Hey NR, I’ve been keeping up with the site for a little over a month now and I figured it was about time that I join the forum so I could say thanks to the NR Admin and the NR community for all the info and advice I’ve been privy to for the past month or so and to get a few questions answered.
Just to give you a little background info, I’m new to DSLR’s. I’ve always appreciated nice photos, but until now never had the funds to purchase a nice camera. I have some basic knowledge of working a DSLR, but only from watching youtube tutorials and reading Digital SLR magazines (no hands on yet). I did some research and, like most beginners, I narrowed it down to the D90 and the D5000 (I know what you’re thinking… no, this isn’t another which camera should I get D90 or D5000 post lol).
I’m mostly interested in indoor/outdoor portraits. I’d love to get the D90 package deal with the 18-105mm and 70-300mm lenses, but due to the cost exceeding my budget ($1200 max) I’m thinking that I’ll probably end up getting the less comfortable (feels small) D5000 with the 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses. If I go that route I’ll also be purchasing some radio transmitters (since there’s no commander mode) and a couple of Vivitar flash units for outside stuff (please don’t stone me lol… I’m on a tight budget). Might have to add an aftermarket battery grip to it as well to counter the small feel of the camera.
Ok, so now that I’ve bored you to death let me get to my questions:
1) I’m considering purchasing a cowboystudio monolight flash lighting kit that includes 2 studio flash/strobe lights, 2 softboxes, 1 background support system, black and white muslin backdrops, and a carry case. While reading the reviews someone mentioned that the lights are only 100 watts. He went on to recommend buying a higher wattage for portraits, but never gave any recommendations. What should I be looking for with respect to the wattage? How much power (watts) do you need for decent portrait work?
2) I’ve been looking into different lighting setups for indoor portrait work. I’ve seen a lot of diagrams using a one light setup to a billion lights (exaggerating, but you get the point). One question I haven’t had answered yet through diagrams or youtube vids is which lights in a studio flash setup actually flash and which lights are constant? Is it just the main, the fill light, the main and the fill, what about the “hair light”… are they all flash units lol? I’m assuming that the background lights are constant, right?