Len Berry Photography: Blog https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Len Berry Photography [email protected] (Len Berry Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:46:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:46:00 GMT https://www.lenberryphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u617288224-o70487232-50.jpg Len Berry Photography: Blog https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog 80 120 Lighting: studio or strobe? Which is best for a new photographer? https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog/2015/3/lighting-studio-or-strobe-which-is-best-for-a-new-photographer If you take photos, eventually, you will most likely need to invest in some form of artificial lighting.  And unless you have a huge expense account, you have a budget that will limit you. This is where I found myself over the past few months.  The decision I began to wrestle with was whether to invest in continuous studio lighting or strobe.  Both have advantages, but what will be the most useful and practical?  In the end, I opted for portable flash units.  This was my thought process...


My initial intent was to invest in studio lighting.  It provides a constant light source, so you see the effect the light position and quality has on your subject in real time.  You can make subtle adjustments before you even touch the camera.  There are a number of companies that offer entry level 3-4 light kits with modifiers and stands, all for the cost of a single speed lite (ie 600EX-RT). This is a great option for a studio, but is less practical for location shoots, particularly if you don't have an assistant.  You will still need to purchase at least one speedlite for times when you aren't in a studio or on a formal location.  Think family gatherings, weddings, pics of the kids, etc...


Strobe lights are also available in kit forms.  They use less energy and give off less heat.  The drawback is you never know exactly how the lighting looks until you have taken a test shot.  Some kits have a modeling light option, which can make this less cumbersome, particularly positioning.  Portability is still an issue with these units.  Like studio lights, you'll probably need an additional speedlite.


After spending months looking at my options, I settled on using speedlites.  I was using a pair of 430ex-II speedlites with reflectors and modifiers.  I had these early on and was content.  The IR trigger on my 70d worked well so I didn't need to invest in pocket wizards.  Unfortunately, they lacked the power I needed for some of my location shots.  At this point I knew I was going to invest in a more powerful flash unit.  Once I aquired my 5D mkIII, I knew I was also going to need a remote system to shoot off camera flash.  So when I decided I was going to set up a studio,  I opted for 2 600ex-rt flashes controlled by the canon St-E3-RT TTL radio trigger.  These serve as my key and fill lights, and are modified with umbrellas and a soft box.  They do have a modeling mode which makes positioning much easier.  Although the radio trigger cannot fire the 430EXII Units, I have them on optical triggers to provid rim and background lighting.  Settings are manual only when used this way, but the triggers are only $20 and I already had the flash units.  A third 600EX-RT was not in the budget.  I use a flash bender and color gels on these.


For me, this system works great.  It is extremely portable, I can use the same flash on camera as a bounce for family gatherings, and then on a stand with a soft box for a key light.  It's very versatile.  It's powerful enough to use on location and the canon wireless system works flawlessly.  I don't need to have multiple lighting systems and accessories.  There are other ETTL remote options, as well as third party flashes that can be used.  The only major drawbacks are the need for batteries (which is addressed by using rechargeables), and the power limits of speedlites.  Obviously if you are doing shoots and find yourself needing brighter lighting, or more than 2-3 units, you may need a different setup.


If you are looking for the most bang for your buck, particularly if you are just starting out. I think this is the way to go.


[email protected] (Len Berry Photography) 430EXII 600EX-RT Canon speedlites ST-E3-RT https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog/2015/3/lighting-studio-or-strobe-which-is-best-for-a-new-photographer Sat, 07 Mar 2015 12:24:58 GMT
Moving On Up! https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog/2014/12/moving-on-up Well, I've taken the leap to full frame.  The 5D III and a nifty "L" lens now share a spot next to my 70D.  I'm enjoying the new camera very much, and even managed to take a few portraits with it.  As always, there is a learning curve, but its fairly intuitive.  I was pleased to find I didn't have to push the images as far in post editing.   Particularly the images that were captured in lower light.  It will be fun to try it out on some long exposure and landscape shots.  Now, to find a few filters...

[email protected] (Len Berry Photography) 5D mark III full frame https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog/2014/12/moving-on-up Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:47:00 GMT
Beginnings https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog/2014/10/beginnings The process has begun!  I'm still working the bugs out of the website.  It is fairly user friendly, but I didn't let that stop me from getting confused.  In any case, it seems to be working fairly well now.  As I was going through the photos that I deemed "worthy" of posting on here, I was forced to take a hard look at my post processing in the beginning versus now.  Thank God for the ability to reprocess an image... and more to the point, hats off to the inventors raw files.  It will be interesting to see if I look back on the reprocesses in a few years with the same horror.  time will tell.  I do plan on revisiting Rickett's Glenn and Bushkill Falls next year to recapture the falls with better composition and exposure.  The other truth that I discovered was that the majority of my photos are more snapshot in nature...  Time to start planning some day trips and projects.

[email protected] (Len Berry Photography) https://www.lenberryphotography.com/blog/2014/10/beginnings Mon, 13 Oct 2014 02:08:02 GMT