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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #1
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Video Lighting for photo

Is it possible, or do I have to purchase the flashing lights, synced with my digiphoto?

Please forgive the brevity of the question, I just got back off vacation, and I need another to rest from this vacation.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #2
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Steven,

Any type of light will work for photography, as long as it does what you want it to do.

The reason flash is so popular for photography is that it doesn't produce the heat that video lights do and , in some cases, it lets you use a much slower film, which is much higer resolution than faster film. Slower film takes a lot more light.

The upside of "video" lighting is what you see is what you get, as opposed to flash which you can only see the results in the finished product. This isn't too bad with digital but could sometimes cause a disaster for film (speaking from experience).

In a digital world, it translates to less digital noise or artifacts in the photos for either bright flash or "video lights. But again, whatever gives you the "look" you are after.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #3
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Interesting, I worked with one of the best photographers recently and he had some phat flashing umbrellas, among his 5 digi stills, and I have a photo gig coming up in a couple of months and I was wondering what to use in terms of flash/light etc. I might just go with a nice flash and some on camera diffusion.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 09:08 PM   #4
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Studio strobes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Redman
Steven,

The upside of "video" lighting is what you see is what you get, as opposed to flash which you can only see the results in the finished product. This isn't too bad with digital but could sometimes cause a disaster for film (speaking from experience).
That's true for cheaper flashes (the kind that mount on a camera, but studio flashes almost always have "modeling lights" which are continuous lights (albeit much dimmer than the flash output) that let you see the effect of the flash prior to exposure. No point in flying blind!

Alien Bees is a popular low-cost brand. The forum www.dpreview.com has a board on lighting technique that you may want to browse. Soft boxes are very popular for diffusion.

Don't forget that flash output is usually calibrated to around 5500 K (a good thing) rather than the 3200 K of many hot lights.

Best of luck!

--Darin
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Old October 30th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #5
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Yes, studio strobes (flashes) have modeling lights, a continuous light (balanced @ 3200K), allowing you to see the approximate direction and quality of light. Approximate because when the strobe fires, the light output is much higher in terms of quantity and temperature.

This is a good reason to get a good flash meter so you can get the stobes balanced to the light ratio you desire.

Umbrellas are great for lighting, they tend to soften the quality of the light without losing too much of the output, soft boxes are even better for softening the light but at the expense of output. You could put a piece of diffusion over the head while using an umbrella if you wanna soften the light without the expense of using softboxes.
It all depends on the mood you wanna create.

Dynalite make wonderful studio stobes. Small compact units with ample power and nice light quality. They are inexpensive, compared to others, and the power packs are proportional.

Cheers,
D
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Old November 4th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #6
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If you're photographing a model who's moving strobes are the way to go. Tungsten lights will warm up a room fairly quickly, along with the model, unless the studio has a very good air conditioning system.

Modeling lights give a good approximation of what a flash will do but you still need to shoot Polaroids or check the digital images right away to make certain you're getting the results you're after.

Strobes have the advantage of putting out a lot more light than incandescents, and their short exposure times mean there's no reciprocity effect -- whereas if you're shooting film with exposures longer than a half second (if you're trying to get a particularly small f-stop) your colors can have an undesirable shift.

I used to shoot with a 4x5 camera and generally lit with strobes.

There's a photographer friend in Seattle who is highly regarded for his food photography and he uses tungsten lights. He shoots digitally and -- as it is with food -- his subjects don't move :-)

Hot lights, he said, gives him a much better idea of the quality of the light he's getting and that makes it easier to set up. Since he's shooting digitally there's no reciprocity failure to worry about, nor is there any issues with motion blur. The only time he worries is when he has to photograph ice cream.
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