"New gear now the learning curve on how to use it!"
Kinston, NC, US
I was recently given a Speedtron Blackline 2400 w/s power supply, with three light stands, three shoot through umbrellas, three reflecting umbrellas, storage/carrying case and spare bulbs. I have used my three Nikon flashes with Pocket Wizards but this a completely different animal. I have a Sekonic L-758DR flashmeter which should help. What is your favorite lighting book or educational website with will help me explore this system to the fullest. Shoot through vs Reflecting umbrellas? Advantges of Light boxes? Lighting ratios etc. Lots of questions!
#1. "RE: New gear now the learning curve on how to use it!" In response to Reply # 0
Surprised nobody has responded yet. So i'll weigh in with full disclosure that i'm learning lighting as well, so not a guru.
You've put a lot out there. Each is it's own area depending on style, skill, space, and experience using them (ie -practice)!
I spent/spend a ton of time on youtube. Some great how-to's, plus quite a few that are less helpful (to be nice).
Smokingstrobes is one of my favorites. Simple setups - very "Strobist" (usually - he also does more complex setups). Obviously strobist and their whole site is an amazing resource. Usually speedlight oriented - very "grab and go" and "gun on the run".
I seem to learn better visually, so the Studio lighting essentials by Mark wallace was informative. One light was awesome. Strobist lighting in layers has been informative and packed w/ good info.
So many ideas and things to play with - just depends on what you want to do.
So what are you looking to do w/ these lights? Studio stuff, or lighting on the go (remote, street, ??), or something else?
from my limited experience, umbrellas are a great start (both shoot through and bounce). Light boxes typically seem to provide better control of the light (where it does/does not go). Further can be focused via grids, flags, etc.
Ratios are easy to explain (simple math 1:1, 1:4, etc.) Mastery is another thing! Check out the videos on Youtube, or look at some of the online articles (some great ones you can find via google). The above videos also go into detail (what i've seen) that should help.
I've not completely watched all the above, but keep learning every time i get time to watch one! I think of it as tools on my "bat belt" - for use next time i need them. Not one way is correct, and the others are wrong... my opinion so worth what you paid for it! hehehe.
Anyway - i hope the long winded response gives you some areas to look into. Obviously not a guru, but a fellow student of light, learning as i go.
#2. "RE: New gear now the learning curve on how to use it!" In response to Reply # 1
New York, US
The quick answer is the reflecting umbrellas, shoot through umbrellas, soft boxes, and all the other light modifiers out there all provide slightly different light and therefore a different look to the subject.
Strobist A wealth of info on this site. See the topic selectors on the right side part way down.
Joe McNally An outstanding pro who uses strobes most of the time and studio lights some of the time. His books and videos are invaluable and inspirational.
Virtual Studio A virtual lighting setup. You place the lights and see the effect.
Ad this is just the tip of the iceberg…
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
#4. "RE: New gear now the learning curve on how to use it!" In response to Reply # 0 Fri 25-Jan-13 11:07 PM by ZoneV
I really like Neil van Niekerk's book on using speedlights. I believe he also has a book on off-camera lighting, and I would definitely look into it and check out his website. He's good with lighting patterns.
Strobist is good for technical advice. I'm not a regular reader, but have read info on the site a few times.
An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!