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Thread: Lighting and Focus

  1. #1

    Default Lighting and Focus

    Hi.

    I've been having some trouble dealing with lightning and focusing. I've been wanting to take a picture with only the subject being lighted up, while the background and everything else is engulfed in darkness, but even after playing with metering and the flash, I can't seem to do it.

    So would anyone be able to give me a simple setup for lets say, an apple or something, just so I can understand the concept of it?

    Also, the same thing with focus, is it possible to have the subject focused very sharply, while everything else (in a circle around the subject) is blur? I know depth of field would work, but wouldn't it only if theres distance between all the elements of the picture?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    That's how people shoot macros. With a small aperture, low ISO and fast shutter while using a powerful flash. That renders the background totally dark while the subject is well lit. As for the second point, distance is important, or you may choose to use a lensbaby if you wanted a circular blur all around.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Astley View Post
    Hi.

    I've been having some trouble dealing with lightning and focusing. I've been wanting to take a picture with only the subject being lighted up, while the background and everything else is engulfed in darkness, but even after playing with metering and the flash, I can't seem to do it.

    So would anyone be able to give me a simple setup for lets say, an apple or something, just so I can understand the concept of it?

    Also, the same thing with focus, is it possible to have the subject focused very sharply, while everything else (in a circle around the subject) is blur? I know depth of field would work, but wouldn't it only if theres distance between all the elements of the picture?

    Thank you.
    Sounds like what you need to do is learn Photoshop.
    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    Yeeaah Photoshop.

    Heh. After checking a couple of threads about tutorials with photoshop, I still find myself pretty confused, would photoshop be able to solve my problems though?

    And thanks tSkye, for some reason, even on manual mode, my camera wouldn't let me set my shutter speed faster than 1/200s, and even with the aperture at f29, the image still comes out quite bright, background and all.
    Last edited by Astley; 3rd March 2008 at 06:38 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    get a black velvet cloth, put a apple on it, use manual exposure mode, go very close and meter the whole apple (fill the whole frame with apple), and recompose your framing, use the same metering reading to shoot the apple with black velvet, the black velvet will be rather black and the apple should exposed correctly.

    if you didn't get the result what I've described, go and read some basic photography books from national library.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Astley View Post
    Yeeaah Photoshop.

    Heh. After checking a couple of threads about tutorials with photoshop, I still find myself pretty confused, would photoshop be able to solve my problems though?

    And thanks tSkye, for some reason, even on manual mode, my camera wouldn't let me set my shutter speed faster than 1/200s, and even with the aperture at f29, the image still comes out quite bright, background and all.
    from what you've written here, you should go and read more about basic photography first.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    Thanks for the input, yeah I think I ought to head to the library to get a couple of books.

    Any titles I should be looking out for?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Astley View Post
    And thanks tSkye, for some reason, even on manual mode, my camera wouldn't let me set my shutter speed faster than 1/200s, and even with the aperture at f29, the image still comes out quite bright, background and all.
    u cant go faster than 1/200s cos that's probably the max x-sync speed for the flash.
    and using f/29 isnt going to help with the background blur.
    EOS 6D | GH4 | LX100 | HERO4

  9. #9

    Smile Re: Lighting and Focus

    i find amphoto series educational.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astley View Post
    Thanks for the input, yeah I think I ought to head to the library to get a couple of books.

    Any titles I should be looking out for?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lighting and Focus

    F29, 1/200 and everything's still bright? Are you using low ISO? Are you shooting the sun?

    Basically, the flash to ambience ratio should be so large that only the subject that is hit by the flash would appear lit, the rest will just be shrouded in darkness.

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