Improptu Studio Lighting Help


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Headshotzx

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Dec 14, 2007
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#1
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
 

flipfreak

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#2
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.
 

Headshotzx

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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
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#9
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..
 

Headshotzx

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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.

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.
 

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varf

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#11
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.
 

Headshotzx

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#12
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 ;)
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#13
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.
 

Headshotzx

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#14
I'm sorry, I don't quite understand your latest message.. could you explain?
 

denniskee

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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.
 

catchlights

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#16
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.
 

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