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Photography Question 
Laurie Peaslee

Studio Lighting Set-Up

I need to purchase a studio lighting set-up. I would like something with a 3 light set-up, umbrellas, softbox, hair light. I don't want to spend a fortune, but at the same time I want a quality product that will work flawlessly, hold up, and not have to be replaced in the near future.
It would be nice to have something I can use in a studio, as well as take on location. If someone has recommendations I would love to hear back!

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11/27/2008 9:06:15 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Laurie. Welcome to BP. This subject has been discussed with recurring frequency here. Use the box on the top of the page to do a search under studio lighting and read the threads. Check the recent ones first.
Happy Thanksgiving.

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11/27/2008 10:44:25 AM

Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  Here is what I have. I like it.

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11/27/2008 12:11:17 PM

John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Laurie,
Unless you have experience in using strobes you might do better to start with one relatively large light, like an Alien Bee B1600 or a Calumet Travelite 750 and add lights as you understand what you will use them for. Too often I meet students who bought a kit and are confused by trying to use everything, right out of the box. For what it’s worth here is a link to an article on using one light:
Also this is a list of what you might want to get, in the beginning or eventually:
Here is a one light kit that I would put together. I would suggest that you start with one light. You will understand lights better if you do that.
Alien Bee B160
Or Calumet Travelite 750
60º reflector with umbrella holder if they are built that way.
1-45 inch white satin with a removable black back. An umbrella with covered ribs would be better.
2- light panels with 2-white cotton or nylon covers and a black cover and a sliver cover.
Light stand. At least 8 feet tall, 10 is better
Perhaps a background stand and a neutral muslin background.

With a second light, which would probably be lower in power based on your usage. I would also get:
60º reflector with umbrella holder if they are built that way.
Barn doors and/or snoot
Light stand
2- umbrellas, one matching the one you got and the other a 60 inch umbrella.
Very short light stand

If you add a third light I would get
60º reflector with umbrella holder if they are built that way.
1 more light panel with a gold cover.
Light stand
Barn doors or snoot if you didn’t get it before.
45 inch umbrella.
I hope this helps.

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11/28/2008 5:59:12 PM

Tammy Hudson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/28/2006
  I just got a set of Alien Bees, they are my first lighting (other than a flash). I have only had them a couple of days now but they are easy to use and so far been great. I have alot of experimenting to do before I can say much but they are easy to use straight from the box! (So far anyway...Knock on woood!)

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12/2/2008 7:35:14 AM

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