I am a novice photographer and im interested in purchasing a begginers lighting set up. i dont want to spend too much but dont want to buy junk. Any suggestions where i should start and what is a good starter set up
I would suggested coming into store to discuss continuous lighting or flash, as it will really depend on what you are doing. A great good value for money starter kit is the Elinchrom D-lite 4 Kit (advertised to right for $879) Twin Head, 400W with everything you need to get started. Fotobestway and Boweens also have kits for around the same price
I would recomend learning to shoot with normal flash guns (The decision on lighting within photography is huge continuous lighting does have pro's and con's) As you are learning stay with the flash guns and learn about exposure levels and power levels
If you are not too sure check youtube out and search for either thatnikonguy or jaredPolin (froknowsphoto).
If you are a Canon or Nikon user--then your inluck as most flashes can then be controlled by pocket wizards that use radio signals to trigger off camera flashes--where as if you use your on-camera flash to trigger the wireless flash you do get issues with miss fires. (flash guns not seeing the controller flash from the on-camera flash)
If you are a pentax or sony user (Don't loose hope) --they do have pocket wizards available (I have been told there are pocket wizards that are universal sync) just make sure your flash gun has a sync socket to connect to the pocket wizard receiver.
Then all you need to do is buy light-stand and another hurdle (A softbox or Umbrella) AAARRGG!!!! more decissions.
Hope this helps: