Sunday, January 26, 2014

Indoor Lighting on a Budget

I was faced with either dragging my mannequin to the shed out back through 3 feet of snow to get natural light for photography, or not making and shooting new designs. I didn't really like either choice, although my mannequin is light, the shed is about 30 feet from the house and the chances of my making it there in the snow without tripping and landing on her and the new Aprons is pretty slim.

I decided to look into lighting for the house. I did a little research and found a pretty nice photo lighting set on Amazon. Some days I almost have enough light in the house during the day using my manual camera settings.

This is how it looks in the box. Really folds compactly. I like that for storage.

This is what came. It was much nicer than I thought for the price of $41 (I have Amazon Prime and have free shipping). The kit contains 2 adjustable stands with sockets. The sockets have switches, this really surprised me for the cost. I was planning on having to unplug to turn off. It also comes with 2 light diffusing umbrellas that fit into the sockets, and 2 full spectrum light bulbs. The light bulbs alone sell for about $25 for a pair.

Each light stand can be as low as 4 feet or as tall as 8 feet with bubs (list 7.7 feet). I had to lay it down to measure, because my ceiling are not that high. Not sure why you would need it that tall, Maybe if you want to photograph that humongous spider on the ceiling. Although the cord is a nice 9 feet long, you have to remember that it comes from the socket at the top of the stand, so fully extended, you will probably need an extension cord to reach power source. The base is only about 2 feet diameter, but the umbrellas take up more like 4 feet of air space. I have a fairly small space and trying to set them up with umbrella and still have room to shoot the model was tricky.

If you look at the product reviews, you will note that the bulbs are not bright enough. I purchased these to soften the light coming into the room. Sunlight and my ceiling light were creating shadows and this setup really worked to soften the light. I tried to do photography when the sun set and the bulbs were truly not bright enough for my full body photography. I haven't used it for close items, so I'm not sure if they are bright enough for that, but if it's a matter of one or 2 brighter bulbs, it's still a great deal.

This is the negative, but not really too bad. There are no assembly instructions and DON'T write me to ask how. It's pretty easy to figure out. There are no use instructions either, so the locks could be a bit tricky to figure out if you've never used adjustable stands. The only thing I don't like is the way the tripod base unfolds. It's a bit hard to open. I had to first spread the feet and then push the top of the legs down the center pole.

All in all, I really like the setup. I am learning how to adjust my camera now to get the best shots.

1 comment:

SwirlingO said...

What, you are not gonna post instructions? Thanks for this, I am going to give it a go, so sick of Fighting with the light, anything is bound to help :D this is great.

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