Portable studio shopping list.
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08-10-11, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Herts
I have a system which I can take to other locations, though to describe it as portable might be pushing it a bit as there's quite a bit of stuff.
I have a lastolite Hi-Lite, one of those 3-dimensional popup boxes where you put the lights either side pointing into the box. I have two 180w studio lights for that. They are excellent for the bright white background look. I suppose you could hang some other coloured material off it for a different background provided it was light enough (in weight). I also have the vinyl train which attaches to the bottom so you get a white floor.
Alternatively you could just a background stand and some white/black background material but if it's white you'd probably want to light it.
Then I have 2 Elinchrom BXRi 500W studio lights which i use with softboxes to light the subject. I have umbrellas but I tend to use the umbrellas outdoors and the softboxes indoors, though you could use either.
The Elinchroms have a built in radio trigger and the background lights will fire off the flash from the Elinchroms, but I tend to use Pocket Wizards to fire the flashes, though any cheap Ebay trigger will work.
For background options, lastolite will sell you a white vinyl background 2-3m in width for around £200, but I bought similar vinyl from a company which makes curtain sides for HGVs and paid about £40 for 3m by 8m plus £20 delivery from Glasgow.
You don't necessarily need studio lights, I know someone who has a 3 sided white gazebo, he uses 3 or 4 speedlites and has a roll up vinyl background, he attends dog events & photographs pets in this mobile studio.
Ah, just re-read your post and see you want the speedlight option.
Depending on the size of the background and the look you are going for you may need 2 flashes for the background, especially if you want the overall white background look, one will probably see a falloff of light across the background from white to grey. I use raw lights for the background whether I'm using the hilite with the lights inside or the vinyl.
Size wise, I went for the biggest background they do, I think it's 8x7, on reflection this may have been a mistake as taking it to other people's houses you need a big living room to get it up and still have room for the light stands either side, but it does give you more room when doing family shots, you can comfortably shoot 6 or 7 adults in a group with it.
That's my setup, others may have different ideas.
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