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Thread: Newbie studio photography

  1. #1

    Default Newbie studio photography

    Hello fellow clubsnappers,
    I'm considered quiet new into photography, considering only 1 year into this hobby. I would like to know from you guys, what are the most basic studio set up that you guys use for a family portrait . I like to photograph lights so this portrait photography thing is kind of new to me so that I would like to give it a try. My current equipment is a Nikon D3000 with a Sigma 28-200 and also a YN560. I was wondering if all the reflectors and diffusers that are sold in camera shops are really a need in this photography...
    To give you guys a a I'll info of what I like to shoot, Khai Photography is where I store my photos.
    Hopefully I get to embark on this new journey of mine with your tips and guidance .
    Sorry if I have offended anyone in this post and thank you for your response

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    A single flash unit or strobe is sufficient to get started. From what you mentioned in your equipment list, it's more than enough. Reflectors or light modifiers are not a need to shoot studio photography but advanced users would require them to get better results or in a creative point of view. Googling for "HowTo" sites is a good start.

    Here are some:
    Studio Photography guide and tips from Photo.net
    Portrait Photography guide and tips from Photo.net


    Do not be afraid to ask. You won't offend anyone here unless you ask stupid questions

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    For studio, one speedlight (mounted on your camera) is enough, but if you notice that your photos are abit flat, then you are ready for more.

    For a start, try using the flash off-camera, you may need a tripod/lightstand and some remote control. As a general guideline, position the flash at a 45 degrees angle but in reality will depend on many other factors. Experiment it yourself and you might just get a result that suit your style. See if your friends can lend you their flashes and you can get more variation of results. I believe the flashes need not be of the same brand/manufacturer..
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  4. #4

    Default

    So the equipment i have is sufficient but the shot depends on my own creativity? Thanks for replying btw

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Default

    How many family members are going to be in the photo? Can't give proper advice unless we know the shooting conditions. Describe your subjects and shooting location as much as you can.

    No I won't say it's solely limited to your creativity. It's limited by what you have on hand, what knowledge / experience you have and what you find to be acceptable quality. I'll go into this more when you've answered the above.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    hello foxtwo,
    there will be about 3-5 people in the photo shoot, parents, grandparents and a baby.
    i was offered by my teacher to take a family portrait of her and her family for me to gain experience and start with her family.
    the equipment i have is stated above, sigma 28-200, D3000 and also a YN560. I've been practicing with still objects such as shades and watches..
    although its not the same with people, i'm just trying to work with the light that i have. for EG :
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FacEgwkugE...0/DSC_2526.JPG
    experience in shooting more to landscape like buildings, sunset, scenery and i love playing with lights.
    but i hate photoshop.
    thanks for the replies for those who previously commented

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by khaicam
    hello foxtwo,
    there will be about 3-5 people in the photo shoot, parents, grandparents and a baby.
    i was offered by my teacher to take a family portrait of her and her family for me to gain experience and start with her family.
    the equipment i have is stated above, sigma 28-200, D3000 and also a YN560. I've been practicing with still objects such as shades and watches..
    although its not the same with people, i'm just trying to work with the light that i have. for EG :
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FacEgwkugE...0/DSC_2526.JPG
    experience in shooting more to landscape like buildings, sunset, scenery and i love playing with lights.
    but i hate photoshop.
    thanks for the replies for those who previously commented
    well, shooting human n objects are kinda different.. where would you be shooting? any natural light?
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  8. #8

    Default

    Will be shooting at my place, just my room light , most probably shooting at night. A white cloth hanging from my window grills.. The windows closed..

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    I think it helps if you are experimenting all these with ur friends. Speeds up your learning. It helps to understand the basic lighting concepts first. Read some webbies that writes about off mount flash. Get the idea how it works and then move on. If you do all these with your friends, it can be really fun and can help each other to understand.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi TS, if u had seen commercial photogs take grp portraits before, u may notice that their lights, if any, are usually off the camera. U may want to check out http://strobist.blogspot.com as a starting point to your light adventure! Lights are really fun to experiment with, so hope your portraits turn out ok!

    Oh maybe i'd like to point out. U may want to take into consideration the working space u have when u use a lens, not just about the distortion and perspective. Much is to be said for a photog who ends up struggling back against the wall coz his lens is too narrow!
    naheuy|A7|A77
    naheuy photography

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    Is your room light at 5500K? If not you'll have trouble mixing your flash in. Anyway, to balance with room light your shutter speed will be fairly low, if your subjects can hold still for the amount of time then good but the normal reaction is to hold still for the flash and only then. Unless tethered to a monitor screen you might not spot the slight head movements or facial expressions / blinking. The light is situated above their heads as well, directly overhead in fact. If you understand lighting then you'll realise it's not very useful for portraits, because it's not lighting up the important parts and at the same time creating shadow in important parts. It is best used as a fill, but given the previous reasons, not a reasonable one. My advice is not to mix the two, if you must, (strong not overcast) sunlight is a better option.

    For portraiture off-camera flash is desired. If possible "event style" / on-camera (hotshoe) is best avoided. And typically at least 2 to 5 flash units are used. Just 1 is hard because it will not provide fill to shadow areas, and in addition if you don't have a softbox / umbrella to diffuse & spread the light evenly you are very limited in usage. If direct is too harsh, then the reasonable alternative is to bounce. But where to bounce? Ceiling will pretty much replicate where your ceiling light is hitting. The wall means 1 side of the face will be in shadow, not a big issue if only 1 subject but 3-5? If you bounce the chances are the flash will be at full power, by the time the diffused light reaches the subjects you might not even have enough to shoot with.

    There's many different styles to shoot with, you need to see & understand what light is and how it interacts. Light does not simply light but it determines the direction and mood. Is harsh light suitable for a family portrait or a rock band? However in the end you can still do what you like, we all need to work with what we have on hand at times (or all the time).

  12. #12

    Default

    Hi, how do i know if my light is 5500K? Is it at the bulb its self? Yeah and im planning i have a go on my friends before the real thing. Currently saving up for bg and softbox.. Thanks guys or your responses. It would really help me.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    Quote Originally Posted by khaicam View Post
    Hi, how do i know if my light is 5500K? Is it at the bulb its self? Yeah and im planning i have a go on my friends before the real thing. Currently saving up for bg and softbox.. Thanks guys or your responses. It would really help me.
    Bulb packaging should have that info. Alternatively shoot in RAW while ensuring the main light is the light you want measured. So in the room shoot at night or with the windows covered in day time. In the RAW converter you can see the WB rating. To balance with flash you want 5000K to 5500K.

    Just spring for the softbox gear first, background leave it till later or don't even bother at all. It's a big investment unless you will use it regularly. If you have space constrains it'll have to be set up and dismantled every time. A family portrait (if full body) will require 9ft roll, that's $80 per roll per color. If you live in HDB/condo it will not fit into the lift. Don't expect to go on-location shoots with it unless you have assistant. It can still fit into a sedan car like the Toyota Corolla front dashboard to boot, but nothing shorter. Since you're just trying out use the natural environment or walls first.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie studio photography

    still cant find the 5500K thing. i shall shoot in raw than.. ill continue saving up for the bg and other lighting. thank you again

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