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Old May 7th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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Location: Boston, MA
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LED vs Fluorescent in small 'studio' set up?

I'm putting together a light kit for a client. The setup is just a person sitting at a table against a backdrop.

I've been using two 500LED lights on either side, but now I'm wondering if I should use Fluorescent. I've recently got a Fluorescent ring light and really like how soft it is on skin tones. My LED's I always have to diffuse them and move around. I've never used the fluorescent bank lights and wonder if those would be better and similar to the ring light effect.

So my options are getting two (for either side):
500 LED
Fluorescent bank light*
Ring light

I want to get a set up that doesn't take up a lot of room, and I won't have to hard of a time adjusting for people wearing glasses.

Attached is a photo of what I've been usually doing. Altho I'm probably going to start shooting against a solid backdrop that will be maybe three feet behind them so wouldn't' want a lot of light falling off the person onto the backdrop.

Any suggestions? Or is this one of the scenarios that really going with any of them is gonna do the trick and it doesn't matter all that much?

*Amazon.com: Fotodiox Pro Premium Grade LS-255 T-Fixture, 1-Bank (2-Bulb) Fluorescent Light (FL) Fixture for Studio Photography and Video Production, Includes 2x 55w Osram Dulux L 954 Bulb with Color Temperature 5400K, Ra>90, LM=4000/bulb: Electronics
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LED vs Fluorescent in small 'studio' set up?-screen-shot-2013-05-07-2.40.12-pm.png  
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Old May 7th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Re: LED vs Fluorescent in small 'studio' set up?

How you generate light is typically the lest important part of the deal unless you're looking for portability or battery power or something like that.

What matters in determine the quality of your lighting (soft verses hard) are really only two things

The first is the size of the emitter compared to the size of the object being lit.

If the light emitting surface is larger relative to the size of the subject being lit - you get softer shadows.

The second thing is the distance the light is from the object. The farther away, the smaller it appears to be, just like the Sun.

The other thing you mention is reflections in glasses.

Think billiards. Angle of incidents equal to the angle of reflection.

A bigger light in front of the subject (therefore softer) will have a better chance of being seen in a reflective surface - pretty much BECAUSE it's bigger. There's simply more of it to reflect.

These things are all interconnected. You push one thing down, another thing pops up.

You add more lights to kill shadows - you get MORE shadows.

It's just how this stuff works.

So you've got to look at what your problems are - and balance solving one with causing another.

Move a light UP to lessen reflections off a talents glasses - and you cast shadows into eye sockets and under noses. You learn fast that at some point, it's just easier to remove the glasses and solve the problem that way.

Just basic stuff to think about.

Good luck.
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