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In this course, Rich Harrington and Abba Shapiro give beginning photographers a brisk look at using strobe lights in a studio setting—lessons that easily translate to the field and locations, inside and out. Learn why shooting with strobes and continuous lighting makes such a big impact on your photographs, and how to buy a good, affordable starter kit. Rich and Abba also show how to set your gear up, trigger your lights, and make modifications with accessories like reflectors, umbrellas, and soft boxes. Finally, learn how to make the most of what you have in a series of lighting challenges.
Our lights are on stands. They've got some of the basic shaping tools or modifiers attached. They probably need some power. >> Absolutely. What's a light without power? >> a very heavy paperweight. >> Yes. >> So, you've got this light plugged in, we know it's working because you've turned on the modelling light. This is really simple, right? All you need is a power cord. >> Absolutely. And I'm going to go ahead and turn it off and as you can see it's a standard power cord. It would be one of the ones that you could find a replacement for usually at a hardware store or a Radio Shack. >> Even Target, yeah.
>> And it's good to keep in mind that. You know, this is rated for this light, and if you ever need to replace this or even use an extension cord, make sure you get a beefy one because it's pulling a lot of current. >> Yeah. >> And if you get a really cheap one, that could be a fire hazard. >> Right. And you want to be safe. Remember, you're not going to leave your lights plugged in and unattended. Because essentially, they are large devices that put off a lot of heat and suck electricity. Generally speaking, unless you are looking to start a fire you don't want to leave these things unattended.
And you did bring up a very good point. We'll sometimes call extension cords, stingers. Related to when you build your kit make sure you pick up some extra extension cords. We're not talking about the cheap ones. We mean the heavy duty ones that you would get at a real hardware store. You might want some gaffer's tape so you can go ahead and tack that down. This is going to be simple stuff, but remember, keep it safe. So you want to have enough cords, because Abba, the worst thing that I've seen happen lots of times. Is that people are lazy and they don't plug in an extension cord and. They've got this cord under some tension, and what's going to happen? >> it's going to knock the light over.
Somebody's going to trip over it. It doesn't need a lot of pull to either knock the light over. And even if you don't knock it over, if it's tight, it pulls a little bit, you're aim's going to be off. So you spend all this time focusing your light. And then somebody pulls the cord. So extension cords are great, as a matter of fact, ones that I like, actually have a, a reel that I can reel it in. Because the other thing you don't want is a lot of slack around. Because again, more safety. >> Now if you don't have a type of light, the mono light that has everything built in, you may have the power pack. We've mentioned the power pack before.
These are generally fairly proprietary. So it's going to come with your kit. Or you're going to need to stick with one from generally the same manufacturer. So it's just going to vary by what's out there. But pretty straightforward. Notice on this end we've got the power cord. Looks exactly like same one you were using. You see there are certain things that are industry standards. Here's one that is a little bit tricky, it actually has a fuse. You may want to pick up some spare fuses. Because if your onset and you blow a fuse, the last thing you want to do is say oh, oh, everybody just wait while I run to the store to buy a fuse.
>> As a matter of fact, even these lights have fuses on the inside. And you should take a minute, read the manual and find out what type of fuse it is, and keep those on set. >> So pretty straight forward, but just figure out how are you going to power your lights and make sure you have adequate cords. In this case with the external power pack, I've got the ability to power four cords. Well, I'm going to need four cords if I want to hook up four lights. I also may need multiple cords or different lengths so that I have adequate reach. And this is just all going to depend upon the subjects.
If you're shooting individual portraits, you probably don't need as much reach as if you're being called out to shoot the entire football team and you want to spread the lights out to get, you know, all those linebackers with the broad shoulders. So you really have to figure out what type of shooting you're doing. And translate to that, to the gear that you need, but generally speaking the good news that this is not terribly expensive, right? >> No and the nice thing is it comes fairly turnkey and as you grow in experience and in need, you can get longer cords, you can get beefier power packs, if you're going to be using your flash more frequently.
>> Yeah. >> Every half second instead of every three seconds, you can always modify from your base kit. >> Yeah, you will typically have to stay within the same manufacture, most likely. But many of those parts will translate up, and as you grow and expand, remember there's always a tremendous market out there for used gear. So you should be able to sell off some of your used equipment. As you expand up, or keep it as spare equipment in case you have any gear failure. >> Yeah, I'm a big fan of keeping spare equipment, especially if you start off with something rather inexpensive or rather reasonable.
there's always a case where something goes down. You have a shoot to do, you can always pull this out. It's good gear. >> Yeah. >> And you'll know how to use it. >> Absolutely.
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