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1.2 What You Need

In order to get started and follow along, you are going to need a few basic pieces of kit. In this lesson, you will learn about what gear will be used in this course and what essentials you need to get started. First let's talk about cameras. Any camera with full manual control and the ability to trigger a flash is going to work. Manual control is control over the aperture, the shutter speed or exposure time, and the ISO. So how do you know if your camera can trigger a flash? Well, let's see. Does it have a flash or PC sync port? Then it will work. Does it have a hot shoe? Then you're good to go. Does it have a built in flash with manual control? Any one of these will work, although the built in flash method can be a little bit tricky. You're gonna learn all about flash triggering in an upcoming lesson. The good news is that many, many cameras fit this criteria. Even my old Canon 300D from 2004 will work fine for an assignment like this. For this assignment, I'm going to use my Tamron 28 to 75 millimeter f2.8 lens on my Canon 7D body. This lens will give me the ability to compress my shot a little bit, because 28 millimeters on an APSC sensor is a little past the quote, unquote normal focal length or field of view. So it should work very well for that. To stabilize my camera, I'm gonna use a tripod in a ball head here. A ball head makes it fast and easy to get things level, and compose properly, but you could also use a pan tilt head or a gear head. You're also probably going to want some sort of backdrop for the photos, and this can be something as simple as a seamless paper backdrop, a fabric backdrop, or even a neutral colored wall, like white or gray. To light my products, I'm going to use strobes and speed lights with a few modifiers, and I'm gonna be triggering these flashes with pretty inexpensive radio triggers. For my modifiers, I'm gonna be using a 24x24 inch collapsible soft box. A 43 inch white shoot through umbrella and a few color filters or gels. I'm also going to be using a hand held light meter to set a flash output, and get my camera dialed in to the appropriate settings. For grip gear, you're gonna need a couple of stands for your lights, and a few short boom arms will definitely help to get things positioned around your products as well. You don't have to have the exact same gear that I'm going to use. In fact, you could pull off this shot with a lot of different pieces of kit. As long as you have some flashes, modifiers, stands, a tripod, and a camera, you should be good to go. You're going to learn more about the types of strobes and speed lights, and some flash basics later in this course. For now, you are ready to move on to the next chapter in this course, where you are going to learn about light metering.