Is it possible to buy a starter portrait lighting equipment for under $500, so I can see how I do and get started. If so, could someone recommend any good equipment or websites. I eventually would like to get into glamour photography, of course with a basic set-up, i won't be shooting Maxim quality, but rather for friends and family and try to get some local clients. thanks for any help.
Yes, get work lights from Home Depot. Keep the bulbs covered to prevent injury from broken glass and reduce UV. Remember that hot lights crank out UV ...and they are HOT :)
Hard continuous light is a great way to learn - Im so glad I did some hot light work while being trained at RIT. Also, Lowell D lights are excellent - about $150 / light.
Buy used lighting gear? I would!
I thought about going this route - halogen lights with stands and so forth - but was concered about color cast. Is this a problem or am I needlessly concerned?
I you are using a digital camera, set it for 3200 K if you are able to. The ones I have test out at very closo to 3200 K via my Gossen color meter.
Exactly, custom white balance is your friend. Remember, they're hot lights, so the spectrum is continuous, so there will be no difficulty once you're calibrated. As the lights age, the temp might go down a touch, but that just means a bit more tonal warmth that can be balanced out if you don't care for it. Since you're shooting people, that extra warmth may be a positive attribute anyway.
Yes there is. I was in the camera shop in here in Tampa last week and discovered a flash kit by Patterson Photographic. It consists of two monolight flashes, stands and soft boxes. The price was $249 for the kit. Go to your local camera shops and check these out. Also pattersonphotographic.com
Try Ebay, there are some great deals. I bought a 3 light set with softboxes, stobes, remotes and drops for under $350. Not your top brands, but good as a starter.