December 8, 2016 at 5:31PM


lighting for bikini video lcd/kino/cfl/tumgsten HELP!

Hi everyone.

I am generally a photographer, but I have been asked by a friend to do several short video clips for a few swimsuit mdels for her sales website. So I am very concerned about skintones with constant lighting and I am pretty green (get it?) with the options. And I am not a pro wanting to spend $$. The room I shoot has mostly white walls, no ambient light and is about 30 feet by 30 feet, not a huge space

I had made a pretty cool compact 8 bulb fixture that fit into an umbrella brolly. using 100watt high CRI home depot bulbs. It is good with light amount, but I am worried about skintones. I haven't tried it for that much. But it looks like CFLs are on their way out. I cannot find inexpensive high CRI CFLs at a home depot. My bulbs will break over time, so the whole setup seems dated. I also used a magenta gel on them to possibly get out green, but I have not tested it on different skintones. I did do a "test" of this setup with a white balance card awhile back but I can't attach a photo here?? Whe I made this setup a few years ago I was basically trying to do what this guy was preaching.

I really like my cfl light setup but

Here are some options rolling in my head:
1) regular tungsten: I own some old setups, but I tried them and they have a hum, so I don't like them for video work. But the hotness is not a super issue because of the swimsuit model may be cold anyways. But buying 2 or 3 lights like Lowell or arri of this type may work at my location but it seems a lot for a single purpose. I would have to get some diffuser panels etc.. I did think of setting up the lights behind a large sheet of diffusive material to make a giant softbox concept. A guy is selling 2K mole fresnels fo $50 near me, a little big Thought I would bounce them off a wall then back through a large diffuser sheet for a glowing wall light?

2) kino flo: I can rent kino interview setup system for about $200 per week nearby. I have no experience in them or their skin tone performance. I think they are generally used without any diffusive material straight on the model. Again, the $ for one shoot makes me think about buying some LED panels.

3) LED: So I also have seen some cheap LED panels. Aputure Amaran HR672W Yongnuo YN600 . But I am concerned about skintone and light falloff. How far do they "throw" light? I do like the idea of portability. But I wanted to wait and see LED improve a bit more. I hoped I could use the CFLs setup I already have for awhile but now this bikini shoot puts it up in the air.

I know this topic is debated a lot. I would appreciate some input and take it easy on me and my inexperience please. Just trying to help out my friend with some video work without spending a lot of cash. Spending time with swimsuit models is kinda cool.

Any help is appreciated!


Why don't you light it with tungsten lights ? They have essentially perfect color ( CRI rating that is close to 100 ), they always make skin tones look great, and I'm guessing that the heat from the lights won't be a problem for your set-up. ( I own a 10 light Lowel kit that I use from time to time when LEDs or Fluorescents aren't the best fit )

December 8, 2016 at 7:39PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Also, I already own these 1K dynaphos lights, bought years ago with softboxes. Huge bulb over 1" dia base. Like these http://philadelphia-pa.americanliste..._28200981.html But they make a noticeable buzz noise. I let them run an hour but same noise. Any thoughts?

December 9, 2016 at 4:05AM, Edited December 9, 4:05AM


Agreed, my studio just changed to FL and LED (high end stuff, like $1,300+ per fixture) and even though white balance is the same, skin tones have an odd look to them. In the mean time, you can get a used open-faced or Fresnel kit for next to nothing right now, essentially the cost of the stands. Skin tones are warm but natural, no buzz, Fresnels have a lot more flexibility than you'd see in any "green" fixture.

The problem with fluorescent lights is that they only put out narrow spikes of color. White LEDs are better in that they put out a narrow spike of blue and a band of yellow that includes green and red, but they still don't have any cyan or deep reds. Tungsten, on the other hand, has a VERY broad band of yellow that extends into the blue range; no spikes or dips in the spectral response. I use tungsten even for still photography. If tungsten is buzzing, you have a problem with your power.

December 9, 2016 at 4:13AM, Edited December 9, 4:15AM


Why is buzz a problem? Most bikini/lingerie shots have music for sound anyway.

December 9, 2016 at 4:18AM, Edited December 9, 4:18AM


Hi Again!

Followup to my general question. Thanks for your input. I have decided to use my existing tungsten light softbox setup, with some improvements. The 1000W big bulbs all buzzed. So I got an insert for the fixture and changed to bulb to FEL.

As you can read in the BH reviews the big mogul bulbs do buzz. I don't know why they are sold. So my current setup seems fine and only cost about $50 to change over. And it is now more portable, I never wanted to try transporting the big bulbs.

Yes, I thought I might add music, but I was very frustrated by the buzz on the 1000W moguls.

So I have 3 1000W softboxes or open umbrellas to use.

My thoughts were just to have a two point light setup, one lower, shooting straight and further back (fill), one higher shooting down and closer (key). I am not looking for any dramatic lighting setup, just basically flat., but good for skintones Maybe some small incandescent lights for ambient in the background.

Any comments appreciated.


December 31, 2016 at 8:23AM


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