Forums > Photography Talk > i picked up a real studio light and beauty dish...

Photographer

bw fotograf

Posts: 209

Plano, Texas, US

and think my work has improved ten-fold, perhaps more. ok, so i got an AB B800 and the PCB Silver BD plus 30-degree grid and I know that some people don't like the ABs because of the color shift, but i'm a hobbyist and don't need the best of the best now, or perhaps ever.

i wish there would have been a FAQ six-months ago when I started out that said something to the effect of, "look, speed lights are great and there are a ton of modifiers and many, many photographers producing stunning work with just speed lights, but do yourself a favor and pick a studio strobe and beauty dish as quickly as possible if you really want to make it easier on yourself."

this is NOT a solicitation for critique, so please don't move this to the critique forum, rather just a PSA for noobs like me.

first pics with the new set up:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130210/22/5118963111029_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130210/22/51189638ecd30_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130210/22/51189633dd243_m.jpg

Feb 12 13 09:30 pm Link

Photographer

Dan Brady

Posts: 610

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

bw fotograf wrote:
and think my work has improved ten-fold, perhaps more. ok, so i got an AB B800 and the PCB Silver BD plus 30-degree grid and I know that some people don't like the ABs because of the color shift, but i'm a hobbyist and don't need the best of the best now, or perhaps ever.

i wish there would have been a FAQ six-months ago when I started out that said something to the effect of, "look, speed lights are great and there are a ton of modifiers and many, many photographers producing stunning work with just speed lights, but do yourself a favor and pick a studio strobe and beauty dish as quickly as possible if you really want to make it easier on yourself."

this is NOT a solicitation for critique, so please don't move this to the critique forum, rather just a PSA for noobs like me.

first pics with the new set up:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130210/22/5118963111029_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130210/22/51189638ecd30_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130210/22/51189633dd243_m.jpg

great work!

yep - choose a tool and become a master at it smile

soon you should make the move to a kacey or a mola beauty dish. then you will feel completion smile

Feb 12 13 09:49 pm Link

Photographer

Innovative Imagery

Posts: 2815

Los Angeles, California, US

If you do a search you will find a lot of posts that say that.  I know, I wrote them.  smile

Feb 12 13 09:52 pm Link

Photographer

hs photography

Posts: 468

Houston, Texas, US

I don't know what you images looked like before but I like how they look now.

Feb 12 13 09:53 pm Link

Photographer

SKITA Studios

Posts: 1566

Boston, Massachusetts, US

first and last are nice.  The silver has an interesting higher contrast look than a white BD, so you might want to add that next.

Feb 13 13 06:03 am Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16427

Sacramento, California, US

Real studio lights use up electricity and money. Imaginary studio lights have a nicer quality to them and don't cost as much.

Speed lights are portable, but for power, recycle speed, studio strobes are handy.

Feb 13 13 08:05 am Link

Photographer

bw fotograf

Posts: 209

Plano, Texas, US

Innovative Imagery wrote:
If you do a search you will find a lot of posts that say that.  I know, I wrote them.  smile

i took the sign-up rules literally and by the time i had cobbled together enough pics to establish a port, i had already purchased a ton of shit and hadn't even read the forums yet. smile

Feb 13 13 10:11 pm Link

Photographer

John M Hoyt

Posts: 347

Greenville, South Carolina, US

Lookin good....  My next big purchase will be for the PCB AB800... Will beat the speedlights and Neewer for sure!

Congratulations!

Feb 13 13 10:19 pm Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36237

Upland, California, US

i picked up a real studio light and beauty dish...

WOW... that's COOL!... I wasn't aware anyone made fake ones... lol

Feb 13 13 10:24 pm Link

Photographer

Image Works Photography

Posts: 2890

Orlando, Florida, US

bw fotograf wrote:

i took the sign-up rules literally and by the time i had cobbled together enough pics to establish a port, i had already purchased a ton of shit and hadn't even read the forums yet. smile

Let me know how much of that shit you will be selling before posting it on CL.

Feb 13 13 10:29 pm Link

Photographer

GM Photography

Posts: 6102

Olympia, Washington, US

Some great looking shots, but it sounds like you're saying you couldn't have done the same work with speedlights.  I'd disagree.

Feb 14 13 05:56 am Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7252

New York, New York, US

Does size matter on a beauty dish? I have a Bowens mount mono light and there are so many to chose from I have no clue...

Feb 14 13 06:11 am Link

Photographer

MiGel

Posts: 656

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

bw fotograf wrote:
i wish there would have been a FAQ six-months ago when I started out that said something to the effect of, "look, speed lights are great and there are a ton of modifiers and many, many photographers producing stunning work with just speed lights, but do yourself a favor and pick a studio strobe and beauty dish as quickly as possible if you really want to make it easier on yourself."

I do say that a lot in reality, but online you usually get battered for this. So I tend to not say it too often in forums.
But be honest to yourself: Would you've listened to me 6 months ago? I bet you wouldn't.

Feb 14 13 06:15 am Link

Photographer

Hacklight

Posts: 459

Macon, Georgia, US

Wow! You may not have asked for a critique, but I'm going to give you a (very positive) one. I have the same equipment as you--AB800 and PCB beauty dish, and I wish I could use them half as well as you do. Great job!

Feb 14 13 06:40 am Link

Photographer

bw fotograf

Posts: 209

Plano, Texas, US

Select Models wrote:
i picked up a real studio light and beauty dish...

WOW... that's COOL!... I wasn't aware anyone made fake ones... lol

you know goddamn well what i mean. smile it's a shit ton easier to work with the modeling light then moving a speed light around to find the right shadows and expect the model to not come off pose. i'm not giving up on speed lights, but unless i'm on location, i absolutely will not use one as my key from now on. this is way easier.

GreatMomentsPhotography wrote:
Let me know how much of that shit you will be selling before posting it on CL.

not a chance. i'm keeping everything for travel. smile

GM Photography wrote:
Some great looking shots, but it sounds like you're saying you couldn't have done the same work with speedlights.  I'd disagree.

i don't agree. I never found a convincing BD for a speed light that produces the same quality of light as one of the several available BDs for mono lights. the only one that I felt was really exceptional was the mola and that is like $700 all said and done with the dish, bracket and any grids you wanted.

my entire port save for these shots with MJ is done with speed lights. they're great, taught me A LOT and I will continue to use them for fill and rim and location work. i think i'm further ahead now having worked with just speed lights and learning the ins and outs of light placement.

Marin Photography wrote:
Does size matter on a beauty dish? I have a Bowens mount mono light and there are so many to chose from I have no clue...

22" seems to be pretty standard among most manufacturers

MiGel wrote:
I do say that a lot in reality, but online you usually get battered for this. So I tend to not say it too often in forums.
But be honest to yourself: Would you've listened to me 6 months ago? I bet you wouldn't.

if you had a crystal ball and could convince me not to spend as much as i did on my nikon SBs and modifiers vs this one light and BD, i'd say that there would have been a very good chance of me listening. smile

Hacklight wrote:
Wow! You may not have asked for a critique, but I'm going to give you a (very positive) one. I have the same equipment as you--AB800 and PCB beauty dish, and I wish I could use them half as well as you do. Great job!

thanks! appreciate the kind words.

Feb 14 13 07:46 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Working with a strobe that has a proper (and reasonably proportional) modelling light is critical IMHO when you are shooting anything that involves any kind of shadows.

Shadows, shadow play, light play, the way light opposes shadow are all crucial elements of composition and the mood of the image, and they require careful timing to get right with a moving model. If you don't have a modelling light you can't see the shadows and so you're effectively shooting with your eyes shut (or at least half closed) most of the time.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Feb 14 13 07:50 am Link

Photographer

MiGel

Posts: 656

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

bw fotograf wrote:
if you had a crystal ball and could convince me not to spend as much as i did on my nikon SBs and modifiers vs this one light and BD, i'd say that there would have been a very good chance of me listening. smile

That is the point. I don't need a crystal ball to see what I already know from experience. But there would be no way that I could've convinced you when dozens of guys in the forums tell you "light is light" (how I hate that slogan).

Feb 14 13 08:36 am Link

Photographer

BrennanOB

Posts: 10

Walnut Creek, California, US

MiGel wrote:
That is the point. I don't need a crystal ball to see what I already know from experience. But there would be no way that I could've convinced you when dozens of guys in the forums tell you "light is light" (how I hate that slogan).

Exactly, just as glass is glass and it is hard to understand why you would pay ten times the cost for one equivalent lens over another, until you have a chance to use that better lens and realize why the extra money is well spent.

Feb 14 13 02:57 pm Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8874

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Innovative Imagery wrote:
If you do a search you will find a lot of posts that say that.  I know, I wrote them.  smile

As did I, and many others.

As previously said, master what you have first. You will not need anything else for awhile.

Need does not = want.

Feb 14 13 03:52 pm Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8874

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Working with a strobe that has a proper (and reasonably proportional) llamaling light is critical you're effectively shooting with your eyes shut (or at least half closed) most of the time.

Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

I have to shoot with eyes half closed to see what I am doing.
I suppose I could put my glasses on?

Feb 14 13 03:59 pm Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8874

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

MiGel wrote:

That is the point. I don't need a crystal ball to see what I already know from experience. But there would be no way that I could've convinced you when dozens of guys in the forums tell you "light is light" (how I hate that slogan).

Hey!!!! Your talking about me.

And it is still true.

However some sources of light make your life much easier.
Some modifiers make controlling the quality of light much easier.

I have found that one or two Einsteins are much easier to move around to the placement you want, as opposed to moving the sun. That big yellow bugger is a pain to move and gets bloody hot.

Feb 14 13 04:04 pm Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36237

Upland, California, US

bw fotograf wrote:
you know goddamn well what i mean. smile it's a shit ton easier to work with the modeling light then moving a speed light around to find the right shadows and expect the model to not come off pose. i'm not giving up on speed lights, but unless i'm on location, i absolutely will not use one as my key from now on. this is way easier.

Honestly... I had NO IDEA what you meant... UNTIL you explained it this way... which WASN'T the explanation you used in your original post... thankyouverymuch... wink

AND... if you wanna work with some lights that won't allow your model to come off pose... try makeup lights... OR... an Arri Fresnal... wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121220/16/50d3ae9ad0c46.jpg

Feb 14 13 04:30 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

I use fake studio lights with real models. big_smile LOL You know... human models.

Feb 14 13 04:35 pm Link

Photographer

GM Photography

Posts: 6102

Olympia, Washington, US

bw fotograf wrote:
i don't agree. I never found a convincing BD for a speed light that produces the same quality of light as one of the several available BDs for mono lights. the only one that I felt was really exceptional was the mola and that is like $700 all said and done with the dish, bracket and any grids you wanted.

my entire port save for these shots with MJ is done with speed lights. they're great, taught me A LOT and I will continue to use them for fill and rim and location work. i think i'm further ahead now having worked with just speed lights and learning the ins and outs of light placement.

There's no doubt that having a modeling light makes things easier, although you didn't really point that out in your original post.  To be clear, I have a set of AB800's and a number of other strobes which I started with before speedlights.  Given a choice, my strobes are my first choice.  I'm not going to set up speedlights in my home studio over my strobe lights, but for location shoots, I can do pretty much everything I can in the studio with speedlights.  If I need to, I can always grab the Vagabond Mini and take my strobes on location, but it's rare that I'd do that. 

There are some pretty decent BD's for speedlights available (as well as other modifiers).  I have an ephoto 22" BD with a grid that I picked up for about $100.  It is silver, and I painted the interior matte white (I prefer the softer look vs. the silver).  It worked so well that I picked up another one for my B800's.  I much prefer it over the AB silver BD.  The only time I'll use that is outdoors.  From everything I've read, the Kasey BD's are also quite nice, but a bit more spendy.

Feb 15 13 05:46 am Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7252

New York, New York, US

Marin Photography wrote:
Does size matter on a beauty dish? I have a Bowens mount mono light and there are so many to chose from I have no clue...

22" seems to be pretty standard among most manufacturers

Thanks bw fotograf!

Feb 15 13 05:55 am Link

Photographer

Cherrybomb Photography

Posts: 187

Keller, Texas, US

Great shots!  I have the AB800 and silver beauty dish with grid as well.  Love it!  Think about adding a backing hair light on the other side if you like that look. 

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130105/20/50e8fdfda254d.jpg

Feb 15 13 06:05 am Link