Due to the lack of owning or having access to a photography-equipped studio at the moment, I mostly rely on the outdoors for my portraiture shooting. However, although the sun is both a good source of light (if used properly with shadows and white boards) and the cheapest, it is always affected by the weather and its direction cannot be controlled. Thus, in order better increase my own control of light sources and my skills as photographer, I need to find a cheap and inexpensive way setup a small studio space wherever I go.
PT-04 Remote Flash Trigger
Because I already I have two flashes already, a Sunpak 444D and unnamed two-battery flash (that is quite decent) inherited from my friend and found in my house, respectively, my most desired concern is getting my flash off camera. Enter the PT-04 Remote Flash Trigger (aka poverty triggers).
These flash triggers arenít pocket wizards by any stretch (I can barely by the transceiver with my current cash), but so far they do job that the supposed to; fire the strobe when I click the shutter. I heard about these babies on another photography site, Strobist (amongst other useful tips), and there were a few user complaints about their range and flash fire efficiency, only about 20-30 meters, four channels, and some inconsistent flashes. But for me, the flashes have fired perfectly fine, I just have to remember how long my flashes take to recharge after ever shot and change the batteries out of the flash units every 30 minutes or so.
There roughly $30 to $40 and can be found on Ebay.com.
Botero #023 Grey 5′ x 7′ Collapsible Background
Also discovered after reading Strobist, this portable backdrop was brought out of necessity for an upcoming photo shoot for the Lehman College Pep Rally. It is nothing to fancy and a bit difficult to close back up, so it will take you a few times until you figure out how to do it. There are bit of wrinkles along the edges that could possible be removed by spraying water and letting it air out. I have tired it yet, so I get back on that when I do.
It costs $65 and can be found at bhphotovideo.com.
Combine these with a couple of light stands, umbrella brackets, and umbrellas and a portable studio can be carried in your arms for nearly $200 ($300 if you donít have any flashes). All in all, I am looking forward to expand my photography with these things for a while until I can afford more, especially for the cost.