Quote Originally Posted by blansky
I guess we can agree to disagree. However I didn't say you could learn without modeling lights????????. I said I wouldn't recomment it.
I learned portraiture on some crap lights that I wouldn't recommend to anyone. I have used most light that are on the market (including Dynalites which I also love) but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them to someone who asked the question about a basic in home studio setup.
The original question was a basic lighting setup, not how cheaply can I scab something together.
I, and don't wish him to have to relive the mistakes I made when I started out.
True - you weren't quite that intense in "advising against". I mis-interpreted the "absoluteness" in your reply. I've *gotta* quit trying to write when I'm tired and under stress. My apologies.

I go back to the days when #5 flashbulbs were in use, and capacitor discharge flash units were the cuttting edge of lighting. It was a wonderfullly sophisticated trick to "bounce" to soften the light. All studio work - well most - other than those who had direct access to Croesus and could afford "electronic flash units" - was done with #2 floodlamps ... aptly named "Hot Lights" when used in an attic loft in August.

My first efforts with "mutiple flash" units were magnificent improvements over the single flash, bounced, reflected and whatever ... nothing like "discouraging results" that would drive me from photography. I am confident that the neophyte who "Cheaply scabs something together" or tries a "jerry rigged junk lighting set up" (rather sharp characterizations ... I'd prefer "innovative"), would still be immediately impressed by that improvement. "Save money in the long run" - well, OK, but I think a spare flash unit is a good thng to have anyway.

While I wouldn't WANT others to relive the mistakes I've made over the years either - I wouldn't want them to miss the myriad bright 'discoveries" that accompanied them.

I did not mean to give the impression that I wade through many, many polaroids - I don't. I think I have a few more or less "standard" setups I use as the occasion requires - and check camera-synch operation, exposure, lighting ratios (more or less), stray reflections ... I don't know what all ... with the Polaroid back.
One more useful tool - without question in my mind - is a good "flash meter".

One other useful instruction tool - and I do this where I get my hair cut - at the same hairdressers my wife visits... loyalty to a girl who started on her own by visiting our house, some 40 years ago... Is to study the photography in the "hairdressing publications" and the Fashion magazines. The eye has some of the same reflective properties as a spherical Christmas tree ornament... and a through a study of the patterns reflected there, can reveal a great deal of information about the lighting setup ... one can see umbrellas, soft boxes ... occasionally the reflection of the photographer in front of a very large softbox..
Most of the photographers in these publications have *one* particular set-up that they use a LOT ... and they can often be identified by the unique eye reflections.