A few weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to better understand lighting and pay more attention to light in landscapes that I photograph. I’ve also been intrigued by studio lighting portraits for quite some time and decided this was the perfect opportunity to explore studio lighting.
As I am prone to do, I began scouring the internet for information about working with artificial lighting in photography. My search led me to, among other places, the Strobist free online resource and CreativeLive courses that are free if you watch while they are “live.”
All this new information had me seriously excited to start experimenting with artificial light and so after some more online research, I began to understand the options that are available and the capabilities of each. Some of the considerations I had in mind as I settled on my first lighting kit solution were (1) price, (2) portability, and (3) the ability to expand the setup in the future. This led me to purchasing the following kit which is an affordable, generic-brand speedlite kit that is highly portable and allows for off-camera flash:
- Flashpoint Zoom TTL R2 Flash
- Flashpoint R2 TTL 2.4G Wireless Transmitter
- Flashpoint Pro Air Cushioned Heavy Duty Light Stand
- Flashpoint 31 x 31″ Quick Softbox with Shoe Mount
When I was looking to purchase, I was lucky enough to come across a sale on speedlites and purchasing all the items above only cost me $200, which I think is pretty excellent considering lighting kits can easily cost a few thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, however, the softbox was on backorder and so I was trapped with a new lighting kit, a crazy enthusiasm to capture some artificially lighted portraits and no light modifier to create the light I knew I wanted. So I made my own. (In fact at the time of this writing, I still don’t have the softbox.)