Jun 30 , 2020
Lights can be grouped into two main groups – strobe lighting and continuous lighting. Strobe lighting tends to be the most popular, so let’s look at that first.
This type of lighting is more commonly known as flash lighting, as the light will ‘flash’ each time the camera is fired, and then recycle its power. Within the remit of strobe lighting, there are several variants. The most popular, and budget friendly, are monobloc lights. These run off a power cable so you’ll need electricity! Most manufacturers sell their studio flash heads as part of a kit, which is far more cost effective. I recommend flash lighting for beginners over continuous lighting, as it’s easier to control the colour casts (and I prefer the finished product). Flash head power is measured in joules, and lights with a rating of around 400/500 joules will provide more than enough power to cover most rooms (unless you’re working in a warehouse!). Kits come with stands, reflectors and accessories (more on accessories in a minute).
Continuous lighting is light that’s on all the time, so it doesn’t flash like strobe lighting. There’s a huge discrepancy pricewise when it comes to different types of continuous lighting. A cheap budget option for those starting out in photography is tungsten lighting, with kits starting from around $200. The downside of tungsten lighting is that you have little control over the power of the lights. In addition, care needs to be taken to ensure that you set your DSLR on an appropriate setting for tungsten light. As a cheap starting point, they’re a great idea, but you’re likely to outgrow them quite quickly.
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