I need to make some shots of headwear for a website. Pictures are basically something put on the dummy head. I don't need super-professional pictures but I want something reasonably good, better than the built-in flash. The dummy head looks horrible and you have net shadow on the wall.

I managed to fluke some decent 3-point lighting pictures with just household lamps, but it's really hard to replicate, and, as I use cheap and weak lamps, I need to wait for the night to be in the dark, etc...

So, as it's for business, even though I'm a beginner, I thought I could invest a bit in buying more professional stuff. I'm torn between either buying a good quality hotshoe flash to do off-camera shots or a professional lighting kit, (I'm thinking either a Nikon SB-700 or Interfit EXD200), both being around £300.

From what I've read, it seems that a good hotshoe flash is the basic to have (and so the first thing to invest in), whereas a ligthing kit seems to be more what I need for this particular task.

Any recommendations?


1 Answer 1


The most foolproof approach would be to buy a TTL flash such as the SB-700, use the flash on camera but swivel the head to point at a white ceiling, place the dummy in front of a plain wall, set the camera to shutter priority, flash on auto and snap away.

The above will give you a very flat, soft flattering light with no hard shadows. If you want (or need) a more dramatic, angled or sculpted light then the studio starter kit would be better. Operation would be more complicated as you'd have to use the camera in manual mode, position the lights appropriately, set the correct power levels and find a way to trigger the lights (there's no PC sync on the D40 so you can't simply plug the lights in).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't I use the built-in flash to trigger the off-camera flashs or lights ? \$\endgroup\$
    – mb14
    Jul 9, 2012 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would prefer manual to auto, because I have a couple of pictures to do, and I would like them to all look the same, whilst spending as less time as possible in post-production \$\endgroup\$
    – mb14
    Jul 9, 2012 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mb14 apparently the interfit lights have an optical slave so you should be able to trigger them using your built in flash. If you have no problems with going full manual then the studio lights sound like a good solution for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Jul 9, 2012 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going for the studio lights \$\endgroup\$
    – mb14
    Jul 11, 2012 at 11:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mb14 excellent - good luck! \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Jul 11, 2012 at 12:19

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