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Thread: Need Lighting Help

  1. #1
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    Need Lighting Help

    Hi all, hoping for some help on lighting. My wife and I use an umbrella, a softbox and a Canon 600EXRT flash. Usually it works very well, however we need something stronger. We were out shooting with a family and trying to expose the background and get the family lit up but it wasn't proving easy (and in some cases impossible). I've been looking at Profoto but its a little out of my range at present, especially as we're not charging.

    Do you have any recommendations? This is purely for outdoors, we don't use studio or indoor locations at present.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    How much of the background needs to be exposed correctly? A different option from a stronger light (which may mean many strong lights to avoid falloff from one side in a family shoot), would be less light... Use a scrim to reduce the amount of sun shining down on your subjects or background.

    Searching on B&H, they only call them scrims up to 4' x 4'... after that, they call them butterfly fabric. They can get expensive if you go really big, but they seem affordable at reasonable sizes. A 4'x4' 1.6 stop scrim is like $100, and an 8' x 8' is $150 or so, and a 12'x12' is around $200, a larger 30'x30' 1.6 stop butterfly fabric is nearly $1000... That sound expensive, but whatever lights you'd need to evenly light a 30'x30' space would be far, far more than that.

    I'm not a lighting expert by any stretch, nor do I know your outdoor typical setup. These might not work you for at all. Just pointing out a different option than adding a bunch of expensive lights.
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  3. #3
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    have you considered 2 separate exposures and blending them in photoshop ? that would be the cheapest way if you already have photoshop.
    Stuart Edwards
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  4. #4
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    I have a pair of Paul Buff Einstein lights that work really well and are very powerful. They can be triggered remotely with a pocket wizard antenna or by the light of another flash or by cable. It can be powered b a battery pack or direct wall current. The battery pak lasts a very long time but is not built into the light like profoto ... it attaches by an extension cord. Overall maybe they are not as slick as Profoto but they are much more affordable.

  5. #5
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    I actually use several Paul C. Buff White Lightning monolights that I bought years ago (they're built like tanks). I'd suggest the x1600 or x3200 for overpowering the sun (with the x1600 needing to be closer to the subject for the same effect). You can find them fairly inexpensively on eBay. Like the Einsteins, you'll need a battery pack like the Vagabond series, but one battery pack can power multiple devices with higher recycling times incurred with additional units.

    If purchasing new, I really like the specs on the Godox AD600B Witstro TTL All-In-One and Godox AD600BM Witstro Manual. Considering that the battery's already included, the price comes in even less than a used PCB WL x1600 + new Vagabond Lithium mini, with the only downside being that the Godox's battery can only power one unit instead of multiple (more practically, two) lights.

  6. #6
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    If going with more gear is your answer then it would be tough to deny the bang for the buck value from Paul C. Buff products.
    A reframing of the question and situation might lead to asking what the problem with the chosen location was? From the way that you are describing it I am getting the picture in my mind of a bright sunny day and that you placed the people in a rather deep shady spot while having a bright background. That is a tough situation and will require a lot of light be added to the people, combining images in PS, or moving to a different location if possible. Sometimes walking around the subject to change the background to something darker is an option. Walking around trying to find those pockets of good lighting in an environment is quite the game of hide and seek. If you are up for the challenge of learning what to look for I should think that 'Picture Perfect Lighting' might be of help.

  7. #7
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    Hi all, apologies for the delay in response, I've been flat out for work.

    We were looking at the Godox AD600Pro but unsure. We've been asked to shoot a wedding at sunset and I know a speedlight just isnt going to cut it

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