View Full Version : Home-depot lighting, is it viable?


thefilmgeek
01-11-2009, 10:27 AM
Given the amount of equipment I'm having to purchase this coming summer, I don't actually have the 1000+ dollars to shell out for a professional light kit, like the Lowell lights you can pick up.

I was curious if just picking up the self-standing flood work-lights from home depot could accomplish the same thing? Digital doesn't require the lighting that actual film does, so theoretically this looks like it would accomplish the same thing as thousand dollar professional lights.

Has anyone shot any semi-professional work with just store bought lights, like this? I'd be anxious to see your results, or any feedback you had on it.

Spatula
01-11-2009, 10:48 AM
You mean like those yellow flood lights, eh? They work, if you want your subject lit as if he's standing in front of a very large light, lol. There's not a lot of control, but if you play around with angles, gels, bouncing and such they can usually work out ok.

It might be a better option to look at rentals, but if you're in a pinch for cash, the work-lights will work- you just have to play around with them a lot to get specific results... like, ALOT.


We used to use them as on-screen lightsource/props more than actual lighting, cause they looked cool.

thefilmgeek
01-11-2009, 10:56 AM
What sort of control issues are you talking about? The type of control I'd get with barn-doors, and diffusion control issues?

I actually found a few tutorials online on how to make home-made barn-doors on home depot style lights, as well as home-made diffusion materials, like wax paper.

Do you think that'll help out a significant amount for control?

knightly
01-11-2009, 11:03 AM
The wax paper will melt, you'll want to use Parchment paper, and that will burst into flames eventually. Here's what we do with our craftsman work lights:

http://www.yafiunderground.com/index.php?page=lighting_distances

They work fine, you just need stands and flags to control the spill and black foil. You can add barndoors to them as well to help control the spill.

Keep in mind, THEY'RE HOT!!!

directorik
01-11-2009, 11:12 AM
You are incorrect. Digital does require the lighting actual film does. In many cases digital
requires MORE attention to lighting. Many movie makers like yourself are misinformed
because all the automatic aspects of a video camera will expose an image. That doesn't
make it lit well. And that is one of the main reasons why so many new movie makers
end up with that "home movie" look.

With a lot of work and some experience you can use standard lights to get a good image.
As spatula mentioned, you don't have the control you have with a light kit made to be
used for video/film but it can be done.

A couple of work lights (http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=9401794&PMT4NO=0"target=) with stands from any home improvement store.

Five or six “scoop lights” - those clamp on work lights (http://www.doityourself.com/invt/u239921) with the silver reflector.

Three or four pieces of Foamcore (http://www.artsupply.com/brand/foamcore.htm) from any art supply store to use to bounce the light.

Two or three paper lanterns (http://www.cherryblossomgardens.com/paper_lanterns.asp) that you can get at Ikea. I hook each one to a dimmer to get
better control.

Some colored gels (check on line or if there is a small theater in your town they often
have extras) and some black wrap. Check Studio Depot (http://www.studiodepot.com/store/)

This example (http://www.darkcrimes.com/images/lowbudgetlighting.jpg) kind of puts all the following links in perspective.

http://www.darkcrimes.com/movies/lighting%3Aexample.mov

thefilmgeek
01-11-2009, 11:15 AM
I was under the impression that digital took dramatically less light to register than film did? The same amount of light on digital will look much, much brighter than the same amount recorded on film?

Or has something changed?

Will Vincent
01-11-2009, 11:22 AM
I was under the impression that digital took dramatically less light to register than film did? The same amount of light on digital will look much, much brighter than the same amount recorded on film?

Or has something changed?
Video cameras will almost always automatically expose to whatever light is already there, giving the false impression that less light is needed. To truely get good results, you need more that film. Part of the reason for that is due to the much lower latitude digital offers (not as much distance between the black and white points)

To compensate for that, you have to light everything such that the black & white points are closer together, then you can crush your blacks back into nothingness in post while doing your color correction.

directorik
01-11-2009, 11:26 AM
Nothing has changed.

Digital doesn't need as much light to get an image because all the automatic
aspects of a video camera will expose an image. But lighting isn't about having
enough light. and good lighting for digital is just as important as good lighting
for film.

The more control you have, the better it looks. That's why that $1,000 on a
light kit will make the difference between a movie that looks like a "home movie"
and a professional movie.

I wish I had thought to roll some tape on that scene before we set up the lights
to show the vast difference. But if you are satisfied using using less light then
there is nothing wrong with saving money by using less.

thefilmgeek
01-11-2009, 11:30 AM
Hm, well, what are these control items that cost 1000 dollars, that I can't fashion the exact same thing at home? Obviously these are crafted materials, so it should seem like anything that's on these lights I should be able to make myself from materials at lowe's or home depot.

Even if I could afford the 1,000+ dollar lights, I'm kind of a DIY kind of guy, and have buddies who are into crafting, woodworking, metalworking, etc.

Just let me know what are on the expensive lights that I need for control, and I could make them at home.

Now that I know I can achieve the same wattage from home depot lights, everything else should be pretty simple.

directorik
01-11-2009, 11:41 AM
I didn't men controls as in an knob or button. I mean control as in skillfulness
and knowledge - where to have shadows, how to keep a dark area dark, when
to add more light to a part of the face.

You can do this with the items I mentioned. A pro kit (including scrims and flags
and gobos) allows you more control. You're a DIY kind of guy which is why I
gave you a list of DIY items and and example of how these items can look.

Anything there seem like it's something you can use?

thefilmgeek
01-11-2009, 11:46 AM
Well, what I was planning on doing now that I've heard all of your suggestions is fashioning some barndoors on the self-stand worklights, and making one of those tota lights you showed me with the foam core.

The foam core won't melt with a hot light like that so close?

As far as lighting goes, I'm familiar with basic 3 point lighting, and was going to do that for my shots. I'm looking to have lots of hard shadows and dramatic lighting for what I'm shooting, so I'll probably try to keep diffusion to a minimum, want very hard lights on the actors, sharp shadows.

Any advice on how I should light a very small room for a dramatic scene? (picture a basement work room about 15 x 15)

directorik
01-11-2009, 12:09 PM
Any advice on how I should light a very small room for a dramatic scene? (picture a basement work room about 15 x 15)
Sure. Take a look at the scene I posted. That was shot in a room about 10x10.

thefilmgeek
01-11-2009, 12:12 PM
Is about 90 dollars that was listed for those work lights you linked the typical price? That seems pretty high for a work light, hehe.

I also assume that halogen is the way to go then? And just remove the front screen, so you don't get any unwanted shadows?

knightly
01-12-2009, 02:24 PM
any lighting is hot (even flourescents give off heat, just much less). Fire and melting things is a hazard even with professional lighting kits. If you have something that you need to be within 2-3 feet of a light, you should either use a material that is better with heat (metal/tin foil) or keep the lights off as much as possible while watching for smoke, darkening or flames. Keep an extinguisher on set just in case as well.

WideShot
01-12-2009, 03:12 PM
I have used these many times.

Pros:
-Light (with globe) is dirt cheap
-by default usually close to 3200k
-A very strong output of light
-Comes with handles
-Replacement globes are dirt cheap
-some models come with a stand, some with twin heads.

Negatives:
-Usually come with a grill on the front that has to be removed otherwise it creates shadows
-Gets to be incredibly hot. A big consideration during the summer in an upstairs bedroom scene or something.
-Because of the heat you cannot touch the globes with your bare fingers or the protective glass on the front, the oil can cause big problems including the globe exploding
-There is no built in light control - which means you need to figure out 100% of flags, diffusion, etc.
-No filter tabs (some you can make do with what they have)
-No scrim holder/set available
-No built in baby socket. This means you are going to need to use a grip knuckle if you intend on using it with a normal lighting stand.
-Is so hot you have to watch what you set the light next to or pointed at (diffusion, paper, etc), I have burned foam core with them.

thefilmgeek
01-12-2009, 09:34 PM
I purhcased a 'Portable Work Light' from home depot for 19.99. It's a dual head stand with work lights on it, 250w apiece, halogen. I'm going to use it as the key light.

It's this, basically: http://www.germes-online.com/direct/dbimage/50236486/Work_Light.jpg

Which type of bulbs should I be using for this for the light to register white on video? Will the stock bulbs work very well?

Will Vincent
01-13-2009, 12:00 AM
Yes, the standard halogen bulbs these lights come with is fine. If you have to mix them with daylight, you may run into issues, but the standard bulbs will work just light any tungsten light source.

Remove the black grills, but keep the glass, it's a safety thing. I like to paint mine black with high-temperature BBQ or Engine paint. Gives 'em a bit more of a professional look, and they don't jump out quite as much, should you happen to wind up with one in a shot or something. I've also attached dimmers to a couple of my 500watt worklights. It's a pretty straightforward modification, but you should understand at least some basics of house wiring if you want to attempt it.

I should probably write up a tutorial on that one of these days, but I don't have much time at the moment. The basic gist of it is, you remove the push button that turns the light on and off, glue on an open-back electrical box, run the wires that formerly went to the push button through a dimmer rated for at least the wattage of the light, then you're good to go.

indietalk
01-13-2009, 01:07 AM
Also get some black wrap, it can't be too expensive, and it's a life saver. It's like a thick black tin foil. You can sculpt it around lights, make shapes, whatever, to block light leaks and more. Duvetyne and a fire extinguisher should be on hand too.

directorik
01-13-2009, 03:06 AM
Yep. Black wrap is on the list I posted including a link to where you can get it and prices.

thefilmgeek
01-13-2009, 06:28 PM
Awesome! I really appreciate all the suggestions you guys are giving me.

I'm going to pick up black wrap first chance I get.

For my fill light, should I pick up a second light, but only a single 250w one so it's significantly dimmer? Or should I go down to something like 100w for the fill?

Will Vincent
01-13-2009, 11:45 PM
You're probably better off picking up a couple of 500w lights to use as your key, then you can use the 250's as fill. and you'll want another for a hair light, which should probably be equal or brighter than your fill -- I tend to prefer brighter.

thefilmgeek
01-13-2009, 11:57 PM
Really the most powerful I could find was a dual-head work light, which are two 250w lights on a big tripod (so 500w total). So should I just buy another one of these and have a total of 4 lights shining as my key light source? (this will come up to a total of 1000w, 500w per tripod @ 250w per head)

Will Vincent
01-14-2009, 12:14 AM
I'm surprised the 250s are the largest you could find, I have a few 500's, and they were each somewhere in that $20 range as I recall. At any rate, it's always better to have too many lights than not enough of them.. ;)

thefilmgeek
01-14-2009, 10:17 AM
I'll try a different home depot, and hit a lowe's as well and see if I can find a single 500w on a tripod. Then I can just use the dual 250w's as the fill.

A buddy of mine who is good with electrical work is going to install a dimmer on the lights as necessary for me, so that's neat. I gave him your basic suggestions and he said he could easily do it.

Will Vincent
01-14-2009, 02:04 PM
I'll try a different home depot, and hit a lowe's as well and see if I can find a single 500w on a tripod. Then I can just use the dual 250w's as the fill.

A buddy of mine who is good with electrical work is going to install a dimmer on the lights as necessary for me, so that's neat. I gave him your basic suggestions and he said he could easily do it.

Another option is to build a dimmer box.. just an electrical box you can plug into the wall or an extension cord, with a dimmer connected to a standard electrical socket. I used one of these with two dimmers on it to good effect in my last 48hr film (http://vimeo.com/1186238) to simulate cars passing (lights came up, then dimmed quickly, and red lights came on and dimmed, etc).

You might also want to check out Walmart, they also carry these lights I believe. I know I've seen 750W versions at a couple places.. never looked closely at them, but I believe they have a 500W bulb and a 250W bulb in a single fixture. I also have a couple of smaller 125W clamp on halogen work lights that work good as little kickers, and for adding a bit of fill in strategic places in the background and such. Another thing to look at are those twisted tube flourescent bulbs that screw into a regular light socket. I've got a few of those that I use in the aluminum scoop light fixtures, and a couple china balls of various sizes would be a good investment as well. :)

indietalk
01-14-2009, 03:31 PM
Make sure your dimmer can handle the wattage. It will say on the box. Halogens need a different dimmer than incandescent, also. Buy the combo dimmer to be safe.

EvsFX08
01-14-2009, 05:01 PM
What is the recommended set up for outdoor/daylight shooting? do you still need a 3 pt lighting system with a white reflector board (foamcore)? Also, how do you adjust the white balance?Do you use a white card with natural light or a white card using the lamps? I'm just now learning about white balance and the different temperatures for lighting, so is this even a valid question and issue? It's amazing how the quality changes after fooling around with the white balance on my little sony mini-DV.

Will Vincent
01-14-2009, 06:13 PM
What is the recommended set up for outdoor/daylight shooting? do you still need a 3 pt lighting system with a white reflector board (foamcore)? Also, how do you adjust the white balance?Do you use a white card with natural light or a white card using the lamps? I'm just now learning about white balance and the different temperatures for lighting, so is this even a valid question and issue? It's amazing how the quality changes after fooling around with the white balance on my little sony mini-DV.

Yes, you would still use 3 point lighting in most instances.. the sun, obviously, would be the key light -- on bright sunny days anyway. Then you can usually bounce in your fill and hairlight. for white balance, you want to put your white card in the lit area, zoom in on it, and white balance that. You could also use slightly offwhite cards, or put colored gels in front of the lens and then white balance to get different effects. I'm of the opinion that's better left to post though.

EvsFX08
01-14-2009, 07:32 PM
I'm of the opinion that's better left to post though.

I'm with ya on that, Post is my comfort zone. A guy I know saw some of my editing/VFX work and asked me if I could shoot his next music video, because didn't you know that anybody who specializes in VFX can shoot video too?HA! Anyway, since I'm just starting out in filming and this will be his 2nd music video, I agreed. So now I'm just trying to figure how to get the best quality settings out of my camera so I can make something of decent quality. We shoot in February, so I'll post it here when complete for constructive criticism I'm totally open to all suggestions and recommendations. It'll be my first real creative production, everything else I've done was simple documentaries or productions someone else shot and I finished it in post, or some other simple video work I shot. Anyway,how's that class VFXphd going?

thefilmgeek
01-14-2009, 10:04 PM
I already have two of the aluminum scoop lights with high watt halogens in them, so that's good to go. Basically all I need to do (apparently) is find a good 500w worklight and I should be good to go (since the twin worklight I have, has detachable 250 watters)

knightly
01-14-2009, 10:25 PM
Careful that the fixtures can handle the wattage you put in them. The fixtures can melt.

thefilmgeek
01-14-2009, 11:18 PM
Yup yup, I have the maximum wattage bulb safe for the scoops in them, I've used them for extended periods before on cheaper little shorts so they are good to go.

The whole halogen worklight is the new thing for me. :)

I'm going out this saturday to look at dimmers, and to search for a single 500w lamp as a key light.

My concern is that perhaps a 500w is too bright for a small enclosed room? (Like a little workshop in a basement, cement walls, cieling, floor)

SoulCinema
01-14-2009, 11:34 PM
I've just used worklights raw (I lack you guys' expertise tech and touch) but they're wonderful for massive light!

Bounce them off a wall or a ceiling to cut alot of the harshness, or use a reflector for fill light and close down the ap a bit to compensate. Keep the wall they're flooding onto out of the frame so you don't get the harsh light/sharp shadows falling there, and they're fun indeed. But basically I've never been able to control their massive light. And if a bug flies past ... it looks like someone's shooting tracer bullets at you!

knightly
01-14-2009, 11:39 PM
Nah, just stop your exposure down. No worries. It'll be warm though.

Will Vincent
01-15-2009, 01:59 AM
Nah, just stop your exposure down. No worries. It'll be warm though.
Not such a problem in our neck of the woods these days though.. ;)

thefilmgeek
01-15-2009, 10:27 AM
Hehe. I'm in Virginia, and it's pretty chilly over here. Unfortunatley, I'm going to actually start shooting in June... which means I'm gonna be shining these big 'ol halogens on my actors in a confined space in like 90 degree weather lol.

I guess I'm gonna have to bring fans and keep the area cool, and hose down my actors with ice water after every take. :)

To stop down the exposure, is it done digitally, or do you just raise the f-stop so the aperature is more closed? (Using XH-A1, has lots of manual control over all that)

I was concerned about it killing what little shallow depth of field I'd be able to achieve if I start closing down the f-stop.

knightly
01-15-2009, 11:49 AM
you can either raise the f-stop number or add neutral density filters to stop down. A circular polarizer will also stop down a bit for you and allow you to dial out some refelctions/specular highlights caused by the lights.

directorik
01-15-2009, 11:55 AM
I've just used worklights raw (I lack you guys' expertise tech and touch)

You're experimenting with all your other options, right?

knightly
01-15-2009, 01:09 PM
"tech and touch" = "trial and error"

thefilmgeek
01-15-2009, 09:59 PM
I actually wanted to throw on some solid ND filters so I could keep my f-stop as wide as possible.

Now, as far as ND filters go, or any filters for that matter, I'm a complete moron.

I assume ND filters come in various 'thicknesses' that gauge how much light they block?

Also, do they affect the shot at all, that is colors or picture quality?

knightly
01-15-2009, 11:56 PM
yes, they come in different amounts of light cuttingness (new word, I just made it up). I can never remember the numbers and how they work. They don't affect the colors and the picture quality is affected only by the quality of the specific brand of filter you putchase... that said, DV isn't really resolute enough to notice the quality loss that cheap filters provide.

thefilmgeek
01-16-2009, 12:08 AM
Can you stack ND filters on top of each other in order to keep blocking until you get the desired amount you want, or do I just have to buy the correct one the first time?

Will Vincent
01-16-2009, 02:45 AM
Can you stack ND filters on top of each other in order to keep blocking until you get the desired amount you want, or do I just have to buy the correct one the first time?
Yes indeed you can.. your best bet is to buy yourself a nice little kit with several darkness levels. The ones you need will depend on your camera and what will fit on it. There are square filters that will fit into a matte box, and round filters with thread in a variety of sizes that will screw onto a lens. You can stack them up to get the level of filtration you need/want.

thefilmgeek
01-16-2009, 02:22 PM
Awesome! Yes it's the Canon XH-A1, and I'm nearly certain it's 72mm thread.

Where is the best place to pick up a 72mm ND filter kit, and about what price do they usually run?

As well, is there going to be any difference between the different brands of ND filters, or will they all produce the same results? What I mean is, will one filter maybe cause side effects that a more expensive filter wouldn't? Thanks!

knightly
01-17-2009, 06:31 PM
I go to ritz camera, but try to support my local camera specialty shops as much as possible.

thefilmgeek
01-18-2009, 08:12 PM
Alright! I dropped 80 dollars on a light from Lowe's.

It's a tripod with dual head lights. Each light has 650 watts, and they're adjustable brightness. It's bright as CRAP!! BUT, it's perfect for a key light. :)

Would a single 500w be enough for a fill light, or should I go as high as 1000?

knightly
01-18-2009, 08:59 PM
Depends on the look you're going for. More moody would put less light on the fill side of the face... these would be drama, sci fi, thrillers, horror. Comedy would be closer to one another, but you can get that by moving the key light physically back to lower the amount of light on that side of the face to match the fill side.

thefilmgeek
01-18-2009, 09:42 PM
Hmm, do you suppose a single 250w would be too bright for a dramatic horror type look? Would that kill too much of the sharp shadows? (fill light)

knightly
01-19-2009, 12:49 AM
nope, it depends on what you do with the light, as long as it has enough light to expose properly, you're good to go.

directorik
01-19-2009, 11:58 AM
If the 650 is bright as CRAP the 1000 will be brighter.

I know you know this so my suggestion is to pick up several different bulbs,
set up your camera and a monitor, turn on the light and roll tape. Have
someone walk through the frame, stop, say a line or two and walk out.

Do this with different wattage of bulbs - try it with some of the light
flagged off with a piece of cardboard - try it with one of the lights
off - try it with a little fill.

Experiment with a whole bunch of different things including the
exposure and iris, then dump all of the test footage into you editing
software and look at it. Then go back and test all over again.

Maybe a single 250w would be too bright for a dramatic horror type
look, but with a different camera setting it will work. Take notes
on each set up and put them on the slate so in the editing you
will know what you did to get that look.

thefilmgeek
01-19-2009, 01:02 PM
I'd like to footnote it by saying I'll have stacked ND filters on the camera, and the iris opened all the way for a more dramatic depth of field -- but I'll have enough ND filters on it that it'll need some serious wattage to look good. That's why I went with the 1300watt key light.

knightly
01-19-2009, 03:06 PM
The type of tests Rik is talking about doing look like this and take time:

http://www.yafiunderground.com/index.php?page=lighting_distances

The handsome mug in front of the camera is yours truly :)

Pick a variable to explore and explore it. If you're looking for the effect of the distance of an open face light on creating light hot spots on your subject, pick a subject, plant them, setup the light, write the distance on a slate or piece of paper in DARK pen, then toll tape. Move the light 6"-1' at a time and shoot again noting the changes on the slate (including what f-stop you ended up needing to use and any filters you have on. This way, you can print them out and put them in a 3-ring binder and have them for reference on set with all the settings you'll need for a given look, or a given distance, or a given f-stop.

Then repeat the exercise with fill distances, hair light, diffusion amounts, colored gels, bounce angles, light cutting using flags, camera angles, light heights, anything you can think of! Go for it, learn the only way anyone actually gains this knowledge, doing.

thefilmgeek
01-19-2009, 04:21 PM
Yes I'm picking up the equipment 3 months prior to the shoot, so I'll have that much time to get lighting notes down.

The scene I'm most worried about is in the work room.

It'll be the actors sitting up against a wall in a cement room, and there is supposed to be a flourescent light overhead them on the wall lighting down against them.

I'm basically gonna crank up the 1300 watter and aim it at the wall above them and let it diffuse down, and put black wrap on the bottom of the lights to keep it from spilling too much onto them accidentally.

directorik
01-20-2009, 11:19 AM
The way I would light that workroom scene would be to use the practical
light as the key.

Since fluorescents are a little green, I'd get some very light green gels and
use them on several scoop lights and use them as the hair light, background
and fill. Masking off the areas I don't want light to fall with the blackwrap.
Maybe even try different shades of green to add intensity or not use it at all
on some lights if it starts looking like Frankenstien's lab - a little blue would
help, too. I'd use a little bounce and a paper lantern on the faces with no
gels to cut the green. So probably four to six lights

thefilmgeek
01-21-2009, 01:10 PM
What I was thinking of doing is firing off the big 1300 watter from overhead, pointing down at an angle so it's like the fluorescent shooting down at them (they're sitting under it).

Then add in some fills here and there, I definitely want hard dramatic shadows. Because of all the ND filters I'm using, it won't be all that bright.

I was going to go ahead and add a greenish tent to it in post, give it that fluorescent characteristic.

Does that sound doable?

barnaclelapse
01-21-2009, 01:15 PM
I have used these many times.

Pros:
-Light (with globe) is dirt cheap
-by default usually close to 3200k
-A very strong output of light
-Comes with handles
-Replacement globes are dirt cheap
-some models come with a stand, some with twin heads.

Negatives:
-Usually come with a grill on the front that has to be removed otherwise it creates shadows
-Gets to be incredibly hot. A big consideration during the summer in an upstairs bedroom scene or something.
-Because of the heat you cannot touch the globes with your bare fingers or the protective glass on the front, the oil can cause big problems including the globe exploding
-There is no built in light control - which means you need to figure out 100% of flags, diffusion, etc.
-No filter tabs (some you can make do with what they have)
-No scrim holder/set available
-No built in baby socket. This means you are going to need to use a grip knuckle if you intend on using it with a normal lighting stand.
-Is so hot you have to watch what you set the light next to or pointed at (diffusion, paper, etc), I have burned foam core with them.

Sounds to me like the bad outweighs the good.

Will Vincent
01-21-2009, 05:43 PM
What I was thinking of doing is firing off the big 1300 watter from overhead, pointing down at an angle so it's like the fluorescent shooting down at them (they're sitting under it).

Then add in some fills here and there, I definitely want hard dramatic shadows. Because of all the ND filters I'm using, it won't be all that bright.

I was going to go ahead and add a greenish tent to it in post, give it that fluorescent characteristic.

Does that sound doable?

It would probably work, though I don't know how fluorescent it will look. Fluorescent lights are very soft, they don't cause the hard shadows you're talking about, so just tinting it green won't necessarily sell the look. Do some tests between now and then and see what works and what doesn't. That's really the best way to learn.

thefilmgeek
01-21-2009, 10:48 PM
Sounds to me like the bad outweighs the good.

To me it sounds like the bad only happens if you aren't careful and safe, and if you're too lazy to make up your own things like flags, etc etc.

a_sower
07-17-2009, 11:32 PM
Very informative thread. I just wanted to bump it so newbies like myself could learn. Great thread guys, thank you.

By the way, it's now July, filmgeek; how did the shoot go? What did you ultimately decide on with your lighting?

letzfly777
07-18-2009, 01:49 AM
I used 6 "round metallic" shop light holders. like 5.99 a piece @ Walmart, and the extreme white bulbs from Walmart like 6-7 bucks a piece. The standard yellow are not bright enough and will ruin your shots, unless your going for a urine look.. the extreme bright though is where its @. For low budget. they come with a metal clamp that can be clamped to just about anything, i hit home depot picked up some 2x4's and screws, then made stands for each one. Its obviously not "professional" but it works well enough! If you want to dis fuse the light, hit home depot as well and buy fluorescent light diffusers.

My round metal bulb holders came with a 6ft plug and "optional" grill that i threw away because they would cast shadows.

all in all for less the 100 bucks you cant go wrong, and its as close as your going to get to nice lights for the price.

letzfly777
07-18-2009, 01:51 AM
if you wanna diffuse them even more hit the fabric isle and buy flat white thin fabric.

indietalk
07-18-2009, 01:52 AM
if you wanna diffuse them even more hit the fabric isle and buy flat white thin fabric.
...if you want a fire. Seen it happen too many times. If you're going to DIY this buy flame-retardant liquid made for fabrics.

knightly
07-18-2009, 01:30 PM
Cheaper yet is to just make sure you have enough distance between your light sources and the diffusion material. Too many folks think you can go budget and then use the budget materials just like the expensive specialty equipment.

Remember, fire bad.. especially on a tight budget, you don't want to go having to pay to replace someone's home or business if you burn it down or cause extensive smoke damage.

matto154
07-19-2009, 12:37 PM
I personally have not had much luck with cheap home depot lights. The quality of light just isn't the same, and yeah, the control is an issue too.

I agree with previous posts, lighting is about look, not simply registering an image.