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Old 11th of January 2012 (Wed)   #1
Huntbear
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Default Flash or Continuous lighting ????

As a beginner in this field, I have a dumb question ...

For Glamour/Nude pictures, which is best?

Flash or Continuous or a combo of both?
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Old 11th of January 2012 (Wed)   #2
hawk911
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

continuous can be very hot temperature-wise, but it's a WYSIWYG. The downside though is you have to use higher iso and slower shutter speeds. Flash allows you to use low iso and faster shutter speed.
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Old 12th of January 2012 (Thu)   #3
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

The newer generations of fluorescent continuous lighting don't get hot like the old tungsten or HMI lights. They get warm to the touch, but they don't bake the whole studio like tungstens.

Continuous lights are easy. Like hawk911 stated, they're WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get. That is, what you see through the viewfinder is what the picture will look like. You know exactly where your hotspots will be and where your shadows will fall. The downsides are they are not nearly as flexible. They're always on at the same intensity; the only way to make them brighter or dimmer is to move them closer or farther from the model. It's harder to change the quality of light with modifiers. And they don't get very bright (for photographic purposes anyway) so like hawk911 said you have to use a higher ISO and/or a slower shutter speed to get the exposure you want. It's also very difficult to blow out a white background with continuous lighting, without overexposing your subject.

Flashes are much more flexible, but a little more difficult to use. You can make them just about as bright or as dim as you like. You can buy or make all sorts of modifiers to change the quality, color, and direction of light that comes out of flashes. But, unless you're very experienced with flash and/or working in the same exact setup every time, there's always a little trial-and-error to get the "look" you want, to make sure the shadows are going where you want, to make sure you're not over- or under-exposing.

I have both and I use both, depending on my mood and what we're shooting. None of my stuff is very expensive; I have a Day-Flo 3-light continuous softbox kit that was $300 (on sale, normally $400); and for flashes I have the 430EXII and two Yongnuo YN-560s. I also have an assortment of other grip and modifiers - backdrops, booms, light stands, umbrellas, a homemade beauty dish.


You GENERALLY won't use a combination of both. It's unlikely that the color of the flashes will match the color of your continuous lights. Though one day I want to experiment with using flashes to blow out the background and continuous lights to light my subject, where the difference in color temperature won't matter.

Last edited by nathancarter : 12th of January 2012 (Thu) at 14:34.
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Old 13th of January 2012 (Fri)   #4
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

if you use daylight balanced CF bulbs, they will be very close the the flash temps. It's when you use tungsten and flash that you need CTO filters to balance the different colors.
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Old 13th of January 2012 (Fri)   #5
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

90% of professional photographers use strobes for people photos because they are more powerful, better softboxes and other modifiers, and have better remote synch and other controls. Strobes and daylight can be easily used together, but strobes and continuous lights together are a rare sight.

Many beginners start with some soft of continuous light for $$$ or simplicity but usually wind up getting strobes anyways.

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Old 29th of May 2012 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

Overall studio flash is far superior to continuous lighting for the reasons listed below. We prefer studio flash but it really is a matter of personal taste. There are of course those occassions when continuous lights will allow you to do things not possible with flash, but this works both ways. If you're undecided about which is best for you, why not hire the two types of lighting and have a test shoot.
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Old 29th of May 2012 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

i use alien bees i think they are great and affordable.
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Old 31st of May 2012 (Thu)   #8
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntbear View Post
As a beginner in this field, I have a dumb question ...

For Glamour/Nude pictures, which is best?

Flash or Continuous or a combo of both?

Depends on what the nature of the lighting is. Some togs prefer low key lighting. I know that Glamour need high-key lighting. Continuous can be good to fill in those shadows that flash tend to leave when shooting a subject, but you can achieve the same with two flash guns
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

Bit late:
I started with flash - a very cheap studio flash setup with 160Ws.
That was good for some years.
But I started to use more and more manual focus lenses - and with this the love for fast lenses. Now I like at the moment to shoot nude images at ~f/1.2 - with the continuous light from the flash bulbs. They only have 75 Watt power at this cheap flashes. So I think to modify some cheap floodlights.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

I have always used strobes but am considering some of the new LED lights.
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Old 1st of August 2012 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

Many, many years ago, I started out with continuous lighting, but the lights are so hot, the colors shift as the bulbs age, and they can be a fire hazard. I get far better results with strobes (and modeling lights).
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Old 4th of August 2012 (Sat)   #12
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Default Re: Flash or Continuous lighting ????

I AGONIZED about this....and went with a strobe setup and have ZERO regrets. I couldnt imagine trying to do what I do without them. The power and ease of adjustment along with the endless array of modifiers makes it no contest for me...Anyone ever try and snoot a lightbulb?
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