Re: battery powered flood light for photographing grave stones
- From: Vance <vance.lear@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 10:50:32 -0700 (PDT)
On Oct 16, 4:55 pm, John <john.ya...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I am photographing old grave stones. Often I am at the mercy of where
the sun is. And sometimes I need to work with shadows to bring out the
faded, worn inscriptions.
I'm thinking a battery powered flood light would be a great help. I'm
new to the practice of subject lighting. What would knowledgeable
people here suggest for technique and products?
Sometimes spraying the stone with water helps. And although there are
pros and cons, chalking them is another technique (which I try not to
use). Tracings are another. But I'm looking to do the best with
If the scenario is that you are shooting a single grave marker of
whatever type, you can probably get by with a portable flash off
camera on a stand, a diffusion panel of about 4' x 4' and a white
bounce of about the same 4' x 4' size. That would be very flexible
and should handle everything from directly backlit to any other
position of the Sun. The caveat is that you will have to learn
something about lighting.
However, the simpler your images are in concept the less concerned you
need to be about the lighting. For example, if you are basically
documenting the grave markers and want to reveal texture, then set
your lights between 45 degrees and 60 degress to the subject and get
your exposure right, makes notes and just keep repeating the setup.
If the flash to subject distance and the flash's power setting remain
the same, the exposure will remain the same.
If you are going for something more interpretive, such as establishing
a mood and the context of the surrounding graveyard is important, then
you will have to learn how to light . No two ways about it.
You can power hotlights on location a lot cheaper than has been
mentioned by either mounting a DC to AC converter that is powerful
enough to run your light continuously to your vehicle, or you can buy
a sealed gel battery and converter and put something together if your
handy that way. I don't recommend hotlights for several reasons, some
already mentioned, but a big one is that they aren't as flexible to
use as flashes are and it would be very hard to do something like
overpower daylight to get exactly the look you want with them.
However, if you are doing simple shots (and that is not a
disparagement, just a qualification on what's involved) they could
work fine for you.
A 1000W DC/AC converter runs somewhere between $100-$300 USD depending
on things like whether it includes a charger and it produces a sine
wave, or something like a sine wave. If you have a battery charger
for a 12v lead/acid battery you won't need one with you charger and if
you are not going to be powering electronics like computers, TV's and
such, you don't need a sine wave.
A flash that will do what you want if you are concentrating on single
grave markers can be gotten for something between $75-$150 USD.
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