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Old December 5th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #1
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Expanding Light Kit - Advice Needed

I'm looking to expand my kit a bit, but as usual it will be a small budget expansion. I'm looking to be able to shoot a long shot in "White Limbo," think of the Mac commercials. Here's my most recent attempt with the kit I have:


Attached is the lighting diagram for the shot.

As you can see, I've dusted off the worklights to light the background, which worked fairly well. The only issue there was that the light wasn't quite even enough with just the two lights on either side. I think I'll need to add at least one, if not two work lights at a lower height to light the background completely even. I had to do some masking on the 3/4 shot to compensate. But that isn't my main question.

If you look at the 3/4 shots in the video, the light is falling off considerably as it goes towards her feet. So much so I had to shoot 3/4 shots instead of full length shots. I know I need lights for side fill, but the question is what lights would be best, and least expensive?

I want to buy versatile lights that will work for other applications, mainly being able to use one of them as a fill light when I shoot interviews (so I can ditch the reflector, or use it for something else). I've thought about some of the fixtures over on Cool Lights USA (primarily the CL 255), but I'm not sure if this is the right option. Also, two of these - even at the sale price - would be at the top end of the budget (about $400 once I get stands other odds and ends).

Should I be looking at a couple Totas with umbrellas? There's a kit over at B&H. Omni Lights with softboxes? Lowell DP Lights? Something else?

I apologize for the long winded, rambling question. Any help or suggestions would be great.

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Expanding Light Kit - Advice Needed-white-limbo-diagram.jpg  
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Old December 5th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
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I don't think there's anything about what you are trying to do that means you need special lights. I think you can beef up your kit nicely with a $400 budget and some Lowel lights off of eBay or one of the sponsors of this site.

I picked up a set of 4 Lowel Omni (not DP) lights on eBay a couple years ago and haven't looked back. They were well used when I got them and they continue to be a flawless workhorse for me. Take a look at them at http://www.lowel.com/. B&H has the accessories for the Lowel series you may need.

In addition to being very portable, the Omni have a versatile range of wattage from 300 to 600 and they have a focussing mechanism. Your worklights and Tota lack this and you would find it helpful in evening out the spread of your background and foreground lights.

Additional lights to consider to a couple Omni lights would be a Lowel Pro light. It's a very handy light for fill, kicker, and hair that can take a 125w or a 250w. These kits show up frequently on eBay.

My Lowels are made in the USA and if you care about where things are made, another US manufacturer of lights that will serve you is Altman. They have a very affordable 100w Fresnel. And of course, there's Mole and LTM for more $$$
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