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Author Topic: Help for fun... 5000$ budget  (Read 10811 times)

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« on: June 20, 2011, 13:26 »
0
Hi!

With all the accessories, gadgets and lighting equipment out there, I would like to have some professionnal or photographer's view of what equipment I should buy to do the following:

- I want to shoot a lot of studio shoot of objects on white or creating a decor. I have a 8' x 8' x 9' in my house I can use for permanent studio area. Small and large object alikes.

- General outdoor shooting of scene, city and nature shots.

Later when I am familiar enough I will move on some model shooting. I have years of experience of professionnal Video shooting, am familiar with most of photography requirements but in regard to lighting and studio equipment I am a bit at a lost as to what I should use (cannot test before buying so better ask the Pros ;) ).

I use a 5k budget as this is the minimum B&H wants to finance, and with the income Microstock is currently giving me I have more than enough to pay a decent "per month" solution. I want to increase my microstock portfolio while having fun ;).

So. Budget is 5k -1k for new cam.. I already have a CANON REBEL XS with 18-55 and 55-250mm lens, but I will buy:
Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera W/EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/758979-REG/Canon_5169B005_EOS_Rebel_T3i_Digital.html

Why not a Mark II? I feel that right now I might not use it to it's full potential, and I will want to wait for the next generation of this camera as it's bound to be replaced in a year or so.

So 4k left for lighting and accessories... what would you buy for my need?

Thanks for those who help me out on this, I appreciate in advance!


traveler1116

« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 15:06 »
0
That's a pretty small area for anything other than tabletop work.  For people you need at least 3 feet but better with 6 between the background and person plus close to 10 more for you to work with.  Light stand will take up 2 feet on the sides or more each so that only leaves a small area for your objects.  Most people will say get alienbees if you are in the States or Elinchroms for international.  The new alienbees einstein lights look good although I haven't used them.  The smaller lastolite hilite (5x6) might be good for the size of space you have.  Some easy to use reflectors (translucent, gold, white, silver) or a 5-1 will be useful.  Radio slaves would be good too, I have the impact ones and they seem pretty good although I haven't had a chance to really test them out yet.  The old alienbees ones miss fired occasionally but maybe that's fixed with the new ones.  The 100mm 2.8 IS macro is a good choice too since it's very sharp.

« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 15:17 »
0
If you buy a lastolite hilite, you can reduce the distance between subject and white background.
Look at :   http://www.lastolite.com/hilite-backgrounds.php
I think if you buy a smaller one, you can use it with only 1 strobe in it.

« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 15:40 »
0
Your studio is quite small, best suited for tabletop work. And maybe headshots.

In addition to stands, you could use some space saving solutions as

Auto Poles:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/560207-REG/Manfrotto_432_3_7BSET_432_3_7B_Deluxe_Autopole_2.html
(Autopole is something you put between floor and ceiling and you can fasten lighting gear etc. to them with
for example with super clamps http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/371927-REG/Impact_KCP_700B26_Super_Clamp_with_Standard.html ) You can put autopoles closer to walls than you can go
with regular stands.

wall booms:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546663-REG/Manfrotto_098B_098B_Wall_Mounting_Boom.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/256847-REG/Manfrotto_098SHB_098SHB_Short_Wall_Boom.html

« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 16:08 »
0
Take a look at these, http://www.vistek.ca/store/ProPhotoElinchrom/242256/elinchrom-ranger-quadra-rx-to-go-speed-a-case-set.aspx
the ranger quadra lights, portable but can be used in studio- plugged in.

with an adapter you can put any elinchrom soft box on them.

Since you mentioned you did outdoor work as well these might be of interest to you.

« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 18:46 »
0
Wow thank everyone for the comments and heads up. Basically I can decide what space I need. I just have a full room of at least 16 or 18 x 18 feet, however I want to reserve a portion for storage and the rest for photography.

I do not want to start making people photography. So tabletop work or "larger tabletop" work is fine for me. Will take some time tonight to study all your recommendation, will definelty help me see clearer with all the things available,

Thanks again!

« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 19:32 »
0
I would certainly check out some alien bee lighting.  They aren't sold at BHPhoto, but they are very cheap and I was impressed by their quality (I recently purchased a set for use while traveling (but fixed in one spot for a while)).

I also see that Sjlocke uses them :)

If you don't have a reflector already, I would put that on the top of your list.  They are light, very versatile, never break, and great for outdoor portraits.  You could shoot for a long time with only reflectors outdoors and not need any more equipment.

jbarber873

« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 21:19 »
0
  Whatever strobes you buy, make sure they have a fan in them. The heat is what kills strobes. You can get great deals on used equipment, but make sure there's a warranty, and a new flash tube and modeling lamp. Umbrellas don't work for still life unless you like seeing a little umbrella in all your shots. For still life, you want to be able to soften the harsh light that comes straight out of a strobe. You can use lumilux ( made by Rosco) or some other diffuser. The ideal would be a  4x4 silk scrim ( matthews or mole-richardson). They last forever. You'll need c-stand with a clamp head to hold it. With this you can use the light very effectively. Sometimes you want to blast the light straight in and fill with a silver or white card ( get them at an art supply store, or the Set Shop ). But other times you can try "feathering" the light away from the object a little bit, which gives a nice roundness and evocative light. Since this is microstock, of course you'll fill in the shadows, but don't do that until you see what the main light is doing. Since you're in the studio, try to shoot tethered so you can really see whats going on as you set up a shot. Keep going til you get the best shot you can. Don't send in 10 versions of a shot, send in one great shot ( my opinion). If you try to cut corners you'll end up with a flat boring light. You can also cut little pieces of silver cards and use them to fill in small areas. You can put them behind drinks to make them glow. Another thing that never gets mentioned is little blocks to prop things up. The best is a good quality hardwood kids block set ( all the sizes are the same, so they work together). Plexiglas blocks also come in handy. Armature wire ( get it at a sculpture supply) helps hold things where you want it, and it stays where you bend it. A-clamps, C-clamps ( sears has the best), sawhorses, a good heavy 4x4 tabletop ( 3/4 plywood, best quality), and sand bags. These are some things that make your life a little easier. Attention to detail is the key to good still life. The advantage is that your subjects don't talk back or work by the hour, and don't complain when you gaffer tape them or shoot a staple into them. BTW get gaffers tape and a staple gun.  ;D

« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 07:30 »
0
Your studio is quite small, best suited for tabletop work. And maybe headshots.

In addition to stands, you could use some space saving solutions as

Auto Poles:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/560207-REG/Manfrotto_432_3_7BSET_432_3_7B_Deluxe_Autopole_2.html
(Autopole is something you put between floor and ceiling and you can fasten lighting gear etc. to them with
for example with super clamps http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/371927-REG/Impact_KCP_700B26_Super_Clamp_with_Standard.html ) You can put autopoles closer to walls than you can go
with regular stands.

wall booms:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546663-REG/Manfrotto_098B_098B_Wall_Mounting_Boom.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/256847-REG/Manfrotto_098SHB_098SHB_Short_Wall_Boom.html


Brilliant idea for this. I never thought about using poles and wall mount like this but they will be ideal for my studio. Thanks for the advice!

« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 07:33 »
0
If you buy a lastolite hilite, you can reduce the distance between subject and white background.
Look at :   http://www.lastolite.com/hilite-backgrounds.php
I think if you buy a smaller one, you can use it with only 1 strobe in it.


Very interested indeed. Noted that down!

« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 07:35 »
0
That's a pretty small area for anything other than tabletop work.  For people you need at least 3 feet but better with 6 between the background and person plus close to 10 more for you to work with.  Light stand will take up 2 feet on the sides or more each so that only leaves a small area for your objects.  Most people will say get alienbees if you are in the States or Elinchroms for international.  The new alienbees einstein lights look good although I haven't used them.  The smaller lastolite hilite (5x6) might be good for the size of space you have.  Some easy to use reflectors (translucent, gold, white, silver) or a 5-1 will be useful.  Radio slaves would be good too, I have the impact ones and they seem pretty good although I haven't had a chance to really test them out yet.  The old alienbees ones miss fired occasionally but maybe that's fixed with the new ones.  The 100mm 2.8 IS macro is a good choice too since it's very sharp.

Yes I definetly need a sharp quality to my images, will have a look at the 100mm 2.8 IS macro, will trust your experience as it's hard to gauge the quality of the picture by the small information we have on lens. Thanks!

« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 07:39 »
0
I would certainly check out some alien bee lighting.  They aren't sold at BHPhoto, but they are very cheap and I was impressed by their quality (I recently purchased a set for use while traveling (but fixed in one spot for a while)).

I also see that Sjlocke uses them :)

If you don't have a reflector already, I would put that on the top of your list.  They are light, very versatile, never break, and great for outdoor portraits.  You could shoot for a long time with only reflectors outdoors and not need any more equipment.

Thanks leaf. I will definetly look into the Alien Bee lighting. I have to trust you professionnals experience on this, like I mentionned there is so many things out there. It's not the first time I hear about those Alien bee, will definetly look into it. No I don't have any reflectors, but I took a lot of information here and there and it's definetly something I will need for outdoor whenever I am not early morning or late afternoon light to reduce the harsh shadows natural light can produce.

I love all the advice I get it's definetly appreciated!

« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 07:47 »
0
  Whatever strobes you buy, make sure they have a fan in them. The heat is what kills strobes. You can get great deals on used equipment, but make sure there's a warranty, and a new flash tube and modeling lamp. Umbrellas don't work for still life unless you like seeing a little umbrella in all your shots. For still life, you want to be able to soften the harsh light that comes straight out of a strobe. You can use lumilux ( made by Rosco) or some other diffuser. The ideal would be a  4x4 silk scrim ( matthews or mole-richardson). They last forever. You'll need c-stand with a clamp head to hold it. With this you can use the light very effectively. Sometimes you want to blast the light straight in and fill with a silver or white card ( get them at an art supply store, or the Set Shop ). But other times you can try "feathering" the light away from the object a little bit, which gives a nice roundness and evocative light. Since this is microstock, of course you'll fill in the shadows, but don't do that until you see what the main light is doing. Since you're in the studio, try to shoot tethered so you can really see whats going on as you set up a shot. Keep going til you get the best shot you can. Don't send in 10 versions of a shot, send in one great shot ( my opinion). If you try to cut corners you'll end up with a flat boring light. You can also cut little pieces of silver cards and use them to fill in small areas. You can put them behind drinks to make them glow. Another thing that never gets mentioned is little blocks to prop things up. The best is a good quality hardwood kids block set ( all the sizes are the same, so they work together). Plexiglas blocks also come in handy. Armature wire ( get it at a sculpture supply) helps hold things where you want it, and it stays where you bend it. A-clamps, C-clamps ( sears has the best), sawhorses, a good heavy 4x4 tabletop ( 3/4 plywood, best quality), and sand bags. These are some things that make your life a little easier. Attention to detail is the key to good still life. The advantage is that your subjects don't talk back or work by the hour, and don't complain when you gaffer tape them or shoot a staple into them. BTW get gaffers tape and a staple gun.  ;D

Hehe very nice and condensed information here. I will definetly take you advice as like you say, I know there are a lot of small details, accessories and props that can make your life easier to get the "good shots" working.

I own a small advertising company that I have been running for 6 years now. I am a major client of microstock photography for most of my projects, and I did my studies in Arts and video animation, and did a lot of semi-pro or past time photography. I know I can trust my eye and "judgement" (not sure it's the right term in English) to get quality shots that sells, so I will head your word also not to overuse a subject and kill it with too many submissions. The only thing I need to learn is how to get the shots I want or see in my head... and I guess like everything I'll learn when I have my two feets in it for hours :)

Thanks everyone, I definetly am happy to see all the interest, help and advice you are giving me in here. Will definetly post what I bought and how it worked out for me in the future,

Thanks again, and any other advice or different opinion not mentionned yet is welcome!

« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 22:10 »
0
agreed. jbarber is well worth listening to!


 

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