Friday, December 28, 2012

Let There be Light, Please. No? Have an Orange.


GreenBoots_7043, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

For a long time now, I've wanted to do something about my lighting situation. I have enough space (if I clean it out!) to setup a small studio in my home. That sounds all well and easy enough, but then I start looking at lighting kits and I get all befuddled.

I used to have a nice little lighting kit that worked wonders for me. Still have it, in fact, it's packed somewhere in the garage. I had three hot lights, with the bulbs you had to buy at the local camera store, some bouncers and a backdrop thing-y. It all just, somehow worked, even though it was simple. I think I had cheap Smith-Victor lighting kits, but strong enough hot lights to light up a small studio for a portrait or even a product type shoot. It all just worked. Was a little hot to sit under but I made do with it and it just kind of worked for a long while. Even fit in the back of my car pretty easily, once I packed it up so, you know, so I could take it on the road, or at least over to somebody else's house should the need arise or the call for portraits come to my nearest telephone.

Fast forward to the modern era. I would love to get some LED style lighting or just some lighting that works and doesn't get too hot. No more oven mitts for me, OK? Maybe something, you know, something a bit more modern. All well and good. So I start doing research. Oh, the options! There are so many options.

For starters, there are these things called AlienBees that are great little mono-light style solutions. Then there is the entire process of going strobist, mono-light, or old school controller box + lighting kits. Yes, I know there are advantages and disadvantages of each. Radio control anybody? (Gosh, I've read so much about this now, I feel like I just ate one for breakfast or something. Burp! Hey look, there's a pocket wizard!) Some lights are more portable, some offer better looking light, some are more expensive, some are more easily modified/appended to do more when you need more, that sort of a thing. Oh, the headache. My head hurts just thinking about this. My kingdom for a simple softbox and a hot light once again! Geesh, can't they make these things easy? I guess, sadly to say, this is the price of progress. Technology is attacking me yet again and, loathe as I may, I must slay this dragon. Be gone, dragon, be gone, and let there be light! Or, at least, you know, a decent softbox so I can take a portrait or two. Maybe even shoot a bunch of fruit. You ain't got anything against fruit, do you great technology dragon? 'Cause, like I sure could eat an orange right about now and photograph one too.

In the end, you know I will probably opt for getting a good flash unit for my camera (heck, I really need one of those, as I have a pressing project to work on that requires it) and I might even spring for some of those AlienBees lights, since they are cheap enough and frankly I could use a decent light or two at home (not to mention they come with portable features, so I can bring them on the road too!) Still not spending too much money while solving the problem at hand. It's kind of a funny situation. You all know how this is going to end and we all know what I'm going to do about it, the one and only one question that remains is "Just how crazy will Carol go in getting *this* sorted out and will she drag us along for the ride too?" (The answers, unfortunately, appear to be "very" and, um, "yes, probably, but only if you tune into the blog on a semi-regular basis or, you know, bump into me at the grocery store frantically stocking up on oranges in the produce department, because that's probably where I'll be once I get a new lighting kit setup.")

I need better lights, really I do. Have to do something about this. Been meaning to do something about this for a while now and just have not gotten around to it yet. Will do in the new year. Note to self: get some freaking lights on in this place already, will ya? And don't go crazy already. (OK, I know, I know, I'm probably already too late on that last bit.)

Until next time...

1 comment:

Lin Floyd said...

Too funny. I do this too with poetry readings-I needed a portable pa system, then mikes, then mike stands, then a portable podium, table, cloth, foldable stand to hold posters about the program, etc. etc. It all got too heavy to fit in the back of my car and is seldom used these days but you never know....lol!