Photography lighting for Clothing

maclover

Active Member
Hi guys,

The OH has started up her own business involving clothing, and shes wanting to get her own e-commerce shop sorted but one thing holding her back is the photography lighting.
She currently uses a white backdrop which is fine, but from our research we need light lamps to remove the shadowing.

From what we've found out so far is she needs:
Continous Lighting
Preferably 2-4 bulbs per light as opposed to 1 higher wattage bulb.

We've only really been looking on eBay, and found 2 or 3 kits that look like they would do the trick, but not wanting to place an order if they aren't ideal for our needs.

If anything could shed any light :)laugh:), it would be really appreciated.

Thanks :thumbsup:
 

loz

Distinguished Member
maclover said:
Hi guys,

The OH has started up her own business involving clothing, and shes wanting to get her own e-commerce shop sorted but one thing holding her back is the photography lighting.
She currently uses a white backdrop which is fine, but from our research we need light lamps to remove the shadowing.

From what we've found out so far is she needs:
Continous Lighting
Preferably 2-4 bulbs per light as opposed to 1 higher wattage bulb.

We've only really been looking on eBay, and found 2 or 3 kits that look like they would do the trick, but not wanting to place an order if they aren't ideal for our needs.

If anything could shed any light :)laugh:), it would be really appreciated.

Thanks :thumbsup:

What sort of budget are you looking at?

I take a LOT of photos of the same but use an external flash and a large reflector on a lighting stand. My flash is expensive, but the reflector and stand were peanuts on amazon. My camera controls the flash wirelessly so that helps a lot as there are no wires all over the place.
 

maclover

Active Member
What sort of budget are you looking at?

I take a LOT of photos of the same but use an external flash and a large reflector on a lighting stand. My flash is expensive, but the reflector and stand were peanuts on amazon. My camera controls the flash wirelessly so that helps a lot as there are no wires all over the place.

Hi Loz,
Thanks for the reply.
Budget wise, I'm not too sure.
When you say expensive what do you mean?
I/we don't want to have to buy a new one every year - due to cheap quality.
Do you have a photo of your setup in action, so to speak, and/or an example photo?

Cheers

Chris
 

loz

Distinguished Member
The setup isn't anything complicated.

Cheap stand and umbrella and mount from Amazon
The stand is showing as unavailable at the moment, but it was £14.99. There are plenty of similar stands though.

IMG_1602.jpg


The flash is bounced into the umbrella and this gives plenty of diffusion for soft shadows

IMG_1603.jpg


The Flashgun itself was expensive because that is a top of the range Canon Unit.

But you don't need anything as expensive as that. Most decent flashguns will have a life expectancy of tens if not hundreds of thousands of flashes. The main issue is what sort of camera you have and whether it is able to fire a remote flash in anyway. My Canon DSLR does it wirelessly using the built-in flash.
 
Last edited:

Faldrax

Well-known Member
Flash, either a hotshoe flash like the one mentioned, or bigger (mains powered) 'studio flash' certainly appear to be the preferred option over continuous lights.

You can get reasonably cheap manual flashguns (Youngnuo are very good for the price, for example, a 560-II is ~£50) via eBay.

You will also need a way of triggering the flash - the options will depend on what camera you have.
 

maclover

Active Member
The setup isn't anything complicated.

Cheap stand and umbrella and mount from Amazon
The stand is showing as unavailable at the moment, but it was £14.99. There are plenty of similar stands though.

image


The flash is bounced into the umbrella and this gives plenty of diffusion for soft shadows

image


The Flashgun itself was expensive because that is a top of the range Canon Unit.

But you don't need anything as expensive as that. Most decent flashguns will have a life expectancy of tens if not hundreds of thousands of flashes. The main issue is what sort of camera you have and whether it is able to fire a remote flash in anyway. My Canon DSLR does it wirelessly using the built-in flash.

Hi Loz,

Thanks for the reply and info.
Yes that's the sort of photo's she'll be taking, obviously with close ups etc.
We have a white background as opposed to your Cream one.

We use a Nikon D3000 - I don't know if this is capable of doing the remote flash?

Thanks
 

maclover

Active Member
Flash, either a hotshoe flash like the one mentioned, or bigger (mains powered) 'studio flash' certainly appear to be the preferred option over continuous lights.

You can get reasonably cheap manual flashguns (Youngnuo are very good for the price, for example, a 560-II is ~£50) via eBay.

You will also need a way of triggering the flash - the options will depend on what camera you have.

Hi Faldrax,
Thanks for the info.

Can you clarify why they are the preferred option?
What can't they do what a flash does, vice versa?

Thanks for the info on the flashguns.

My camera is a Nikon D3000 - does this do what I need it to?

Thanks
 

bobbymax

Well-known Member
Hi Bobby,
that's something I had been looking at prior to posting here.

How would this compare to the flash gun method?

Thanks

TBF I've not actually used this form of lighting. I too have a flash gun (Metz) which I find very good, and a dedicated Metz would be cheaper than branded ones.
But I often wondered if the above kit would be a better option, I used to have a massive 500w bulb years ago Which i found great for indoor work (lit up the whole room). It did get very hot though. :D
 

Faldrax

Well-known Member
Hi Faldrax,
Thanks for the info.

Can you clarify why they are the preferred option?
What can't they do what a flash does, vice versa?

Thanks for the info on the flashguns.

My camera is a Nikon D3000 - does this do what I need it to?

Thanks

I suspect it is that flash (hot shoe or studio) means you avoid the high room temperatures that continuous lighting generate - I have a couple of 500W continuous lights I was given (as a freebie) a few years back - they didn't need to be on long before they, and the room, got noticeably warmer!

To trigger a remote flash you have a range of options

1) Optical Slave
The cheapest option, use your pop-up flash (set to lowest output if you can adjust it via Flash exposure compensation) which then triggers an optical slave in the remote flash - the Yongnuo 560-II I mentioned includes an optical trigger mode.
Downside is that your pop up flash may affect the image, and that any remote flashes need to 'see' the optical trigger source.

2) Wireless Remote
A more flexible option, buy a set of radio triggers for Nikon. A transmitter then sits on the hot shoe of your camera, and the remote flashguns sit on the receivers. This means you can use flashguns without an optical trigger mode, which increases your options there.

3) Nikon Wireless
Nikon have their own system for wireless control of flashguns, it is very powerful, but expensive! It has the advantage that you can use automatic metering for flash (rather than working in manual), but in the sort of controlled 'studio' environment you are aiming for, the benefit is limited.

Note that if you start to use multiple flashguns, you can combine triggering methods. I have 3 flashguns, but only 2 wireless triggers - but if I want to use all 3 guns I can set my Yongnuo 560-II to optical slave mode, with the other 2 flashguns on wireless triggers, and provided the sensor on the Yongnuo can see the flash from one of the other guns, it all works.
 

maclover

Active Member
I suspect it is that flash (hot shoe or studio) means you avoid the high room temperatures that continuous lighting generate - I have a couple of 500W continuous lights I was given (as a freebie) a few years back - they didn't need to be on long before they, and the room, got noticeably warmer!

To trigger a remote flash you have a range of options

1) Optical Slave
The cheapest option, use your pop-up flash (set to lowest output if you can adjust it via Flash exposure compensation) which then triggers an optical slave in the remote flash - the Yongnuo 560-II I mentioned includes an optical trigger mode.
Downside is that your pop up flash may affect the image, and that any remote flashes need to 'see' the optical trigger source.

2) Wireless Remote
A more flexible option, buy a set of radio triggers for Nikon. A transmitter then sits on the hot shoe of your camera, and the remote flashguns sit on the receivers. This means you can use flashguns without an optical trigger mode, which increases your options there.

3) Nikon Wireless
Nikon have their own system for wireless control of flashguns, it is very powerful, but expensive! It has the advantage that you can use automatic metering for flash (rather than working in manual), but in the sort of controlled 'studio' environment you are aiming for, the benefit is limited.

Note that if you start to use multiple flashguns, you can combine triggering methods. I have 3 flashguns, but only 2 wireless triggers - but if I want to use all 3 guns I can set my Yongnuo 560-II to optical slave mode, with the other 2 flashguns on wireless triggers, and provided the sensor on the Yongnuo can see the flash from one of the other guns, it all works.

Thanks for that info.
I'll take a deep look into it later this afternoon, before buying anything I'll update you guys to make sure I'm buying the right thing!

:thumbsup:
 

maclover

Active Member
You don't have to go wireless.

A cheap simple solution is to use a long nikon off camera flash cable

Hi Faldrax & Loz,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm happy to spend a bit more if its not going to have loads of wires all over the place (Providing the difference in price is not ridiculous)

This might sound naive, but with a flashgun, is it like, the more you pay the more flash? But then, do you not want LOADS of flash as that could make the picture distort?

Is the Yongnuo the best option?
Just reading some reviews, my only concern is there seems to be no 'Auto' mode, or TTL.
I don't really know what TTL is, but really need it to be as easy to use as possible as we are not camera pro's! :smashin:

Thanks
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I think in your case I would go for something decent entry quality (I mean it is for commercial purposes after all) and go for continuous lighting to make it easier on yourself so you can see where the shadows are.

Something like http://www.lastolite.com/rayd8-c3200.php

I't is important that you get proper lights and bulbs to avoid overheating, get the right colour etc. I would also invest in a little grey card to manually take sample the white balance such that the whole series is easily adjust from the first photo you take in the session. Again saves time.
 

maclover

Active Member
dejongj said:
I think in your case I would go for something decent entry quality (I mean it is for commercial purposes after all) and go for continuous lighting to make it easier on yourself so you can see where the shadows are.

Something like http://www.lastolite.com/rayd8-c3200.php

I't is important that you get proper lights and bulbs to avoid overheating, get the right colour etc. I would also invest in a little grey card to manually take sample the white balance such that the whole series is easily adjust from the first photo you take in the session. Again saves time.

Thanks for the info.
This throws a curveball into the picture now.
 

maclover

Active Member
Yes but most people on this thread have recommended a flash head with umbrella etc.

I just want the best option for us.
 

loz

Distinguished Member
Yes but most people on this thread have recommended a flash head with umbrella etc.

I just want the best option for us.

But you still haven't mentioned any budget.

I wouldn't recommend a tungsten continuous light as dejongj linked to as they simply run too hot for a domestic environment.

You should look at fluorescent based ones instead. Things like Interfit Cool Lite or various cheaper clones on ebay.

But to evenly illuminate something like a dress you will want 2 or 3 heads.
 

Faldrax

Well-known Member
This might sound naive, but with a flashgun, is it like, the more you pay the more flash? But then, do you not want LOADS of flash as that could make the picture distort?

Is the Yongnuo the best option?
Just reading some reviews, my only concern is there seems to be no 'Auto' mode, or TTL.
I don't really know what TTL is, but really need it to be as easy to use as possible as we are not camera pro's! :smashin:

Flashguns are rated by what is known as 'Guide Number', or GN.
The higher the GN, the more powerful the flash.
The only caveat on that is that GN can be quoted in meters or feet - so you need to be sure you are comparing like for like. GN in meters is typically ~10 fro a pop up flash, 30-60 for a hot shoe flash. If you see a flash with a GN of 200+ it's almost certainly in feet!
Note that you typically get both higher GN and more features as you go for more expensive flash guns.

Studio flash, on the other hand, are rated in Watts - again, the higher the number, the more power you have. Studio flash will usually also include a 'modelling light' - a low power continuous light that enables you to visualise the light pattern the flash will produce when it fires.
 

maclover

Active Member
There's an Interfit Cool Lite kit on the bay that I'm watching that I may place a bid on.

In terms of the flash gun, I'd like one of those also just to have in case I ever want to use it.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
But you still haven't mentioned any budget.

I wouldn't recommend a tungsten continuous light as dejongj linked to as they simply run too hot for a domestic environment.

You should look at fluorescent based ones instead. Things like Interfit Cool Lite or various cheaper clones on ebay.

But to evenly illuminate something like a dress you will want 2 or 3 heads.

Cool (pardon the pun :)), didn't even know about Interfit Cool Lite's ones...I'm sure they'll be great, I've got quite a bit of Interfit kit and are very pleased with them...To put it in context, I've also got two sets (4 heads) of Interfit EX150 lights (I bought a whole pallet of them when Jacobs when under) and they are great, also have great modelling lights in them. Also got two box standard flash heads. But for product photography I do go to my D8's (they were hidden of the pallet on other stuff I got :)), I'm sure they are not as cool as the cool lites but I guess depending on the room, I've never found them uncomfortably hot either. Sometimes I do use an additional interfit studio flash head as well as a third pending on the product.

I think you can't go wrong either way, those cool lites look cool :)
 

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