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How many do studio lighting?


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Poll: Lighting Poll - Inside or Outside (29 member(s) have cast votes)

What type of lighting do you use?

  1. Ambient light only! (3 votes [9.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.38%

  2. Ambient and hotshoe flash units. (9 votes [28.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.12%

  3. Ambient, hotshoe, Strobist style studio (no monolights). (6 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  4. Ambient, hotshoe, speedlights, and monolights. (12 votes [37.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.50%

  5. My lighting budget exceeds my camera budget. (2 votes [6.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.25%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 DigitalDarrell

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:43 PM

I am trying to learn how to create a studio. Maybe I'll add a Studio section to the forums. How much interest is there in this type of shooting?
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Darrell Young (Digital Darrell)
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#2 José

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 10:48 PM

Hello Darrell, I think it would be great to add a studio section to the forum. I know we can all benefit from it. Thanks for proposing it.
José

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#3 justshootit

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 01:34 AM

Ahem! I don't think there's anything "non-serious" about hot shoe mounted flash. Ask any wedding photographer...
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#4 Guest_chaswes5_*

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:32 AM

I would like it and contribute. I am designing the studio to exclude ambient light so I didn't vote.

Edited by chaswes5, 26 August 2009 - 06:34 AM.


#5 Arlon

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:44 AM

I guess that also depends on what you call a "monolight". To me a monolight is simply an adjustable 110/220v slave operated strobe. I have 6 110v monolights, and 4 hotshoe remotes that all work togather. At one time I can bring 10 strobes to bear on one subject. Several soft boxes, flourescent soft boxes, etc. Oh, and it all cost me less than a single sb-600 (including my backdrops)... The lights aren't the issue, learning what to do with them once you have them is the hard part.
D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#6 Old Dog New Tricks

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:45 AM

My studio is where ever I am, so the hot shoe lights are best for me. I want to get the dedicated stand and umbrella set, but...no money! OD
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#7 Guest_chaswes5_*

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 07:11 AM

To illustrate how useful this thread will be---I disagree and agree with Arlon: "The lights aren't the issue, learning what to do with them once you have them is the hard part." The lights are an issue, depending on a number of factors, subject, environment, desired results, shadow ratio, etc. "...learning what to do with them once you have them is the hard part", indeed, it is.

#8 MikeP

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 07:48 AM

I'm just getting started with the strobist style, it's been a lot of fun so far. I've had an umbrella & light stand for a while, and I recently purchased the Ezy-Lite portable soft box kit from B&H that included the light stand and a stick for hand-holding. The problems that I'm having are 1) no people to practice on 2) lack of space in a small 2-BR home. I plan to clear a space in the garage soon so I can practice on some non-living things. I was, however, able to hurriedly snap a shot of my granddaughter wearing her fairy wings in the living room last weekend using the Ezy-Lite and a reflector. I'll put up a post describing it as soon as I can, hopefully in the next day or two. So, yes, I'd like to see a studio/strobist-style lighting forum. Thanks DD. B)
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#9 tlsmith1000

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 07:50 AM

One of my next major purchases is to be a couple monolights with stands, a softbox and umbrella. Since most of these setups in kit form go for around $400-$500, I would love to know where Arlon got all of his for less than the price of an SB-600. I need to shop there!
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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:25 AM

" The problems that I'm having are 1) no people to practice on 2) lack of space in a small 2-BR home." Welcome to my world. I am solving the space issue but model location is tough. I sometimes wonder, if people do not want you to take their portrait for free--who is going to pay for it? I believe part of my problem, is folks are anxious about inviting someone to their home with a camera--house not clean enough issues,etc. I have already started asking some young women (no I am not a dirty old man) to pose for me once my studio is up and running. I also invite their husbands as well. Yes, I see myself as an older Luis V--or at least that is my goal.

#11 Arlon

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:55 AM

One of my next major purchases is to be a couple monolights with stands, a softbox and umbrella. Since most of these setups in kit form go for around $400-$500, I would love to know where Arlon got all of his for less than the price of an SB-600. I need to shop there!


LOL, I'm a very creative "southern engineer". My light stands are gallon milk jugs full of sand and a broom handle, piece of conduit, scrap 1/2" pvc or what ever stuck in it. I can clamp/duct tape my "monolights" to it easily, cost $0. My monolights I got for $10 ea by getting a case of them (search "110v slave flash" on ebay). I sold half of them to friends and turned a profit. My light holders are aluminum clamp on trouble lights I got at the hardware store for $8 each. My BIG softbox is a BIG cardboard box I got at costco for free. Painted inside with white paint (left over KILZ) and it has two 4' fluorescent shops lights hanging vertically in it. They can be rotated to adjust light output ($24 for the pair). I cover the box with a variety of things from paper, muslin, old orange sheet, wife's slip, or nothing, etc. Check the resale shops for material to cover (old lace ladies slip works well). That box throws a lot of light if I want it to and it's pretty cool. A piece of cardboard masks it for desired light shape, output etc. My 4 remote flashes where all old flashes I had around or bummed from friends that thought they where useless (cost $0). To fire the remotes I use IR slaves you can get off ebay for $8 each. The slaves have 1/4 20 threads and can be bolted, hung, what ever, where ever (ebay seller OECCAMERA or TREASURESALE has a ton of little cheap odds and ends like the remote slaves).


Monolights are IR fired as are the slaves for the hotshoe flashes. A piece of exposed film over the camera's onboard flash passes the IR to trigger the other flashes without emitting any visible light that would mess with my custom lighting setup. I adjust the output of my "monolight" with electricians tape or cardboard. Just depends on which is closest to hand. Toilet paper roll makes a good "spot snoot".. Just look around..

For backdrops, I've gotten a number of yards of wide muslin (102" wide I believe) at joans fabric store when I get a 50% off coupons in the mail. These can be tie dyed, spray painted or what ever for next to nothing. My stand for the backdrops is a piece of scrap electrical conduit I got from my neighbors trash pile. It fits perfectly between my garage door hangers..

I also got several umbrellas from the dollar store that have been great. My favorite umbrella is a BIG broken golf umbrella I got at goodwill for $2. It has alternating blue and white panels and just has a great color when shot through with the "monolights"..


I don't shoot people for money but I have done a lot of my friends kids for free and none of them have complained about my wifes old slip hanging over a light box! You get what you pay for. If I where shooting for money, I'd spring the $10 for some new new lace at the fabric shop! (-:}


My favorite model when I was playing around was a basketball set on top of a toilet plunger with it's handle stuck into one of my custom monolight stands.

Side benefit of the big "soft box" is all of my stuff fits in it when the garage is full of other stuff like the 50 sewing machines and Kayak right now..

Edited by Arlon, 26 August 2009 - 09:07 AM.

D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#12 tlsmith1000

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:12 AM

Arlon, you are a genius and I bow to your superior ingenuity! I am going to start thinking a little differently when I look at common household items. Thanks to your information, I may soon have a decent studio out in my workshop. :D But there is still a problem. If I show up at my next wedding gig at the country club with milk jugs, broom handles, cardboard, duct tape, and ladies lingerie, they probably won't let me in the door and they may even call the police! :unsure:
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#13 Arlon

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:27 AM

But there is still a problem. If I show up at my next wedding gig at the country club with milk jugs, broom handles, cardboard, duct tape, and ladies lingerie, they probably won't let me in the door and they may even call the police! :unsure:



LOL.. My stuff doesn't leave the garage too often, that's for sure. I did loan out my box of stuff to a friend to do a shot of a train model for a magazine. I believe the shot done with my "custom lighting" equipment will be published. He did keep the blinds down and brought the box into his house at night..

OT, I found a really good (simple) book on portrait lighting called "Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers" by Christopher Grey. It has a bunch of portraits in a lot of different lighting situations. Each photo come with a diagram of how the ligthting was set up for that shot. It was really helpful for me. I tried a few of the setups from photos I liked and got what I wanted. That book saved me lots of time. Got it used from amazon for cheap but since I mentioned it on another forum awhile back all the cheap ones are gone.. Still it would be $20 well spent if you're as much of a novice at this as I am. It also gave a lot of descriptions of the lights themselfs that heped me in my "southern engineering"..

Edited by Arlon, 26 August 2009 - 09:30 AM.

D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#14 Arlon

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:07 AM

Just another interesting point to the "southern" light set up with the cheap IR slaves... This whole light setup will work perfectly with the cheapest POS P&S camera you can come up with.. For someone with the desire (and young kids) but no budget, they can get some very creative lighting/photos with very little expense and nothing more than a $100 P&S to take the shots with.. You could be a real "strobist" for peanuts. Actually I use more compact flourescent lights than strobes these days..

Edited by Arlon, 26 August 2009 - 10:08 AM.

D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#15 Dennis

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:21 PM

Yes... I think we need one of these. I built one with mono lights. I want to create a new one with CLS/IR slave so it is portable. I know we can scan the net, but it is way scattered. A nice one stop place would be great. We could section it off, minimalist, portable (might be the same) full blown studio. I am pretty sure a full functional portable wireless system is what everyone may want. But, there is something to be said about a fixed studio that makes it also very attractive in this fast pace world. I remember Jon has a document about a small item light stand/tent for small objects made with PVC, I have been searching for that for a while, but I have not used the right search terms I guess. Ok, I am starting to repeat myself.

Thanks, Dennis.

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#16 Dennis

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:25 PM

The poll needs to allow for two options.... I picked one, but I would also have to pick; My lighting budget exceeds my camera budget. LOL ;-)

Thanks, Dennis.

Photography: 100 percent art, 100 percent technical. It takes a photographer to blend them into an image.

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#17 DigitalDarrell

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:48 PM

I modified the poll a bit. Now allows multiple choices. FYI - Ambient refers to outside shooting. Here are the monolights I just purchased. They have a kit for $129 USD that includes the light, a stand, swivel, and umbrella: Attached File  Flashpoint320A.jpg   14.46KB   0 downloads Attached File  Hannah2_DarrellYoung.jpg   103.82KB   0 downloads Attached File  Hannah3_DarrellYoung.jpg   125.07KB   0 downloads
Best regards,
Darrell Young (Digital Darrell)
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"Better too many words than not enough understanding." - Darrell Young
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Bodies
: Nikon D810, D800, D750, D600, D2X, COOLPIX A, D100, F80, FM, EM, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus OM-D E-M10
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: AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition (for Df), AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR (x2), AF-S Nikkor DX 16-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR, AF Nikkor 80-400 f/4.5-5.6D ED VR, AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D, AI Nikkor 35mm f/2, AI Nikkor 50mm 5/1.8, AI Nikkor 50mm 5/1.8 Series E, AI Nikkor 105mm f/2.5, AI Nikkor 200mm f/4, Non-AI Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 10-20mm EX f/3.5-5.6, M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, M.Zuiko PRO 12-40mm f/2.8 ED
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#18 MikeP

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:50 PM

Here's my first attempt with my new lighting equipment. There's definitely more settings/techniques/posing that I would have liked to try here, but this child is not very camera friendly....I was in hurry-up-and-shoot mode, and lucky to get 6 images from which to choose. Her patience for being photographed is very thin. Hopefully that will change as she gets a bit older.

I shot this with the D700, 24-70, 1/125 @ f/5, ISO 200. Regrettably, I can't remember the power level at which the SB900 was set.

Posted Image



I forgot to snap a shot of the lighting setup, so here's the diagram.

Posted Image


B)
IPB Image

Forget about the technical stuff sometimes. Don't concentrate so much on histograms, 8-bit, 16-bit, JPEG/Raw, Adobe RGB vs. sRGB etc... Concentrate on what you're seeing, take better photos and that stuff won't be as crucial. - Matt Kloskowski

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 04:12 AM

Nice work Mike.

#20 Arlon

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 07:13 AM

Another point for the little $8 IR slaves is most of them have a flash sync cord socket on them and they can be used to fire your "real" monolights from 100ft if you want. Just keeps from having cords all over the place.
D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#21 Guest_chaswes5_*

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:17 AM

LOL.. My stuff doesn't leave the garage too often, that's for sure. I did loan out my box of stuff to a friend to do a shot of a train model for a magazine. I believe the shot done with my "custom lighting" equipment will be published. He did keep the blinds down and brought the box into his house at night..

OT, I found a really good (simple) book on portrait lighting called "Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers" by Christopher Grey. It has a bunch of portraits in a lot of different lighting situations. Each photo come with a diagram of how the ligthting was set up for that shot. It was really helpful for me. I tried a few of the setups from photos I liked and got what I wanted. That book saved me lots of time. Got it used from amazon for cheap but since I mentioned it on another forum awhile back all the cheap ones are gone.. Still it would be $20 well spent if you're as much of a novice at this as I am. It also gave a lot of descriptions of the lights themselfs that heped me in my "southern engineering"..



I have Mater Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers and as with Arlon, I recommend it. I also recommend Portrait Photography Handbook by Monte Zucker.

I believe for the beginner these two books are essential.

Edited by chaswes5, 27 August 2009 - 08:19 AM.


#22 Charlie C

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 05:14 PM

I modified the poll a bit. Now allows multiple choices. FYI - Ambient refers to outside shooting.

Here are the monolights I just purchased. They have a kit for $129 USD that includes the light, a stand, swivel, and umbrella:

Attached File  Flashpoint320A.jpg   14.46KB   0 downloads<iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.co...1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Attached File  Hannah2_DarrellYoung.jpg   103.82KB   0 downloads Attached File  Hannah3_DarrellYoung.jpg   125.07KB   0 downloads


I shoot or want to shoot mainly studio. My problem is not lights. I have several of those left over from my film days as a pro wedding shooter.
My problem is camera settings. I am presently using a D50. I have in the past shot a few portraits with this camera but for the life of me I can't remember what setting I used. My camera seems to lock up when I attempt to shoot. I am shooting on "M". I still need to use the lens on auto because my eyes don't focus like they used to . Any suggestions?

#23 Jon H.

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:17 PM

My problem is camera settings. I am presently using a D50. I have in the past shot a few portraits with this camera but for the life of me I can't remember what setting I used. My camera seems to lock up when I attempt to shoot. I am shooting on "M". I still need to use the lens on auto because my eyes don't focus like they used to . Any suggestions?


Hi Charlie,

Whether shooting with off camera hotshoe flashes or studio lights, I always shoot with the camera in manual ("M") exposure mode. I use my SB-800s in manual mode, but with them set as remotes, I can dial their power up or down from the camera position via the SU-800 commander (VERY convenient)! My studio lights are manual anyway. With an ISO of 100 or 200, I usually start with a shutter speed of 1/160, aperture of f/8 (to ensure sufficient DOF), and the WB set to cloudy. This usually gives me about 1/4 power on the SB-800s (1/16 to 1/8 on the studio monoblocks), so a little room to dial up or down as the portrait demands. Much of it depends too on whether you're doing high key, low key, or off key (sorry...just needed a third option to round out the list). High key, in particular, requires that you throw a lot more light on the background than you might otherwise. Also, with hotshoe flashes, it helps to work with the lights (in whatever modifier) really close to the subject... less power...more controllable.

This is where I start, and it seems to work pretty well most of the time. Usually only takes a test shot or two to dial in the exposure, and then concentrate on expression!

Hope that helps!

Jon
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Founding Photographer: Smiles Across The Miles - "Focusing on the Those Who Serve" Pro bono professional portraiture for military personnel and their families.

Publisher: Senior Portraits, Headshots, Two Hearts:One Love, and With this Ring Magazines: http://magcloud.com/.../jchphotography

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#24 Arlon

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:13 AM

I've broken into "mega buck" lighting now. I got an R1C1 setup for macro and it came with a pair of SB-R200 flashes that work in commander mode too. It is kind of fun controlling three flashes from the camera. Expensive but fun..
D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#25 tlsmith1000

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 08:26 AM

Arlon, I'm disappointed. After you convinced me that I could make anything I want out of baling wire and toothpicks, here you go and spend money!
Terry

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When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
- attributed to Mark Twain

#26 Jon H.

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:28 AM

I've broken into "mega buck" lighting now. I got an R1C1 setup for macro and it came with a pair of SB-R200 flashes that work in commander mode too. It is kind of fun controlling three flashes from the camera. Expensive but fun..


It's okay, Arlon... Your McGyver moniker is still secure as far as I'm concerned!

J
Jon Haverstick
Southern CA, USA
Portraiture, Wedding, Product, Stage, Real Estate, Corporate, Annual Report, Sports, Event, Special Projects
Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photography Instruction

Website / Blog / Portfolio: www.jonhaverstickstudio.com
Email: jon@jonhaverstickstudio.com

Founding Photographer: Smiles Across The Miles - "Focusing on the Those Who Serve" Pro bono professional portraiture for military personnel and their families.

Publisher: Senior Portraits, Headshots, Two Hearts:One Love, and With this Ring Magazines: http://magcloud.com/.../jchphotography

Professional Memberships:
  • NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals)
  • WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International)
  • SPS (Student Photographic Society): Educator
  • Nikon Professional Services

#27 photojazz

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:11 PM

Interested now......any more thoughts..comments?

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#28 Guest_chaswes5_*

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 02:23 PM

This an old thread so I am up dating it a bit to include continuous lighting.  I am using continuous lighting for most of still life shots now.  Soon, I will give it a go with portraiture. 



#29 Old Dog New Tricks

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:04 PM

Update for me.  I converted a speaker stand to hold a hot shoe/umbrella holder.  Have used it with the umbrella attached.  Need to work on the design of my stand conversion.

 

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#30 photojazz

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:57 PM

What is continuos lighting?

PhotoJazz - Just Capturing Life
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I photo-shoot with film, digital and medium format cameras, which includes the following:
Nikon D605, D200, F4E, F5, FE2 (Black & Silver), EM
Mamiya C330 Professional, M645 1000s, RB67
Bronica ETRSI

iPhone 8+
And I have some lenses.

 

Additional: Video editing with Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X 10.4 and LumaFusion

C&C Is Always Welcome!!
 





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