Cheap Lights

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Some young photographers, many who are just starting out on their photographic journey, get so hung up on not having the equipment they feel they must have to create the photographs they want to make, become paralyzed. Paralyzed to the point of not making images but worrying about the equipment they think they need instead. When you’re just starting out, the truth is the list of required equipment is pretty daunting and this is especially so today because, in addition to the required cameras and lenses, you’ll need a relatively powerful computer system in addition to your image making tools. Things get even more scary if you are lucky enough to find your way into a professional photography studio and see a set-up that uses a dozen light stands and five or six lights. Considering that every cent of a beginner’s photography equipment budget goes towards necessary cameras, lenses, and a computer system, it’s easy to see why many young photographers freak out at not having the thousands of dollars required for a top tier lighting system. But all is not lost and it is possible to assemble a lighting system that can produce professional quality images and still only cost (relatively speaking) pennies. Doing so is the subject of this tutorial: Cheap Lights. Let’s go!

Tutorial Supplies Checklist

  • Rosco Off-Broadway White White Paint
    Off Broadway is one of Rosco's most popular scenic paints. A palette of rich, matte theatrical colors in a flexible vinyl acrylic binder makes Off Broadway paint perfect for almost any scenic or artistic application. Off Broadway can be used straight out of the can or diluted with water to create beautiful glazes for finishes which can be applied to virtually any surface in stagecraft including muslin, wood, metals, wallboard and many plastics. Off Broadway is compatible with all other Rosco scenic paints. Available in 27 artists' colors.

    2-inch pony spring A-Clamp
    Classic metal "A" clamps with orange grips.

    Manfrotto Double-Ended Stud Adapter Spigot

    12" x 50' Lee Black Foil
    Lee black foil is a matte black aluminum material that virtually soaks up light. Ideal for masking light leaks and/or eliminating unwanted reflections. It can be quickly molded to form barndoors, flags and other configurations. Lightweight, yet durable, it can be quickly positioned in place with tape, staples or adhesives.

    White 2" x 25 yd. Gaffer's Tape
    White Gaffer's Tape - 2" x 25 yd. All of our professional gaffer's tape comes from Shuretape, formerly known as Permacel.

Steve Sint

Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style

Steve Sint has spent a great deal of his life walking down aisles backwards. Over a 40 year career, he has photographed over 4,000 weddings, taken over 2 million photographs, and shot over 1 million portraits for his own studio and others in the New York metropolitan area. As a commercial photographer he has photographed thousands of executives and still life subjects. His client list includes, or has included, the American Broadcasting Company, Time Inc., Hearst Publications, Yves St. Laurent, AT&T, NCR, National Semiconductor, Miller Freeman Publishing, MacGroupUS, and Hachette-Filipacchi Magazines. His photographs have appeared on the covers of over 60 national magazines including LIFE, Omni, Stereo Review, and Modern Photography.

As a columnist and contributor his words and photographs have also appeared in Studio Photography, Lens Magazine, Modern Photography, Popular Photography, View Camera Magazine, Railroad Model Craftsman, and he has authored 7 books on photography. In his most recently published book, Digital Wedding Photography: Art, Business, and Style, he shares his experience with his readers in the breezy, knowledgeable, and accessible style his writing is known for. At this point in his career he limits his assignments to 50 per year for a select New York clientele, photographs and writes about things he enjoys, and still finds time to lecture on professional photography, create and produce tutorial videos, conduct workshops on wedding, portrait, and still life photography, while still finding time to work on his model railroad.

His newest book, Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style, was released in January 2013.