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Equipment Overview

Lesson 5 from: Film Photography with Strobe Lighting

Sandra Coan

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Lesson Info

5. Equipment Overview

Lesson Info

Equipment Overview

So the next thing you need to know, the first thing you need to know to get started shooting film, with studio lighting is you have to understand this whole shutter speed business. The next thing you just need to know is what equipment you need. That's the question I get all the time. I get emails from people or people asking me on Instagram; where do I get started? What is the equipment that I need to do this? So I'm a big believer and you don't actually need a ton of equipment. You don't even actually need a studio. That's the other question I get all the time, it's like oh, I would love to use lighting, I would love to bring strobes into my work but I don't have a studio and you don't have to. You really don't. So everything I do, everything I share, I shoot with one light, one light modifier, and one stand. That's it, it's nothing fancy, it's not a lot of equipment. So this is the bare bones if you're going to do this and you want to go out and get yourself a little set up. This is...

what you need you need. You need a stand to put your stuff on. Unless you want to hold it. You need a camera, obviously. You need a strobe unit or a flash and we're going to talk about that. You need a radio trigger and a receiver. You need a light modifier and you need an external light meter. So that's all you need. So for the next few minutes what I wanna do is I want to walk through and then just go through point by point each of these pieces of equipment exactly what you need. Exactly what to look for so you know what to buy and then I'm gonna show you how to get it all ready so that its all ready to work with your film cameras and then we're actually gonna put all those pieces together and set it up here in the studio, alright. So let's do this easy. Stands. Stand this is the easiest one. Out of all of these. So all you really need to know about your stand, looking for a stand. All you really need to know is that you want to make sure that it is steady and stable. Depending on the kind of lights you use, the kind of modifier you use. Sometimes they can be really heavy or they can be really light. So when you're choosing a stand you just wanna make sure its sturdy enough to hold your equipment. You wouldn't, you don't wanna have something that then just falls over every time. You might wanna invest in a couple sand bags if you do have a lighter stand then you can put around the bottom just to give him a little bit of weight. Then look at the environment that you shoot in, like what kind of where what are you on location are you going into people's homes. I have a woman I know who took one of my studio lighting classes years ago and she works in Manhattan and she's running up and down flights of stairs all the time you know with all of her studio equipment. So she obviously didn't want something super heavy. Yeah and so she got these cute little stands that fold up and are super light. So you just got a look at what your needs are. The stands I have in my studio actually have on wheels and I think some of them here Creative Live are like that too. But which is great for me because I'm in the studio so I can easily move them around and make little adjustments when I want to. I'm not packing them up on my back and going up flights of stairs, so I can do that. So really that's all you need to know about a stand. Make sure it meets your needs and make sure it's heavy enough that it's gonna hold your equipment safely. Cameras, like I said, any film camera you have is going to be compatible with lights. Which I guess sounds kind of obvious but I just like to say that and to remind people that photographers were using studio lighting for years before for like many years before digital cameras came on the scene. So any camera you have is going to be made to be compatible with lighting in some way. Now how it's done is little different so I just wanna walk you through that real quick and talk about the different ways that different cameras have to get hooked up with lighting.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Discount Codes from Richard Photo Lab
Studio Gear List
Color Film Stock Exposure Tests
Black & White Film Stock Exposure Tests
Great Photo Labs
Noritsu Frontier Comparison

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Wow! with a lot of online stuff out there one can become rather overcome with too much information, however, the way Sandra presents her courses is just perfect! Her honest and simple and easy to understand approach was just what I needed. Not once did I think she was just going through the motions, she really loves what she does and it shows. To be able to rewatch and rewatch was also a key for me. Since I have dyslexia I have to take things one half step at a. time. After completion of the class I had a new found confidence when using strobes. A must have.

Micah Hewett Images

Out of all the classes I own on Creative Live, Strobe Lighting with Sandra is my FAVORITE! She is an incredibly kind and gifted teacher. She explains everything on a simple level and then gradually build to more complex issues. I am 100% happy with this course. Thank you Sandra!!


Do you own a film camera? Then you NEED this class. I knew I *kind of* wanted to try shooting with a strobe, so I bought this class as some encouragement. But honestly, I half expected to do the class and not actually buy the strobe (because strobes are scary!). But as soon as I finished this class I IMMEDIATELY bought a strobe, umbrella modifier, a backdrop, and seamless paper (in Storm Grey because I basically want to be Sandra.) I felt so empowered to shoot with strobes and film and suddenly what had seemed terrifying now seemed doable. My very first test roll turned out great after following Sandra's easy tips. Now that we're in the winter months, I can shoot indoors with my film camera and strobe! Thank you, Sandra, for so generously sharing your knowledge with us and for being such a great teacher! And to anyone even remotely considering this class, DO IT. There's no way you'll regret it.

Student Work