In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
The backdrops used for photography are usually made of lighter material which makes it easy for the photographers to carry them around while traveling. The backdrops are usually hung as panels or can be easily draped over anything to give a particular effect. They can also be suspended from background stands by using clamps. Depending upon the type of effect needed by the photographer, the type and size of backdrop can be selected from the wide variety available. Since backdrops require some support, there are many types of background supports available that are well-suited for location work, or even sophisticated permanent studios.
The key to getting those gorgeous big bubbles of light in the background is to locate your subject a decent distance from the lights while at the same time positioning yourself as close to your subject as you can be to get the shot you want and setting the aperture on your camera just about as wide open as you can. The further away your subject is from the lights, the closer your are to your subject and the wider the aperture…..the bigger the lights.
Studio Light Video Photo Softbox Photography Kit Muslin Backdrop Lighting Kit Package Content: (2) Light Holder w/ Silver Black Softbox Reflector (2) 24" White Square Umbrella Reflector (2) Studio Single Light Holder (4) 7ft Tall Alumium Light Stand (4) 45Watts Day-Light Bulbs (1) Backdrop Support System w/ Carrying Bag (1) 5'x10' Green Backdrop Screen (1) 5'x10' Black Backdrop Screen (1) 5'x10' White Backdrop Screen (4) Backdrop Helper(Clip) （ Free Gift） * Item color may slightly differ from photos due to varying monitor display and settings.
I shoot videos and portraits of classical and acoustic guitarists and have a small collection of backdrops I carry around. The StudioPRO 5' x 7' Blue Collapsible Twist Muslin is one of my favorites: convenient to transport, fast to set up and easy on the eye. It's a blue muslin marbled with random patches of white and darker grayish blues, almost resembling the sky with popcorn clouds. I love how it photographs and my sample is a little darker and more attractive and than the product photos.
Great photography doesn’t always involve buying the most expensive camera on the market. Certainly, great cameras yield very good results. But even the best camera can’t perform to its best level without great lighting in the scene. Quite often, that great lighting will come from the sun with outdoor photos. However, when you have to shoot indoors, you need to provide your own lighting. Although you can produce this lighting with an on-camera flash unit, photography lighting sets provide the best quality of light. You also can make significant adjustments to the intensity and direction of light when using a set, giving you maximum control of the photo quality.
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