Forums > Photography Talk > Creative Lighting on a Budget

Photographer

The Crump Effect

Posts: 562

Norman, Oklahoma, US

I have been doing photography now for a bit. The first few were more hobby, but as my interest grew so did my need for knowledge and of course equipment. I am still learnign lighting but i do know how to improvise.

There are a lot of tools that a photographer uses in his trade. Among the obvious besides the camera are things like: tripods, lenses, reflectors, backdrops, props, film, memory cards and of course LIGHTS.

Lights, I have found, can be very expensive, but… You can take some cost saving, intelligent and crafty ideas and work around the need for expensive lights. Eventually, you may want to invest it that expensive on camera flash, some fancy strobes and other things, but for beginner photographers I can recommend several options.

When I first started, I would shoot outside, where you can get some of the best light for your photography. But for nighttime or indoors, I had to find an affordable way to light my models.

How did I do this? Well, I bought some of those aluminum clamp lights from walmart and some nice bulbs, like the spotlights. Each light has different effects, but be careful as some can really be harsh on your models. Because they are not to expensive, you can afford to experiment and see what works best for you.

Another method that I found not too long ago on youtube is in a tutorial called
Fashion Lighting on a Budget.

This tutorial by Dave Greene was very informative. It has a lot of useful material. Getting a couple of light fixtures and some bulbs that produce light similar to that to what you get during the day from the sun. The best part is that you only spend around $50. You might have to add in a little extra into your budget for some stands to hold the lights but hey you are saving a ton of money already.

If you do a search on google, you can find all sorts of tutorials on lighting techniques people use, but for beginning photographers, these simple setups can help you a great deal when getting started.

I suggested mixing up both and playing with the lights in all sorts of placements to get everything from strong contrasts to smooth overall lighting. On the florescent lights, they do not get overly hot in temperature so you can actually diffuse the light by putting light cloth over them for added effect as well.

I have seen a lot of threads asking about lighting so I hope this helps some people and if anyone else has anything else to add or ideas, please feel free.

Nov 15 08 03:39 pm Link

Nov 15 08 03:46 pm Link

Photographer

The Crump Effect

Posts: 562

Norman, Oklahoma, US

Gil Lang wrote:
Beauty dish making tutorial.

http://www.diyphotography.net/studio-li … eauty-dish

Cool tutorial, how different from a ring flash is this?

Nov 15 08 03:52 pm Link

Photographer

Gil Lang

Posts: 4655

Isla Vista, California, US

A lot less expensive smile softer lighting and different softer shades.

ring flash vs beauty dish

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=290312


http://www.flickr.com/groups/31262638@N … 969050025/

Nov 15 08 03:53 pm Link

Photographer

Odins Eye

Posts: 1925

West Wendover, Nevada, US

~$2-$3 for a large, reusable, white opaque picnic tablecloth, approximately 4-1/2' x 9'
~$70 for a Coleman Cable 2 Lamp 1000W Floodlight
~Gaffers Tape or Push Pins to hang the tablecloth

Result: A very large softbox with a nice wrap.

Nov 15 08 04:02 pm Link

Photographer

Tanya Greene

Posts: 337

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for posting these tips.
They're much appreciated.

Nov 15 08 04:43 pm Link

Photographer

Herman van Gestel

Posts: 2149

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

actually, exactly tight budget makes creative wink

Herman

Nov 15 08 05:13 pm Link

Body Painter

CRUMP

Posts: 110

Panama City Beach, Florida, US

Greene T Photography wrote:
Thanks for posting these tips.
They're much appreciated.

Welcome, keep in mind these are only starter ideas and could lead to bad habits if you are wanting to learn more professional lighting, but none the less it can get you started. I am still learning lighting.

Nov 15 08 05:19 pm Link

Photographer

C s p i n e

Posts: 3948

Portland, Oregon, US

Bodypaint by Bryan wrote:

Welcome, keep in mind these are only starter ideas and could lead to bad habits if you are wanting to learn more professional lighting, but none the less it can get you started. I am still learning lighting.

That's an interesting point.

Nov 15 08 06:25 pm Link

Photographer

Kevin Connery

Posts: 16931

El Segundo, California, US

Don't overlook existing MM resources as well.

At the top of the forum there's a thread entitled Photography Talk: Rules, Resources and FAQ. In that thread, there are links to key MM threads. One of those is the Lighting, Flash, Ring, & Battery Strobe Reference thread, which has a large section on Do It Yourself Equipment.

That same thread also cites discussions of lighting basics, many of which can be done with minimal equipment, and lighting techniques (ditto).

Nov 15 08 07:10 pm Link

Photographer

The Crump Effect

Posts: 562

Norman, Oklahoma, US

Kevin Connery wrote:
Don't overlook existing MM resources as well.

At the top of the forum there's a thread entitled Photography Talk: Rules, Resources and FAQ. In that thread, there are links to key MM threads. One of those is the Lighting, Flash, Ring, & Battery Strobe Reference thread, which has a large section on Do It Yourself Equipment.

That same thread also cites discussions of lighting basics, many of which can be done with minimal equipment, and lighting techniques (ditto).

Thanks Kevin

Nov 18 08 07:14 pm Link