I had researched lighting for digital photography and read that halogen lights are an affordable alternative to pricey lighting. I'm experimenting with it and my opinion so far is that the light quality is much better than what I had, but maybe because of the brand I have my set up needs tweaking.
I guess the main question is 'Would I buy a work light again?' Absolutely. It may need a little tweaking and care for safety, but IMHO it is very worth it.
If you're seriously into setting up the perfect light, then this is not the place to be (I am no pro lol) ;o)
It has 1000W (two 500watt halogen bulbs) & it looks like this:
This lighting is for still life photography, not for portraiture. Models will sweat under it (and not like you much) Apparently the tube-style light bulb gives a funny glare to their eyes and dilates pupils more (though you can bounce the lights off of reflectors so they're indirect.)
One consideration is that not all halogen light is the same tone; some are whiter. The brand of fixture and/or bulbs you choose can make a difference, but I find it worth experimenting.
- Having some lighting frees you up to take pictures at night or in less than sunny weather...
- It can make a big difference in your photos. Images will be more in focus & brighter (without the glare of a flash)
- A light box or just few pieces of white cardstock around your photo makes all the difference (reflects the light nicely)
- It's affordable. This one was $40.00 Canadian
- The stand on this one adjusts to almost 6 feet. You can get 500w with no stand for around $10.00 each
- You can angle the lights
- You should be able to find it at any hardware store (or the garage if you already have one)
- It seems to offer true colour (better, less yellow than regular incandescent household bulbs anyhow)
- You can correct colour cast or white balance in Photoshop (see tutorial below if you'd like)
- You can bounce the light off of the ceiling for indirect lighting (though I found this wasn't bright enough for me)
- It pulls a lot of power (not eco-friendly) but you hopefully only need it for short periods of time. (I'd never leave it on or plugged in at any rate)
- It gets hot (though it says it has "heat resistant tempered glass," I wouldn't want to touch it & test the theory.)
- The cages which help protect against injury & potential fire hazard leave shadows in your photos.
- I would not use this around children or animals
Some stuff I wanna try:
DIY lightbox with Halogen lights
Apparently, you can buy dimmer controls to adjust the output
Muslin photography background
Using colour balance in Photoshop
White balance in Photoshop
Hope that helps you with your lighting;
I let you know in my fumbling research if I learn anything useful,