login info join!
Forums > Photography Talk > Tips on using speedlights etc in studio use... Search   Reply
Photographer
Angel Portraits
Posts: 226
Lakeland, Florida, US


I have two strobes and two speedlights for a studio shoot and I also have a reflector with holder. What would you do with these? I was thinking of putting the two strobes in the back to blowout the white background and placing one speedlight to the right and one to the left and use shoot through umbrellas.
Nov 13 12 09:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


What's the look that you're after?

I've mixed studios strobes with speedlights before, but the options of how you can set them up are infinite.
Nov 13 12 09:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Angel Portraits
Posts: 226
Lakeland, Florida, US


A beauty look.
Nov 13 12 10:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Scott
Posts: 5,596
Marion, Iowa, US


I use 3 lights (Strobe, 2 speedlights).

Mainlight off to one side in front, speedlight opposite side.  other speedlight as hairlight.
Nov 13 12 10:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeff DeLaCruz
Posts: 5
Chicago, Illinois, US


Don't forget, speed lights have a very slow recycling speed when compared to a strobe pack, so it's usually necessary to wait in between shots if you're at full power or lower the power of the speedlights to 1:4 power and shoot at a wider aperture. 

Generally, using speedlights for fashion isn't a great idea because of the recycle time, causing you to miss key expressions/moments.  Also, because of the size of the flash, the quality of light is usually very harsh. This is typically good if you're going for that look or your using it as an edge light.  When going with a hard light key, I typically go with a larger reflector, to soften up the light a touch.  However, Terry Richardson uses an on camera flash, which is similar to the look of a speedlight,  and has a whole look centered around that...  so to each his own.  Depends on the look you want.
Nov 13 12 10:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gabby57
Posts: 403
Coppell, Texas, US


Be sure to use the speed lights in manual mode, TTL won't trigger the studio strobes at the right time.
Nov 13 12 10:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,599
Wichita, Kansas, US


Not sure what your expense budget for the near future, here are my thoughts:

The bare speedlights are good for some purposes. However, if you are going to combine the storbes and the speedlights, start collecting modifiers (softboxes, umbrellas etc.) that work with both sets of lights (you might need appropriate brackets and speed rings.)

Also, as one of the above posters said, keep the slower recycle times of the speedlights.

Four lights are great, you can do 1000 and more things with them big_smile  Just watch YouTube videos. Once you understand how the power levels work as a group, you will find the 1000 ways to use them.

Regardless of whatever we all say here, and/or all that you read elsewhere, the ONLY thing that will reveal the fruitful power of using four lights is you trying various combinations of these lights.

Play with them as much as you could. Buy a mannequin (even just the bust) and try out lighting schemes even when you dont have a model. If some combination works and you like the effect, write them down for future use.

Have fun.

Beauty Look:

For beauty look with white background, do as you said with two lights to light the background. Then, instead of two lights on both sides of the model, try placing one in front of the model shooting a bit downward from above the model, and another from below the model: look up clam shell lighting. Example: http://www.lighting-essentials.com/clam … -headshot/   You might not need a light underneath for clam shell. A reflector should do more than what you need and use the fourth light for hair light if and when appropriate.

p.s.: In the example link above, I have no idea why the shoot through umbrellas were used like bounce-back umbrellas though! But, I was referring to the placement of lights primarily.
Nov 13 12 10:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


Jeff DeLaCruz wrote:
Generally, using speedlights for fashion isn't a great idea because of the recycle time

I get about 1 second on a full power pop with an SB-900 and SD-9 loaded with GP2700 batteries.

Nov 13 12 10:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,689
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Any number of threads and videos on mixing strobes and speedlights.

Light is light.

The only difference is the size of the light source and the availability of the modifiers.
Nov 13 12 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPV Photo
Posts: 782
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Jeff DeLaCruz wrote:
Also, because of the size of the flash, the quality of light is usually very harsh

Why assume he's going to use the bare flash? There are just about any modifier you can imagine for speedlights.

Nov 13 12 01:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ReflectionzPhotography
Posts: 15
Bowie, Maryland, US


Can anyone Show there set-up with strobes/speedlites.How do you hook up your speedlite to fire with the strobes
Nov 13 12 01:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPV Photo
Posts: 782
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


ReflectionzPhotography wrote:
Can anyone Show there set-up with strobes/speedlites.How do you hook up your speedlite to fire with the strobes

You're going to need something to trigger at least one of them. Either a radio trigger or a sync cable connected to your camera and one of the lights. Then you could possible use the remaining lights in slave mode.

Some speedlights don't have slave modes. If so, you'll either need a separate trigger for that, or use it as the strobe linked to your camera and use it to trigger the remaining strobes.

Of course, you can always get radio triggers for all your lights, too.

Nov 13 12 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Magik
Posts: 1,067
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


Angel Portraits wrote:
I have two strobes and two speedlights for a studio shoot and I also have a reflector with holder. What would you do with these? I was thinking of putting the two strobes in the back to blowout the white background and placing one speedlight to the right and one to the left and use shoot through umbrellas.

It all depends on the look your after. You can get great shot's with one light and great shots with 4 or more lights but you only have one key light so that is your most important. The other lights are fills. Generally if your mixing speedlights with studio strobes in a 4 light setup you would use the speedlights as accent/hair lights.
Use the reflector where you need a little bounced light.

Nov 13 12 01:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Magik
Posts: 1,067
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


Herman Surkis wrote:
Any number of threads and videos on mixing strobes and speedlights.

Light is light.

The only difference is the size of the light source and the availability of the modifiers.

well wattage would come into play too.

Nov 13 12 01:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Magik
Posts: 1,067
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


ReflectionzPhotography wrote:
Can anyone Show there set-up with strobes/speedlites.How do you hook up your speedlite to fire with the strobes

Don't have any setup to show right now but most strobes and speedlights can be triggered optically and if not optically by radio. Make one flash and the rest follow.
Or buy a radio receiver for each one.

Nov 13 12 01:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,599
Wichita, Kansas, US


ReflectionzPhotography wrote:
Can anyone Show there set-up with strobes/speedlites.How do you hook up your speedlite to fire with the strobes

With a combination of some sort of triggers and receivers.
I say some sort, because there are radio triggers, infrared triggers and simply light acctuated ones.

Other than the difference in the technology used to transmit and receive signals, receivers come in two kinds based on how they connect to the light source. One kind is either built-in into the strobe or plug directly to the strobe. The second kind is a receiver that connects to any light source with a PC connector of some sort.

In my case, I use Paul C Buff's Cybersync system. The strobes have a receiver plugged into them and then there are receivers that connect to the speedlights with a PC snyc cord. All the receivers are triggered by the same radio trigger sitting on the hotshoe of the camera.

My setup:

Trigger on the camera:
http://www.paulcbuff.com/images/products/cst/cst_front_1010.jpg

Strobe Receivers:
http://www.paulcbuff.com/images/products/csxcv/csxcv_front_1010.jpg

Receivers with PC connectors - will work with speedlights. In these again there are two kinds, one battery operated and another AC operated:
http://www.paulcbuff.com/images/products/csrplus/csrbplus_csrplus_front_1010.jpg



If the speedlight does not have a PC sync connector, you can buy hotshoes with PC sync connectors to mount your speedlights. like these:
http://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/896098.jpg


p.s.: I am not in any way connected to Paul C Buff's company and they don't pay me. I just happened to use their stuff and they work for me.

Nov 13 12 02:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Strobe being high power and speedlight being a portable flash?
Nov 13 12 04:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,599
Wichita, Kansas, US


Extrosy wrote:
Strobe being high power and speedlight being a portable flash?

If you are asking about just the triggering of lights:

Does not mater where the light source draws its operating electric power from - AC wall outlet or DC batteries or a mini-watermill turned by hamsters.

Does not matter how large or small the light source's light-output (also referred to as power) is - All the way from the Sun to the meager light from a match stick.

Does not matter what Kelvin temperature the resulting light is at.

Does not matter if a light source is portable or immobile.

As long as you have a trigger that can set-off the receivers, and the receivers have a way of conencting to the light source, you can mix and match light sources all you want and trigger them all day along. That said, it helps to be aware of the variations in temperature and the six basic characteristics of light from each of your of light sources!  How you use the mix of lights to make your image is totally up to you.

Nov 14 12 07:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


ReflectionzPhotography wrote:
Can anyone Show there set-up with strobes/speedlites.How do you hook up your speedlite to fire with the strobes

I've got about a dozen RF-602 receivers, so I just put radio triggers on everything.

Nov 14 12 07:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,599
Wichita, Kansas, US


Nov 14 12 08:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,428
Salem, Oregon, US


that's how i do my on-white shooting. i use shoot-thru white umbrellas but in the bounce position. i also have a 4' octabox behind me sometimes for additional fill. sometimes i'll turn on the hairlight or bounce a light off the ceiling.

watch out for spill/blowout from the background onto the subject (unless you want that). sometimes you have to flag those lights.

Angel Portraits wrote:
I have two strobes and two speedlights for a studio shoot and I also have a reflector with holder. What would you do with these? I was thinking of putting the two strobes in the back to blowout the white background and placing one speedlight to the right and one to the left and use shoot through umbrellas.

Nov 14 12 08:19 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,580
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Since you mentioned beauty, here's how I did my last beauty setup:

http://jayleavitt.com/links/beauty_mock-up.jpg

It's the setup I used for an "old vs new gear" test. Light is light, and so long as you can get the power set to your liking, speedlites vs monos/packs makes no difference. My avatar was shot with the above lighting setup, along with images in that thread.

Specifically talking about mixing strobes and speedlites, I do it all the time. If I am not shooting 100% speedlites, I've sometimes got 2 monos in the mix.

Two monos and two speedlites.
http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/brittney_studio_2.jpg

From the same session, but with 2 more speedlites on the seamless.
http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/brittney_studio_3.jpg
Nov 14 12 10:56 am  Link  Quote 
  Search   Reply