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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 31 Oct 2007 (Wednesday) 19:27
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questions about lighting

Senior Member
419 posts
Joined Mar 2007
Location: So Cal
Oct 31, 2007 19:27 |  #1

what I'm trying to accomplish is this: I want to shoot with white background using a 580ex shoot through an umbrella and a reflector for a fill. I want to get the background to be white. So, my understanding is that I need a background light.
now couple of questions:

1. what is the best option (best meaning cheap but good) for a background light? floodlights? cheap hot lights? also where to buy.

2. I only have a 580ex with 45" umbrella. Can I use this setup to shoot a group of about 5 people? does a bigger umbrella would make a difference? I do have a big 5'x3' reflector.

3. what is the biggest umbrella size for a 580ex?

4. If #4 is possible with only 1 main light and a reflector, what is the best setup for a group portrait?


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Curtis ­ N
Master Flasher
19,129 posts
Likes: 8
Joined Apr 2005
Location: Northern Illinois, US
Oct 31, 2007 20:07 |  #2

Your background light will need to be the same color temp as your flash. Hot lights is a recipe for color problems. Cheapest background flash is a Sunpak 383 and a slave sensor.

Umbrella size is a matter of the size of your subject, distance to the light, and space in the room. Battery flash units aren't very compatible with umbrellas and large groups because of the flash-to-subject distance and the power required at that distance. However, a properly placed 45" umbrella can work fine for a 6-person group. 45" is about the practical limit for indoor shooting under an 8-ft. ceiling, regardless of the light source.

Group portraits and off-camera lighting is a difficult combination because your subjects will cast shadows on each other. Before you get real experienced with off-camera light, it's advisable to keep the flash on the camera for group shots and perhaps use ceiling bounce and a white card for fill.

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questions about lighting
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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