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Thread: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

  1. #1
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    Default Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Hey guys, I've recently been asked to shoot some half-body portraits for a particular new club in my school since I've been involved with helping them set it up.

    The photoshoot's on Tuesday, but since I had all my gear down today and had some spare time, I set it up before-hand and shot a few test exposures.

    Photograph is uneditted.



    Gear used was a 400D + 70-200 2.8IS with ebay triggers.

    In case the following light diagram doesn't work, i'll post the settings here:

    Key Light - 430EXII (not 580EXII sorry) @ 1/2 power, 24mm zoom, 2m up, 30* downwards from horizon, shoot-through umbrella

    Background Light - 580EXII (not 430EXII sorry) @ 1/4 power, 105mm zoom, blue-filters



    Note: flashes switched. Correct exposure is 1/100 not 1/200.

    I quite like the look of the photographs that I shot. I need the lighting and pose to be standardised, so unless anyone offers suggestions as to how I can improve it with the gear that I have, I'll try it out.

    My problem is the upper left hand corner of the frame. My key light is spilling into the background due to the 24mm. I don't want to make the key light any tighter because I like the even spread of light I'm getting. I've heard of the term 'using a flag' to control spill, but I'm not sure how to use it. I have another cardboard that I can ask someone to hold while shooting.

    Cheers,
    Zexun
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  2. #2

    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    get someone to hold the cardboard and stand on the left side of the key light to block excess light from spilling onto the background. when using a umbrella, it is alot harder to control the light spill than a soft box.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by flipfreak View Post
    get someone to hold the cardboard and stand on the left side of the key light to block excess light from spilling onto the background. when using a umbrella, it is alot harder to control the light spill than a soft box.
    Noted with thanks.

    So I get someone to hold the flag (another 1.5m black cardboard) as shown by the red line:


    Would that do?

    Cheers,
    Zexun
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  4. #4

    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    no. like this.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by flipfreak View Post
    no. like this.

    Alright, thanks bro, will heed your advice.

    If only I could get another flash and use it as a hairlight camera-right =/
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  6. #6

    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    buy a vivitar.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by flipfreak View Post
    buy a vivitar.
    I was just about to save up for a few of those and ship 'em over, but nooo, i gotta wait till CNY's over and I get my ang paos ^^
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    get the main light closer to subject

    ask the subject to stay far away from b/g.

    the blue glow too low.

    too much eye white.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    well, if you want I could lend you some of my vivitars..

    back to your issue, thats the disadvantage of shoot-thru brollies, they spill too much.. soft boxes are the way to go if you want directional yet soft light..

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    get the main light closer to subject

    ask the subject to stay far away from b/g.

    the blue glow too low.

    too much eye white.
    Good call. Thanks for the advice. However I was thinking that if the subject & key light were to move further away from the bg towards me, wouldn't the spill from the key light be even worse, and the flag would be in-frame already.

    I will get the bg light higher. Cheers.

    EDIT: I did try moving the key light closer to the subject and dialing down the power. The light wasn't even anymore, and only the face was properly exposed.

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Chan View Post
    well, if you want I could lend you some of my vivitars..

    back to your issue, thats the disadvantage of shoot-thru brollies, they spill too much.. soft boxes are the way to go if you want directional yet soft light..
    Ah, but even if you lent it to me, I wouldn't be able to sync them =/ I'm using ruby's radio triggers. Thanks for the offer, though.
    Last edited by Headshotzx; 18th January 2009 at 02:49 PM.
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  11. #11

    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    Ah, but even if you lent it to me, I wouldn't be able to sync them =/ I'm using ruby's radio triggers. Thanks for the offer, though.
    optical slave triggers (or flashes with built-in optical slaves) would work. if i remember correctly, the Sigma EF-500 DG Super comes with optical slave sync - there are two on B&S right now.
    eyes | head | feet | flickr | APAD: straight from camera

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by varf View Post
    optical slave triggers (or flashes with built-in optical slaves) would work. if i remember correctly, the Sigma EF-500 DG Super comes with optical slave sync - there are two on B&S right now.
    Ah. Yeah I know the 500 and 530's do have optical slaves, but I wouldn't want to invest in those-- when I shoot events with an impromptu studio set up-- anyone's flash will trigger it, draining all my batts.

    Thanks though
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    Good call. Thanks for the advice. However I was thinking that if the subject & key light were to move further away from the bg towards me, wouldn't the spill from the key light be even worse, and the flag would be in-frame already.

    I will get the bg light higher. Cheers.

    EDIT: I did try moving the key light closer to the subject and dialing down the power. The light wasn't even anymore, and only the face was properly exposed.



    Ah, but even if you lent it to me, I wouldn't be able to sync them =/ I'm using ruby's radio triggers. Thanks for the offer, though.
    once the main light close to subject and far away from b/g, it would affect much on the b/g.
    and main light light fall off is much rapidly, it suit your this set up, don't have to add vignetting at the post.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    I'm sorry, I don't quite understand your latest message.. could you explain?
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  15. #15
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    I'm sorry, I don't quite understand your latest message.. could you explain?
    hi ts

    look at this site "Inverse Square Law"

    http://www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics.html.

    by reducing the distant from flash to subject, the light falls off rapidly to the background.

    eg : original

    flash to subject = 2m
    subject to background = 2m

    move flash closer

    flash to subject = 1m (reduce power to maintain correct flash exposure)
    subject to background = 2m (light will falls off much more rapidly)

    hope you can understand.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  16. #16
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improptu Studio Lighting Help

    thanks denniskee for the details explanation about the "Inverse Square Law".

    to Headshotzx,
    in tradition portrait, photographers always add vignetting to let viewers focus on the subject.
    you have noticed how the light getting uneven on the subject once you move your main light closer, this can work towards your advantage.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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