? about studio shooting

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by butterflygirl, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. butterflygirl

    butterflygirl TPF Noob!

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    I just have a quick, probably silly, question -

    When I am shooting in the studio - what is it best to shoot in - manual or automatic?

    Someone I work for said I should always put it on automatic and let the camera do the thinking for me (right now I'm shooting a Canon 300D) but I find when I do this, the meter takes a reading before my umbrella flashes go off, so they are very over exposed.

    So what's the big deal? I was shooting in manual, but when he saw my photos were a little under exposed, he basically told me it was the wrong way to go and that I would have to do to much work in Photoshot? Hmmm, any suggestions out there?

    Also, should I always shoot at the highest shutter speed with children and portrait type shots? Then adjust my aperture accordingly? Why or why not? Does it matter?

    Thanks! I appreciate the help! :blushing:
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are using studio flash units, manual is the only choice you have. Set a shutter speed slower than the synch speed of the shutter and then either use trial and error or a flash meter for the aperture.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Manual all the way.

    You are correct, maybe this person should be working for you because they are way off base here. Unless we are talking hot lights (constant lights, not flash).

    You still have to get the exposure right when shooting in manual. A flash meter will really help you out here. Alternatively, you can get a feel for the exposure with the histogram on a digital camera...but a meter is much more versatile.

    Shutter speed has little to do with exposure when using strobe/flash. The burst of light from the flash is much faster than the shutter, so that will freeze the movement. Changing the shutter speed will change the amount of ambient light that is recorded...in a studio, that's usually not a problem. It's usually best to use the fastest speed that your camera will allow (1/200 for yours, I think)...because this will keep out most of the ambient lights in the studio.

    So because the shutter speed does not affect the exposure, you have the aperture and the power of the lights to adjust the exposure. (ISO as well, but try to keep that on 100). You can also move the lights closer or farther from the subject, to control the amount of light.

    One way to determine your settings, is to use an aperture that will give you the DOF that you need and then adjust the lights accordingly. Personally, I like to shoot at F8 to F16 because most lenses are at their optical peak in that range.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Tell them that cameras don't have brains...and thinking without a brain is not recommended. :lol:
     
  5. butterflygirl

    butterflygirl TPF Noob!

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    Ha! I should! I was just so unnerved when he told me that! Like, 'huh?'

    Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it. I was sure I was going about it the right way, but since I've only been shooting with my studio lights and muslin backgrounds for about 3 weeks, I'm really just learning all the fundamentals.

    I'll see about getting a meter. Any suggestions for a nice, 'affordable,' one? :)

    Thanks!
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Sekonic is a pretty good brand of light/flash meter. They are not the most affordable items though. The basic flash meter, L-308s, would be my recommendation.

    There are several other brands and types etc. I use an old Vivitar that I bought off of E-bay.
     
  7. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps he was referring to auto focus rather than manual focus?


    My eyes are beginning to go south on me, and until I get glasses, I don't trust (myself using) manual focus.
     

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