    are on a budget). Plus white, silver & gold reflectors (which again,
    you can make yourself). Document each photo with a sketch of the
    lighting arrangement so you can re-create it later.

    Take a look at your favorite studio portrait shots from magazines or
    books and look closely at the models eyes, this will relay some
    information to you about how the model was lit.

    --
    Owamanga!
     
    Owamanga, Nov 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. kate

    kate Guest

    > Can't help you with a book, but many photography classes use a dimly
    > lit room and a mannequin head to teach portrait lighting. I would have
    > thought a cat is an entirely different subject, so wouldn't be much
    > use (ie skills learned may not transpose well to human subjects). I
    > also note that they prefer B/W for this lesson as it allows you to
    > concentrate on shadows.
    >
    > Get a balloon and some paper mache (sp?) and make yourself a model
    > bust [head + shoulders]. Add wig, couple of lights, digital camera and
    > play. Once you have some ideas, you need a human model because skin is
    > a fairly unique surface with it's own set of problems.
    >
    > Don't forget to try different light sources; natural (from a window),
    > flash, off-camera flash and studio lighting (or tungsten lamps if you
    > are on a budget). Plus white, silver & gold reflectors (which again,
    > you can make yourself). Document each photo with a sketch of the
    > lighting arrangement so you can re-create it later.
    >
    > Take a look at your favorite studio portrait shots from magazines or
    > books and look closely at the models eyes, this will relay some
    > information to you about how the model was lit.
    >
    > --
    > Owamanga!


    Thank you for all the info and tips! Defenitely something I can work with :)

    Paper mache is also something I hadn't thought of ( come to think of it,
    there is also stuff available tht lets you create a mask of a face, some
    kind of gypsum ? Might be faster and less challenging ;) ).

    The two books I've got are
    Photographing people
    The portrait's photographer's guide to posing.

    Both full of examples and lighting setup sketches( and indeed very
    interesting to look at the models eyes and recognise the shapes of the
    reflector/softbox/light ;) ), but they don't a lot of info on the actual
    lights themselves ( brand, price, where to get, what to look out for, cheap
    alternatives ).Also, they're all assuming you already got all the lighting
    stuff that's needed, not a real beginnen book but great to learn from.

    So far I've only used natural light.

    Shot of boy next door ( very coorporative ! :) ) .. there's work being done
    on our house and I thought it would be nice to add that detail to this
    picture by shooting through a wire mesh thing that they used.. didn't
    exactly turn out the way I thought it would ;) hence the brownish bar ..)
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/highwaykind/thomas1.jpg
    and one of our cats ( two windows in front of the cat..blurred mom behind
    her.. quick shot practising my manual focus skills..)
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/highwaykind/cat.jpg

    Kate
     
    kate, Nov 3, 2004
    #3
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