Jeff's (almost) daily posts


jeffchen

New Member
May 23, 2010
134
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www.jeffchen.asia
#1
HI Guys!

Life as a Freelance photographer can be very ... free sometimes haha.
So i'd like t o make use of my time and post some thoughts and tips on lighting and stuff around the studio and i hope newbies can benefit from it!


one question i get alot from interns and young assistants is.
Jeff!.. how to light ah?!

and i always tell them that lighting is a simple matter of addition and subtraction.

if there is no light, add one, and if its too bright, subtract from it.
its just that simple.

in commercial photography, its important to replicate the same lighting at will.
so therefore we tend to have it down to a formula.

a simple one that i learnt thru my assisting days is such

for a typical studio shot its a safe bet to set your camera at M mode 1/125th f11-16 (this depends on how strong your flash heads are).

now u got one variable fixed. lets move onto lighting.

a good way to get good with lighting fast, is to memorize the whole setup or schematic.

a good gauge for me during a fashion shoot for me , is to have the light about 4-5 feet away from the models face. that light is usually a hardlight for me recently.

have your model stand in and you do the lighting, tweak till you like it.
the key is to switch place with her, and stand in and "feel" the light.
try to notice and remember where the light is pointing at you.
is the hottest spot falling on your face?
where do you feel the bulb is pointing at, your eye?
note how far is it away from your face.
when it comes to shooting people, a rough idea of the distance is enough.
you dont have to get into the decimals.

Hope these helps!

feel free to ask and i'll do my best to answer!

Jeff Chen
www.jeffchen.asia
 

kenny888

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2003
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#2
hi, this is a very good insight. tks for that. however i do have a question. do u use continous light (florescent?) or all flashes for ur model shots?

i'm trying to diy something for myself at home LOL. still reading up hard on the set up. and i'm still unsure how many lights or flashes do i actually need coz there are too much type of setups in books until i'm so confused.

any advice on that? since u have practical experience i think u r the best guy to ask : )

tks so much!
 

jeffchen

New Member
May 23, 2010
134
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0
www.jeffchen.asia
#3
hello kenny,
i have seldom used flourocents , my style have not drift there yet ! :)
the other continuos light i use is the SUN!
im sure you would know the effect of conti light and flash is very different.

my advise is to know the quality and feel it creates, and work with it, not against it. (ie conti ambient light is great for moody ethereal shots. not good for edgy hard shots.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffchen2403/1183437451/in/set-72157594438783112/
this is something i did with just a torch light wrapped with blue gel

from my experience the more lights you use. the more depth and feel you can create in a picture, that being said, i find that if you know how to kill 2 birds with one stone.
3 lights is more than enough for alot of cases( people oriented).

lets say the background lighting is taken care by ambient light, the 3 lights could be used for the fill light, the edge light(some call it a kicker) and a hairlight( or another kicker)


and voila your pictures will kick ass.


i have toyed with the idea of DIY lights, you can spend a bit more and save a lot of hassle by getting these http://www.stewartsgroup.co.nz/downloads/Philips Adreno Vector Fluorescent.pdf

with the advances of dslr nowadays i dont think you will have to worry about exposure.


i hope this answers your question!
 

madmartian

Senior Member
May 2, 2009
20,218
11
0
Outer Space
#4
Welcome to CS :)
Thank you for sharing. I'm sure many will benefit from it ;)
 

Alan Chan

New Member
Dec 13, 2009
561
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0
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#7
welcome to cs and pls keep it coming! i'm also trying to improve my studio skill and setup a simple one at home. i have a very tight budget coz this is only gonna be a hobby for me. hope to learn more from you. thanks!
 

kenny888

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2003
804
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#8
hi,

that was really informative. but something i'm still puzzled. sooo all in all beside the SUN haha... if its indoors, u'll just use flashes? instead of continous light rite?

hello kenny,
i have seldom used flourocents , my style have not drift there yet ! :)
the other continuos light i use is the SUN!
im sure you would know the effect of conti light and flash is very different.

my advise is to know the quality and feel it creates, and work with it, not against it. (ie conti ambient light is great for moody ethereal shots. not good for edgy hard shots.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffchen2403/1183437451/in/set-72157594438783112/
this is something i did with just a torch light wrapped with blue gel

from my experience the more lights you use. the more depth and feel you can create in a picture, that being said, i find that if you know how to kill 2 birds with one stone.
3 lights is more than enough for alot of cases( people oriented).

lets say the background lighting is taken care by ambient light, the 3 lights could be used for the fill light, the edge light(some call it a kicker) and a hairlight( or another kicker)


and voila your pictures will kick ass.


i have toyed with the idea of DIY lights, you can spend a bit more and save a lot of hassle by getting these http://www.stewartsgroup.co.nz/downloads/Philips Adreno Vector Fluorescent.pdf

with the advances of dslr nowadays i dont think you will have to worry about exposure.


i hope this answers your question!
 

jeffchen

New Member
May 23, 2010
134
0
0
www.jeffchen.asia
#9
hey kenny,
in my professional capacity, often times i use flash for my work, seldom do i have clients request for ambient light.

shooting for hobby and art, there are no limits.
i really love to shoot fashion and people oriented photos, so i can only give you ideas and advice in that particular direction. :)

you can use what ever light , where ever.

take a look at this photographer sarah moon http://www.staleywise.com/collection/moon/moon.html

she is famous for using conti light in a studio enviroment.

the great thing about conti light is that it allows you to achieve surreal amount of DOF.
it really can make you photos dreamy and misty(if thats what you want).

the concept to lighting for conti and flash is the same, just the way to modulate the light is slightly different.

now kenny if u have a reference picture that u have, you could PM me and i'd try my best to analysize it with u.

hope this helps!!
 

Last edited:

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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0
rainy Singapore
#10
Hi Jeff.

Welcome to CS, and :thumbsup: to you for sharing your
knowledge and experience with the community :)
 

Hollander

New Member
Feb 7, 2010
403
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0
Holland
#11
Hi Jeff welcome to CS!:)
Post more, Answer more, and we will Learn more!!:D
Thanks for sharing!!;)
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
63
48
lil red dot
#12
Thanks for sharing Jeff. Saw your flickr. Amazing work. So you are the one who shot CY? ;)
 

kenny888

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2003
804
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16
Visit site
#13
hi Jeff,

thanks so much again! ya.. continous light and flash r diff... okie i'll go and explore further. i'm still very much a newbie. okie sure sure! u'll hear from me soon i guess with probably some pics so its easier to ask u also.

tks again! appreciate ur insights. really! haha.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
0
0
rainy Singapore
#14
hi Jeff,

thanks so much again! ya.. continous light and flash r diff... okie i'll go and explore further. i'm still very much a newbie. okie sure sure! u'll hear from me soon i guess with probably some pics so its easier to ask u also.

tks again! appreciate ur insights. really! haha.
hehehehe of course la...! :)
one is continuous, and the other is just a pulse.
 

eacanaway

New Member
Apr 19, 2010
172
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0
#17
hello jeff,

tis is really a good thread that u've started. tks for sharing. as i'm a newbie, i'll be more like lurking around in this thread rather than posting qus. coz i dunno what to ask also lol.
 

kenny888

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2003
804
0
16
Visit site
#20
yes i did work with CY before an excellent model i might add!
Thanks for the encouragements :)
OMG! i didnt know u have a website.... kinna curious so went to have a look. OH GOSH!!!! the lighting.. and shots.. oh gosh!!!!!!!! GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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