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I Need An Indoor Lighting Setup!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by elvenom, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. elvenom

    elvenom Registered Guest

    You would not BELIEVE how frustrated I am right now. So I just moved back to NY from AZ, where there is TONS of natural lighting. Now Im here and theres not light and I havent shot anything in WEEKS. I need a lighting setup for a small indoor home studio that will give me pics that are comparable to what I have..but I have searched everywhere and keep reading about lighting and its just too much info and too many opinions that I am overwhelmed!

    I am hoping someone here has a similar setup and can point me in the right direction. I just need light for my simple digital camera. I dont want to buy flashes or anything. I just dont know what the right wattage is, or what kind of lights will mimic natural light. I will take any recommendations you have. Thanks. :duh2:

  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    I wish I could give you sage advice but i hate my indoor lighting set-up. My best shots are those I take out doors on an overcast bright day. My worst problem indoors is either ending up with pics that are too yellowish (if I up the F-stop), too many shadows from using lights, or bleached out or colour shifts from using too much light. The only thing I am happy with inside are small shots - shoes, jewellery, hats etc. Anything on a mannequin is problematic. Now I haven't spent a lot of time reading all about indoor photography because I don't have the interest and I am sure there are others who have gone to the trouble of reading indoor photography for dummies, or some other helpful tome... however, I just wanted to let you know I feel your pain and share your frustration.
  3. I have the same issues Jonathan has with shooting indoors, but with limited options I just work around it as best I can and accept that some items are just not going to be done justice by my photos.

    I used to have full spectrum flourescent (sp?) lights hanging at all kinds of angles to limit shadows but is was a huge pain. Now I just use plain old pole lamps (the kind with 3 hinged lights - found mine at a yard sale) and those 'Reveal' light bulbs. Some shots come out better than others, but at least it's a portable, easy set up - I just stick the lights in the closet when I'm finished.

    Oh, to have a room devoted to pix with perfect lighting and skylights....sigh~
  4. There was a lighting workshop given by Connie and I found it extremely helpful. It's on our PUBLIC Workshop boards. Here is the link to day 1 of the workshop:


    I know it is more info to wade through, but I do remember great suggestions for lighting set ups.

    Good luck!

    PS - there are 5 days in all for the workshop ;)
  5. TangerineBoutique

    TangerineBoutique VFG Member

    There are inexpensive light kits on the market (light + tripod), I just looked on e-bay and saw a few. A fixed light source is hard to deal with. It's much easier to use a tripod set up with adjustable height and direction. I know you said you have limited space but you should have a minimum of two sources of light one is your main light the other the fill light, this helps prevent shadows. I use a very high wattage but I think around 1,000 would be fine, also using a diffuser helps a lot. I usually don't use the built in camera flash if I can help it. They do weird things with shadows and color.

    Shoot with your mannequin close to the wall this will prevent that dark halo along the edge. Most digital cameras have a white balance feature, this will give you more realistic color. If you don't know how to use it look online. I'll bet u-tube will have something. I really depend on photo shop....replace color, color balance and the saturation features are the ones I use most.

    I realize this sounds like a lot but the initial outlay of cash should be less than $200 (you might get an even better deal than that) and the lights can be tucked in a corner when not in use. Oh!Try craigs list too. I hope this helps and best of luck.

  6. joules

    joules VFG Member

    I would be totally lost without the luxury of natural light; I can imagine your panic. I happen to have an unused portable web products lighting kit, that my brother sent me. I haven't used it, as I really have no need, plus the fact that I lack of interest in the process of indoor lighting. The kit is available for sale, a really nice little setup, that might work for you. A bit of weight to ship to NY though it's all contained in a compact case. Please just send me a U2U if you would like photos and info, or an Etsy convo, or Twitter DM, whatever. Good luck!
  7. elvenom

    elvenom Registered Guest

    'Lost without natural light'. That is exactly how I feel! I looked up a few sets on ebay but when I asked about advice on a photography board I was told it was junk. Thank you all for your replies.

    Joules, will DM you!
  8. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest

    Bought an awesome beginner lighting set from http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ for 175 dollars I got three lights on tripods two umbrella light reflectors and light bulbs... Life has been great.

    I shot this with the new lighting.
  9. elvenom

    elvenom Registered Guest

    OMG that is a beautiful picture! Wow! Did you use flash? I see that alot of these setups require that you attach a flash to your camera. I will probably have to buy a new camera too. I have a basic digital camera. Was just hoping to buy some light and just continue shooting. But the more I research the less realistic that is. Thanks for the link!
  10. elvenom

    elvenom Registered Guest


    Can you supply a link to the actual kit that you purchased?
  11. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Chris, that is incredible. Of course, you are a trained artist, and it shows!

    Hope you find exactly the kit that will work, whether it's mine or another. :) I haven't a clue.
  12. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest


    Not high end lighting but perfect for me at the time because its not an arm and a leg and I can learn alot with it about what I really need as I get more advanced. This kit gives you ALOT OF LIGHT! So you may end up using one light.... But I have used them all at one point

    No flash on this one just carefully lighted. I had two other people oving the lights around. The lights come with hoods which can remove for more light..... That picture was a big production. I dont have the device yet to let the camera set off external flash....

  13. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest

    Thanks Joules. You should use your kit. There are some neat things you can do with it for effect.... My last shoot I used the lighting to its fullest extent this weekend I am shooting outdoors like a dope.... Its cold. But shooting a model indoors sort of puts them on the spot and I get deer in healights looks until they get used to it. So I am going outdoors to make them more comfortable.

  14. Linn

    Linn VFG Board Member Staff Member VFG Past President

    I am fortunate to have good natural lighting indoors from windows in three directions. I shoot on my manni in front of louvred white closet doors but any plain white background would work. I turn on the lamps and I use flash. I edit in Photoshop Elements. Usually with dark clothing I have to lighten to show the details. I frequently take photos of handbags, etc. on my bed on my white duvet cover. I have wonderful natural light available outside but it's easier to shoot in my bedroom!

    I think it's really important to have light sources from more than one direction. I would look into a simple kit like Joules is offering.

  15. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest

    I really like having my lights I am gonna stress less over shooting black dresses.....

    Black dresses are the bane of my existance.

  16. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Chris, I know I should, but like Jonathan, I really have no innate interest in studio photography, and all that it entails.
    Love your direction though; it's very cool.

    Linn, I do that too, using the bed, and a white background, when the light is right.
    I want to try and use more Northern light.

    This is the kit that I have. New, never used:

    It is kind of heavy though, and as I'm in California, it's a long way to NY.
  17. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing VFG Board Member Staff Member VFG Past President

  18. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest

    I have a space to build a whole set. I plan to use the single light with umbrella in the small space where I shoot all the clothing. I like have the extra light when the natural light just aint doing it.....

    My photos are becoming an artistic venture or I would be doing simpler shots..... The lights are a toy for me.....

  19. inkedpalm

    inkedpalm Registered Guest

    I live on the West Coast and I love when I can photograph outside. Recently, after photographing a dress, I took it off my manne then ran into the house to set it down so I could put another dress on her. My neighbor came over and pointed out that she didn't appreciate bringing her grandchild home from school with my naked "doll" outside for everyone to see. A real "fun busted!" :censored2: It is hard for me to carry my manne around to more private locations so, I just do with the light from my big kitchen windows. I do get frustrated at times, okay, lots of times, but I may get that way if I had to deal with a bunch of lighting mechanisms also. I'm electrically challenged.:fainting: I use a digital that has been very good to me. Sometimes I photograph jewelry under my lighted magnifier. Comes out pretty good. Nadine
  20. elvenom

    elvenom Registered Guest

    I didnt know a naked manny could be offensive. Hilarious! Well, I i will be investing in a new camera too. This indoor lighting thing is a pain in the butt. Today there was some light and I grabbed my niece and did a few shots. There is just nothing like it.

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