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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 05 Jun 2012 (Tuesday) 11:28
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Lighting for a Prom on a budget

 
Arte ­ Automobilistica
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Jun 05, 2012 11:28 |  #1

Hi

I have been commissioned to shoot a prom and need to buy lights. Cash is extremely tight and I would like advice on the cheapest setup I can get away with.

Thanks


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gonzogolf
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Jun 05, 2012 11:32 |  #2

Give us a realistic target budget. We can suggest methods, some more likely to be successful than others but if you can say how much you are willing to spend we can get you the best gear for the money.




  
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JohnThomas
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Jun 05, 2012 11:37 |  #3

I'm assuming you're trying to get setup to do portraits with a backdrop off in a corner of the gymnasium, or out in the hallway..

Are you familiar with off-camera flash? if not, this is a bad time to learn.

I got into portraits with the following kit, and it worked respectably:
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_Studio_Lightin​g_Kit.html (external link)

and this backdrop:
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …tand_with_Rever​sible.html (external link)

After this kit, I stepped up to off-camera flash with (3) 580EX II


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gonzogolf
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Jun 05, 2012 11:39 |  #4

Keep in mind the OP is in the UK




  
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frugivore
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Jun 05, 2012 11:42 |  #5

I think the cheapest light for lumens/dollar in a speedlight would be the YongNuo 560 at about $70. For a monolight, I'm guessing an Alien Bees B800 or B1600. You would want a stand and some radio triggers for those.




  
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JohnThomas
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Jun 05, 2012 11:59 |  #6

gonzogolf wrote in post #14534565 (external link)
Keep in mind the OP is in the UK

Ahh... I need to keep an on that. B&H might be a little impractical :)


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Arte ­ Automobilistica
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Jun 05, 2012 12:53 as a reply to  @ JohnThomas's post |  #7

Hi
I was hoping to spend around £100. I was looking at this
http://www.ebay.co.uk …_trksid=p3984.m​1423.l2649 (external link)
but am open to use speedlights as I already have one with softbox. I am happy to buy secondhand.

I'll be shooting in a setaside area.

PS I've added UK to my profile :)


NelPhotos.co.uk (external link)
Work: 7D + Sigma 100-300 4
Play: Kiss X4 + 15-85 IS + 10-22 + 50 1.8 II + Vivitar 1 70-210 3.5
EOS-M + 18-55 + FD 50 1.4 + FD 135 2.8 + Tamron 35-80 1A
G9, SX280 HS + CHDK, Casio EX-FH 100, Toshiba L505-144 & iPad 2

  
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JohnThomas
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Jun 05, 2012 13:16 |  #8

That's similar to what I started with. Definitely not the best solution, but may get you through the night. I'm not sure what your clients are hoping for.

It's also important to understand what level of light you'll be shooting under. If its decent, that kit may not be enough contrast. The kit I started with was used in a dark room and had 85w bulbs (vs. your 105w), which resulted in camera settings of f/4 @ 1/200 with ISO 1600.


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gonzogolf
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Jun 05, 2012 13:33 |  #9

Arte Automobilistica wrote in post #14534884 (external link)
Hi
I was hoping to spend around £100. I was looking at this
http://www.ebay.co.uk …_trksid=p3984.m​1423.l2649 (external link)
but am open to use speedlights as I already have one with softbox. I am happy to buy secondhand.

I'll be shooting in a setaside area.

PS I've added UK to my profile :)

Those continuous light kits are pretty terrible. Not enough power to get your shutter speed and DOF up enough to do a decent job. Spring for a second speedlite and a shoot through umbrella.




  
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davisphotos
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Jun 05, 2012 15:31 |  #10

Keep it simple, one light either in an umbrella or softbox, find a blank wall to use as a background. You won't get anything too great for £100, but I would definitely avoid the continuous light kits. A couple cheapo flash kits that might not suck too much:
http://www.amazon.co.u​k …8&qid=133892806​4&sr=1-365 (external link)
http://www.amazon.co.u​k …8&qid=133892821​9&sr=1-478 (external link)
http://www.amazon.co.u​k …DRB7E/ref=pd_si​m_sbs_ce_2 (external link)


Maine Wedding Photographer Andrew Davis (external link)
New England Commercial Photography (external link)
Andrew Davis Photography Blog (external link)

  
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Arte ­ Automobilistica
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Jun 05, 2012 15:51 as a reply to  @ davisphotos's post |  #11

JohnThomas wrote in post #14535009 (external link)
camera settings of f/4 @ 1/200 with ISO 1600.

OOOOh not good. Lights are rejected!

gonzogolf wrote in post #14535102 (external link)
Spring for a second speedlite and a shoot through umbrella.

I agree and it is very portable which I like.


What about a backdrop?


NelPhotos.co.uk (external link)
Work: 7D + Sigma 100-300 4
Play: Kiss X4 + 15-85 IS + 10-22 + 50 1.8 II + Vivitar 1 70-210 3.5
EOS-M + 18-55 + FD 50 1.4 + FD 135 2.8 + Tamron 35-80 1A
G9, SX280 HS + CHDK, Casio EX-FH 100, Toshiba L505-144 & iPad 2

  
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gonzogolf
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Jun 05, 2012 15:53 |  #12

Arte Automobilistica wrote in post #14535693 (external link)
OOOOh not good. Lights are rejected!

I agree and it is very portable which I like.


What about a backdrop?

Here in the states the backgrounds for proms are often a "set piece" something designed to fit the theme of the prom. I would start with a paper background if I had an option, then add some decorative bits if I wanted/needed to.




  
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cpam.pix
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Jun 05, 2012 17:08 |  #13

Do you have craigslist in the UK?

There are usually $200 strobe kits available used in my area. I've bought two sets that way (one was only $40). I now have a 4-5 light set with all the stands I need.

Maybe a king size flat sheet would work for a backdrop. Find a pattern that would be close to a theme. Clip it up or pick up a cheap background stand to look more professional.


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tim
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Jun 05, 2012 18:52 |  #14

You need to tell us what you're trying to achieve before you can get any useful advice.

Also, it's a bit irresponsible taking a job to capture an important event when you don't have the gear and probably don't have the knowledge or experience to do it well. The only time that kind of behaviour is justified is if it's you or no-one else. How'd you get the gig?


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Lighting for a Prom on a budget
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