Tips On Light Diffusion

Tips On Light Diffusion

Affordable Vellum For Light Diffusion

I like putting a sheet of diffusion paper (vellum) in front of each light.  The industry standard is from Rosco, with a 25 by 4 foot roll costing over $125.

You can certainly get by with a roll half as long by 3 and 1/2 feet from Dietzgen for half the price.

With careful use, the paper can be reused several times.

The C-47 clips that we all use to attach the paper to the lights are just a fancy show business name for common wooden clothes pins.

 

 

ABOUT PHIL RAMUNO:  Phil Ramuno is an award-winning director, producer, writer, photographer, teacher and published author.  He co-authored the best-selling ‘Sitcom Career Book”.  He has directed hundreds of projects including theatrical, pilots and episodes of American and international network and syndicated situation comedies. Phil is an adjunct professor at The University of Southern California prestigious graduate film school and has also taught at both Emerson College and Endicott College in Boston.

Phil Ramuno shares his on-set ‘must-haves’ and ‘wish list’ from the set of BzSpotlight – the Business Webisode Series.

BzSpotlight provides corporate and custom video in the greater Los Angeles area.


Reflector and Reflector Arm Holder

Don’t Buy, BOUNCE: Reflector and Reflector Arm Holder

Your $200 one light photo studio is complete.  I talked about using natural light as a source for classic three point lighting.  What you might not understand is that, if you only have a window from one side letting in light, you cannot use overhead lights or lamps in the room for the third lighting source.  Office overheads are usually fluorescent lights which are green colored compared to daylight and strobes.  Most floor or desk lamps are red colored.  Our eye adjusts to these color differences but your camera will not.  So you may need at least on more daylight colored source.

Yes, you can get a second Neewer strobe for $100 and put that on the second light stand that I had you buy along with the second receiver/trigger for that strobe at $16.  But we can keep our budget down by using a reflector instead.

There are many kits of 5 reflectors with white, black, silver, gold and translucent.  Honestly, you won’t need all of those.  Silver or white are the ones you will always use. $16.

You will need something to hold the reflector in place. Neewer has a simple clip that can mount it to your second light stand for $7.

 

But that gives you only one position.  I like a positionable arm for more flexibility.

That one is $28 and is well worth the extra cost. Make sure you use one of your 4 sandbags for this setup.
So, now using any daylight in the room as one source and with all the lights turned off, your strobe and $45 reflector setup can complete your classic three point lighting. Since the fill light on the front side opposite the key light should be half as strong, use your creativity to decide which sources should be the key, fill and backlights.

ABOUT PHIL RAMUNO:  Phil Ramuno is an award-winning director, producer, writer, photographer, teacher and published author.  He co-authored the best-selling ‘Sitcom Career Book”.  He has directed hundreds of projects including theatrical, pilots and episodes of American and international network and syndicated situation comedies. Phil is an adjunct professor at The University of Southern California prestigious graduate film school and has also taught at both Emerson College and Endicott College in Boston.

Phil Ramuno shares his on-set ‘must-haves’ and ‘wish list’ from the set of BzSpotlight – the Business Webisode Series.

BzSpotlight provides corporate and custom video in the greater Los Angeles area.


Neewer Sand Bags

Weighing In On Equipment Safety: Neewer Sand Bags

So, by now I have encouraged you to shop for a $100 strobe light, a $35 remote for the strobe, $30 for two light stands, a $6 bracket and $10 for a photo umbrella.  We are still under $200, so what else do you need?   Well, you need to protect your small investment.  Get some sort of weight to keep the light stand from falling over, especially outdoors and when you have an umbrella sticking out and acting like a sail.

Neewer again comes in at a bargain price with 4 bags for under $15.

 

You can fill these with sand, gravel, nuts and bolt or ball bearings.  Just understand that the sharper the fill, the more chance of eventually wearing a hole in the fabric of the bag.  Also weighing them down too much can put a strain on the stitching that is holding the cloth handles.

You now have everything for a great one light set-up.  Classic lighting, however, is three point light with that main light at the 45 degree angle and something on the opposite side of lower intensity to fill any shadows and a third light behind to separate the subject from the background.  Letting some daylight in the room that you are shooting can certainly work for these other two sources.  Just notice where the natural light is coming from and use it to your advantage.  In a future review I will talk about using a reflector for a secondary source.


Neewer Light Stands

No One To Hold Your Strobe: Neewer Light Stand

So what else do you need for your now growing still photography equipment kit?  Well if you have your camera and got a flash or even two from my previous review, you need something besides always having an assistant holding the off camera flash or the second flash.  This is a hobby or a small business and not a full crew production like we do when making BzS videos.  The low cost solution is a couple of light stands and flash holders.

No, I don’t work for Neewer, but again I found a couple of tripods from them for a reasonable price

These are 9 foot light stands.  Yes, I know that you can get shorter ones for a few dollar less, but ideal lighting is set about 45 degrees to the left or right of your subject AND also 45 degrees above the subject.  The six foot stands, shall we say, “fall short” of this ideal?  And at under $30 for two of them, you are still keeping your now growing photo equipment quite inexpensive.

Since light stands are made for more expensive strobe lights or video lights, you will need a bracket to mount your speedlight on the stand.   Again Neewer beats all others on price:

When you look at the image of this on the Amazon page, don’t get confused at how you would mount this on the the tripod.  The picture has it upside down.

 

See Phil’s Reviews On

Neewer TT850 Flash Speedlight

Neewer Flash Remote Trigger


Neewer Remote Flash Trigger

Move Your Strobe Off Camera: Neewer Remote Flash Trigger

So many of you have liked my recommendation of the Neewer camera flash unit You have tried tilting it to a white wall or ceiling with success and now want to use my recommendation of getting it off your camera for a more beautiful modelling look.  Well, in the interest of keeping your photo investment as reasonable as my $100 flash, there is a solution to that as well.

Instead of putting the flash on your camera’s hot shoe you can put a radio transmitter there and a small receiver on the flash which could be hand held by a friend or on a small tripod.  PocketWizard is the brand of choice by many professional shooters.  But these cost hundred of dollars.  If you are not making your living shooting photographs, this becomes a very expensive hobby.

Well, Neewer brand also has a low cost solution.  They sell a PocketWizard-style remote transmitter and receiver for the 850 flash unit.

The receiver triggers the flash unit when you just plug it to the side of the flash’s USB port.  The user reviews on Amazon are excellent and the under $35 dollar price for both the transmitter and receiver combo is astounding.  If you start to get really serious with your photo set up, you can get a second receiver for another flash for under $20

For the record, Godox brand is the manufacturer of Neewer flashes and identical, except Godox cost a couple of dollars more than Neewer charges for the same items.

 

See More of Phil’s Reviews:

Neewer TT850 Flash Speedlight