Photo Recipes Live Gear Guide

Here you’ll find all the gear used in Scott Kelby’s Photo Recipes Live DVD/book. Everything is listed out by lesson, so just choose the lesson you want and you’ll find all the gear used in each one.

Scott uses the Nikon D300s with Really Right Stuff L-Plate attached throughout the video, and sometimes on a Gitzo GT3541XLS Carbon Fiber Tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Ballhead attached. The specific lenses will be listed in each lesson’s gear list.

We also use sandbags on our light stands throughout the video. These make the stands more stable, thus providing an added layer of safety. We generally use one or two 15-25 lb sandbags on each stand, depending on the weight of the light and modifier. When ordering sandbags, check to see if you’re ordering empties or ones that are pre-filled. It costs more to ship a 25 lb sandbag than an empty sandbag that will hold 25 lbs :).

And one last note before we get to the gear guide. Remember that it’s just that… A guide. The exact gear used in the video will be listed here, along with any specific gear that was mentioned but not necessarily used. But in the end, it all comes down to the basic principles discussed in the video. If you use a different brand of light, great! This guide is a starting point that lists the gear we use (and prefer), but that doesn’t mean you have to buy the exact same gear to pull off the shots from the video.

Now, on to the toys, er… gear!

Lesson 1: Window Light Portrait
Lesson 2: Couples Portrait
Lesson 3: Three Light Setup
Lesson 4: Clamshell Lighting, Part 1
Lesson 5: Clamshell Lighting, Part 2
Lesson 6: Shooting Food
Lesson 7: Shooting Flowers
Lesson 8: Location Shooting
Lesson 9: One Light Overhead
Lesson 10: Hard Lighting
Lesson 11: Landscapes
Lesson 12: Ring Flash
Lesson 13: Pano Shots
Lesson 14: Portrait Lighting
Lesson 15: Dramatic Portrait Look
Lesson 16: Product Shots


LESSON 1: Window Light Portrait

Lastolite Tri-Grip Diffuser, One Stop – 30″

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

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LESSON 2: Couples Portrait

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Lastolite Tri-Grip Reflector, Sunlite/Soft Silver – 30″

Westcott Spiderlite TD5 Large One Light Kit – This kit is all you need for this lesson, but if you want to pull off the shots from Lesson 16 too, you’ll want to get the kit listed there instead.

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LESSON 3: Three Light Setup

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Elinchrom 7″ Reflector Pan – You’ll need two of these, one for each of the lights in the back.

Elinchrom Honeycomb Grid – 30 Degrees – You’ll need two of these as well, one for each reflector pan.

Westcott 5×6′ Collapsible 2-in-1 Background – Black/White

Westcott Background Stand

Elinchrom Style 600RX Two Monolight Kit – This kit includes the Skyport triggering system (1 transmitter and 2 receivers) that is needed to fire the strobes.

Elinchrom Style 600RX Monolight – This is the third light needed for this setup.

Elinchrom Skyport Receiver – You’ll need this if you want to control the power of the third light from camera.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 27×27″

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need five stands for this setup – three for the lights, and two for the flags.

Matthews Flag – 18×24″ or Westcott Collapsible 18×24″ Flag Frame and Fabric – You’ll need two flags, one to block each of the lights behind your subject from firing into the camera.

Avenger Grip Head – You’ll need two of these to attach the flags to the light stands.

Avenger Extension Arm with Grip Head and Pin – This is what the front light is attached to in the video, but it’s not necessary for this setup.

Pocket Wizards – If you prefer not to use the Skyport system, you can use Pocket Wizards to fire your lights. You’ll need one for your camera, and preferably one for each of your lights. (And make sure you have the correct cables to connect the Pocket Wizards to your lights).

An explanation on wireless triggers – In order for your lights to fire when you click the shutter on your camera, there has to be some form of communication between them and your camera. That’s where wireless triggers come in. If you want each of your lights to fire reliably each and every time, you’ll want a receiver for each one. But most lights have optical triggers built in which detect flashes of light. This means you may be able to get away with just a trigger for your camera and a receiver for one of your lights. The other lights should be able to see the flash and fire at the same time, as long as they are in a position to do so.

So, here’s the bottom line – If you prefer to save money and don’t mind manually adjusting power on your lights, you may only need one receiver for one of your lights. If you prefer reliability and the convenience of adjusting the power of your lights from camera, you’ll want a Skyport receiver for each of your Elinchrom lights.

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LESSON 4: Clamshell Lighting, Part 1

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Westcott 5×6′ Collapsible 2-in-1 Background – Black/White

Westcott Background Stand

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need two stands for this setup – one for each of the lights.

Avenger Extension Arm with Grip Head and Pin – This setup is on each of the light stands. This allows you to put the lights right above and below your subject without having the stands in the picture. They also give added flexibility when positioning your lights to the correct position.

Sandbags – In addition to having sandbags on the base of the light stands, we have one 5 lb bag on the extension arm of the overhead light to give it even more stability by acting as a counterweight to the light and softbox. It’s always a good idea to do this when you have a light up high, and especially when the light is right above your subject. And here’s another tip… When you mount lights on extension arms, make sure the arm tightens on itself. This way if it starts to slip under the weight of the light, it stops itself.

Elinchrom Style 600RX Two Monolight Kit – This kit includes the Skyport triggering system (1 transmitter and 2 receivers) that is needed to fire the strobes.

Elinchrom BXRi 500 Two Monolight Kit – This is the kit with the built-in receivers. It also includes a transmitter, two 26×26″ Portalite softboxes, two light stands, and a case. Easily the best bang for your buck. If you purchase this kit, the Style 600RX Kit is not needed.

Westcott 30″ Silver/White Reflector – Use this to fill in the shadows on your subject’s face if you don’t have a second light.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 27×27″ – This is the softbox that’s on the overhead light.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 35.5×43″ – This is the softbox that’s used on the bottom light to fill in the shadows, but you do not need one this large. A smaller softbox (like the 27×27″ used overhead, or the ones that come in the BXRi kit) will work just fine.

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LESSON 5: Clamshell Lighting, Part 2

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need four stands for this setup – one for each of the lights and one for each flag.

Avenger Extension Arm with Grip Head and Pin – This setup is on each of the light stands. This allows you to put the lights right above and below your subject without having the stands in the picture. They also give added flexibility when positioning your lights to the correct position.

Elinchrom Style 600RX Two Monolight Kit – This kit includes the Skyport triggering system (1 transmitter and 2 receivers) that is needed to fire the strobes.

Elinchrom BXRi 500 Two Monolight Kit – This is the kit with the built-in receivers. It also includes a transmitter, two 26×26″ Portalite softboxes, two light stands, and a case. Easily the best bang for your buck. If you purchase this kit, the Style 600RX Kit is not needed.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 35.5×43″ – This is the softbox used on the light behind your subject to give a pure white background.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 27×27″ – This is the softbox used on the front overhead light.

Matthews Apple Box (Full) – Scott uses two half boxes in the video because that’s what was available at the studio, but one full box will be a bit sturdier.

Westcott 30″ Silver/White Reflector – Use this to fill in the shadows on your subject’s face.

Matthews Flag – 18×24″ or Westcott Collapsible 18×24″ Flag Frame and Fabric – You’ll need two flags for this setup.

Avenger Grip Head – You’ll need two of these to attach the flags to the light stands.

Cheetah Stand

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LESSON 6: Shooting Food

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need one for this setup if you use a strobe instead of a window.

Elinchrom BXRi 500 with 7″ Reflector Pan and Honeycomb Grid – If you don’t have a window to use as a main light, you can use this setup instead.

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter – You’ll need this to trigger the strobe if you use a strobe instead of a window.

Westcott Spiderlite TD5 Large One Light Kit – This is the fill light to help eliminate shadows.

Small Mirrors – Head down to your local pharmacy or Walmart and look for small, adjustable tabletop mirrors to use as reflectors to highlight the food.

Nikon Micro 105mm f/2.8 – This is a macro lens, which is what is discussed toward the end of the lesson.

Westcott 30″ Silver/White Reflector

Lastolite 12″ Circular Silver/White Reflector – This isn’t the exact small one used in the video, but very similar.

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LESSON 7: Shooting Flowers

Nikon Micro 105mm f/2.8 – The lens used in the video is the Nikon 70-180mm f/4.5-5.6 Micro, but it’s no longer available. The 105mm f/2.8 micro is as close as you’re going to get with a lens that is currently available.

Westcott 5×6′ Collapsible 2-in-1 Background – Black/White

Westcott Background Stand

Nikon Remote Trigger Release – This is the one used in the video, but you’ll want to check your camera manual to find the one that works best for you.

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LESSON 8: Location Shooting

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Lastolite TriGrip Diffuser, One Stop 30″

An assistant :)

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LESSON 9: One Light Overhead

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Westcott 5×6′ Collapsible 2-in-1 Background – Black/White

Westcott Background Stand

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need one stand for this setup.

Avenger Extension Arm with Grip Head and Pin – This allows you to put the light right above your subject without having the stand in the picture.

Elinchrom Style 600RX Monolight

Elinchrom Skyport Receiver – You’ll need to attach this to the light to trigger and control it.

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter – You’ll need this to trigger the light.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 27×27″ – This is the softbox that’s on the overhead light.

Sandbags – In addition to having sandbags on the base of the light stands, we have one 5 lb bag on the extension arm of the overhead light to give it even more stability by acting as a counterweight to the light and softbox. It’s always a good idea to do this when you have a light up high, and especially when the light is right above your subject. And here’s another tip… When you mount lights on extension arms, make sure the arm tightens on itself. This way if it starts to slip under the weight of the light, it stops itself.

Westcott 30″ Silver/White Reflector

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LESSON 10: Hard Lighting

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Westcott 5×6′ Collapsible 2-in-1 Background – Black/White

Westcott Background Stand

Westcott Spiderlite TD5 Large One Light Kit

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LESSON 11: Landscapes

Gitzo GT3541XLS Carbon Fiber Tripod

Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Ballhead

Nikon D300s with Really Right Stuff L-Plate – This is the camera shown in the video, but you’ll want to use a full-frame camera like the Nikon D700 or your preferred brand’s equivalent to get the best results.

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8

Nikon Remote Trigger Release – This is the one used in the video, but you’ll want to check your camera manual to find the one that works best for you.

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LESSON 12: Ring Flash Adapter

Nikon SB-900 – We use the SB-800 in the video, but it’s been discontinued.

Ray Flash

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8

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LESSON 13: Pano Shots

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 – This is the lens shown in the video, but make sure you shoot it closer to the 70mm length than the 24mm length.

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LESSON 14: Portrait Lighting

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need two stands for this setup – one for the light and one for the flag.

Elinchrom Style 600RX Monolight

Elinchrom Skyport Receiver – You’ll need to attach this to the light to trigger and control it.

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter – You’ll need this to trigger the light.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 27×27″

Matthews Flag – 18×24″ or Westcott Collapsible 18×24″ Flag Frame and Fabric – You’ll need one flag for this setup.

Avenger Grip Head – You’ll need one of these to attach the flag to the light stand. The extension arm shown in the video is not necessary for this setup.

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LESSON 15: Dramatic Portrait Look

Westcott 5×6′ Collapsible 2-in-1 Background – Black/White

Westcott Background Stand

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Elinchrom Style 600RX Two Monolight Kit – This kit includes the Skyport triggering system (1 transmitter and 2 receivers) that is needed to fire the strobes.

Elinchrom BXRi 500 Two Monolight Kit – This is the kit with the built-in receivers. It also includes a transmitter, two 26×26″ Portalite softboxes, two light stands, and a case. Easily the best bang for your buck. If you purchase this kit, the Style 600RX Kit is not needed.

Manfrotto 368B Light Stand – This is a basic but sturdy light stand. You don’t have to get this exact one, but you’ll need three stands for this setup – two for the lights, and one for the flag.

Avenger Extension Arm with Grip Head and Pin – This is what the front light is attached to in the video, but it’s not necessary for this setup.

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 35.5×43″

Elinchrom Rotalux Strip Bank – 14×35″

Matthews Flag – 18×24″ or Westcott Collapsible 18×24″ Flag Frame and Fabric – You’ll need one flag for this setup.

Avenger Grip Head – You’ll need one of these to attach the flag to the light stand.

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LESSON 16: Product Shots

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

White Seamless Paper – 53″ x 12 yds

Black Gaffer Tape – 2″ x 10 yds

Westcott Scott Kelby Studio Kit – This is the one used in the lesson (plus it comes with the pop-up background and stand). Or you can buy the…

Westcott Spiderlite TD5 Ultimate Daylight Kit – This includes the strip bank that is mentioned in this lesson, which could be handy if you’re primarily photographing products. And this kit comes with the bulbs :)

Clear Plexiglass – 9.5×11.5x.25″ – The size of plexiglass you’ll need will vary depending on the product you’re shooting.

Foam Core Boards

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