Location lighting setup

Matt Greenwood

Staff member
Nov 19, 2019
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I've been slowly building up my location lighting setup ready to take on more portrait clients and maybe even some fashion/editorial projects of my own - thought I'd share where I am at the moment and see what everyone else uses.

The core of the setup will be a Godox AD400 Pro (Citi400 pro in the UK) with the Bowens S mount. Should be high enough wattage for the sort of thing I shoot, it's rare I'm trying to overpower the sun from any meaningful distance. Bowens S is just the sensible option as far as I can tell, flexibility and cost beat out the elinchrom/profoto lines IMO. To support the light (as well as the pretty big modifiers I'll be using) I've got my hands on a Trent monopod from 3-Legged-Thing that should do the job nicely, especially since it comes with feet for when my assistant needs to put it down. For when I don't have an assistant I've got a hefty C-stand but I'm wondering if there are any slightly less bulky/weighty options that don't sacrifice too much stability?

Supporting the main light are my Godox 580II speedlights (x2) and looking to get an AD200Pro (Citi200 Pro) as well for a nice middle-ground.

Modifier-wise I'm using a 41" easy-open "rice-bowl" softbox from Pixapro (a 16-side octabox) as my go-to, with a 35.4" deep umbrella for a more directional light. I've also got some old big softboxes to hand, but I doubt I'll be using them much. For the speedlights I'm using the basic MagMod setup - grids / gels / sphere diffuser.

I shoot mostly one-light setups with the occasional kicker, but if I need to expand I'd probably add another 400/200 pro to the kit.

Is there anything obvious I'm missing? What do you shoot with (or what would you LIKE to shoot with!)?
 

Artaius

Staff member
Nov 13, 2019
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www.digitalcameraworld.com
Sounds like a sound little setup! And the MagMods are absolutely brilliant for speed lights – what a wonderful invention that system is!

When I was working, our team had the luxury of being sponsored first by Elinchrom and then by Profoto, so it was a travesty of riches! Still, nothing beats Yongnuo speeds and a couple of modifiers for down and dirty shooting!

Possibly as a reaction to years of assisting and lugging kit around, I tend not to light on location much these days – and when I do, I travel as light as humanly possibly. It's usually Rotolight to the rescue!
 

Matt Greenwood

Staff member
Nov 19, 2019
26
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Totally agree - they're expensive as all hell if you look at them as just bits of plastic with magnets in them, but when you realise no-one else actually makes anything like it, you start to see the value! I shot a wedding with them at the tail end of last year and it was incredible how much faster I was, how much less I had to worry about bouncing and diffusing, and also how much more I was actually bothering to gel my lights.

Ahhh yes I can imagine the commercial world is an absolute treasure trove compared to the sole trader life haha! I've heard good things about the Rotolights, saw a couple of demos at last years Photography Show with the NEO 2 that got me thinking. I'm a big modifier kinda guy though so the lack of a big softbox put me off :')
 

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