3 Questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sj022698, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. sj022698

    sj022698 TPF Noob!

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    I'm having a very difficult time with a few things.

    I'm using a white sheet as a background. I have it pinned so it is tight and not flowing. I have about 8- 100watt bulbs lighting the room. The area is only about 6'x10'

    #1- I'm not getting enough light as the objects are still kindof darker

    #2- I'm getting shadows on the wall/sheet no matter how I arrange the lighting. I have bounced stuff off other things to dissipate the lights.

    #3- If I use a flash, the lighting is better but then I get darker edges. Plus, it's reflecting off a stainless sheet.

    I'm trying to get a picture basically like what is below. Obviously, not my picture but I want just a solid white background and that's it. What cost effective equipment would you suggest to get this done. I'd hire a professional or even amateur photographer, however, we are doing this all very sporadically so it's hard to set times.

    Would love all help and suggestions.

    Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Continuous lights are a real pain for the reasons you mentioned. This is why most studio work is done with strobes. Bouncing the light is not going to help you either, because your losing output power that you drastically need. As long as you have more light on the background than the subject (+2 stops more), and you expose for the subject, you should reach a good exposure. Now, because of the continuous lights, this might be a fairly long shutter speed. Use a tripod, and increase your ISO. That's all you can do, short of buying real studio equipment. If you are interested, www.alienbees.com makes affordable strobe equipment.
     
  3. sj022698

    sj022698 TPF Noob!

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    What about this? Would this be EVERYTHING I'd need for simply taking pictures just like the above? (Plus, a white backdrop) Can someone direct me to where I can read on what all these things do? There is so much stuff out there, it's very confusing. Thanks!
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To get your background white, you need to have more light on it, than on your subject...usually a separate 'background' light is used. To get a black ground, you need less light than what is on your subject.

    I have found that getting it perfect, from the camera, isn't always as easy as it seems...so I tweak it in Photoshop. This involves make a 'mask' to separate the background from the subject, so that I can edit them individually.

    As for those light kits, I'd be wary of buying something too cheap. It will be underpowered and then be rather limiting...and you would either get frustrated and stop, or just end up buying better equipment anyway. If you do want to get studio lights, buy some good ones the first time. I recommend AlienBees.
     
  5. sj022698

    sj022698 TPF Noob!

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    I don't really want to spend too much as this will be used for a one time project. It will last about a month and I'll be done. I'm trying to simplify it. Would a black background be easier to deal with? Per above, go with strobe lighting but that might as well be in sputnick as I don't understand any of it. The more I read, the less I understand. Is there a stickey here to describe what all items do? I didn't see one.

    How much light, umbrellas, and whatever all this other stuff is do I need. Will a black background still give a shadow. I'm very new to trying to do something like this and I don't care what color the background is for the most part. I just see all these lights, honeycombs, stands, umbrellas, and I don't know what any do or what I NEED PERSONALLY???
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If all you want is a white background, like the photo above...then you might want to just do it with image software. It's easier and better to get it right, during the shoot...but if you are unable to get or use the right equipment, then it might be an uphill battle.

    As for all the lighting accesories...there is no right or wrong here. A good analogy might be cooking...it doens't really matter what you use to measure the ingredients, it doesn't really mater what type or shape of pot you use...what matters is what you end up with.

    To really get good results, takes a fair bit of knowledge and/or experience. There are no 'easy answers'.
     
  7. sj022698

    sj022698 TPF Noob!

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    So, if I was to use the image software. (I use photoshop elements 2.0) What kind of lighting would be ideal. As I said, I was using about 8- 100watt bulbs as lighting and still didn't seem to be enough. Couldn't I just get a TON of lighting going on and then take the pics and worry about the subjects and then use the photoshop to create the background?

    Sure would be cheaper :D
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Use the continuous lights on your model and meter for that then use the flash (off your camera) on the background. So long as you can adequately expose with the bulbs you will be set.
     

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