This setup is designed for location portraits but is also great for product shots and most other work. Being based on speedlights the gear is small and light and doesn't need 240V to work.
I do not recommend continuous lighting for portraits - you need flash or you will end up with blurred images whenever people move while being shot. Continuous is great for non moving objects and video.
2x Yongnou speedlight flash units
2x Nano 1.8m flash stands
2x 68cm padded light stand bags
1x V4 radio transmitter & receiver kit
1x V4 extra receiver
1x Rosco colour correction gel filter kit
1x Rosco special effetcs gel filter kit
2x Velcro for attaching gels
2x Ball bungees
You will also need some diffusion to make the light softer. This can be achieved in a few different ways. For each flash you will want either:
- An umbrella or brollybox PLUS an umbrella bracket to hold it (plastic is ok for light use, metal will last longer)
- A strobist softbox : the special version of the 50x70, or one of the pop up 48x48 or 65x65 (bracket included)
Which diffusion is best will depend on your preferences and budget. As a general rule larger diffusion provides softer light, but this also depends on the type of modifier used.
Softboxes give the softest light for their size, umbrellas are the least expensive and brollyboxes are fairly soft and reasonably priced.
We carry 3 softboxes for use with speedlights. There is a special version of the 50x70 studio style softbox with a custom made bracket. This takes a few minutes to set up. The square ones are a pop-up style so are very quick to set up which is why they cost a little more.
Brollyboxes are quick to use and still direct all the light forwards as a softbox does. They are not quite as soft as they only have one layer of diffusion. The shoot though style provides a wider spread of light than the reflective for the same size brollybox.
Umbrellas are nice and quick to set up and very affordably priced.
White umbrellas can be used in shoot through or bounce mode but tend to be inefficient.
Silver/black reflective umbrellas are more efficient as all the light goes towards your subject but can give overly shiny looking highlights.
The convertible umbrellas can be used in the same way as a white umbrella, or converted into a full reflective mode. As they are then white lined not silver they give a smoother light than the silver/black. Great for portraits!
If you intend to use a backdrop for a studio type effect I would suggest adding in one or two more flashes and silver/black umbrellas to light the backdrop.
For more information on using manual speedlight flashes check out the "strobist 101" link below. Please note US retailer Midwest Photo Exchange / MPEX is a major sponsor of the strobist blog...