Backdrops

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by RumDaddy, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    Im gettng started with my backdrop kit, I figured b4 I waste the entire morning and part of the afternoon, and perhaps even into the night. :lol: I figured I ask for a few pointers b4 diving in.

    Any suggestions on camera settings for a White Backdrop. OR power settings for the two softboxes.

    Im using a canon 50D with a 28-135 mm F.3.5 lens

    Here is the light kit I bought

    Steve Kaeser Backgrounds & Accessories

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    x 30"S[FONT=arial, helvetica]oftboxes for the FAN300B (2343)[/FONT]
    1...Pro [FONT=arial, helvetica]HD 160-A 160 w/s variable High Performance strobe (HD2310)[/FONT]
    1...Pro 24"x 24"S[FONT=arial, helvetica]oftbox for HD 160-A strobe hairlight (2342)[/FONT]
    1...[FONT=arial, helvetica]Four leaf barndoor with honeycomb diffuser and gel-set (7121)[/FONT]

    3...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Well there is no magic basic setting for the lights. The power level is based on several factors including, light power, subject (is it dark, light, reflective, size, etc..), the effect you want from the lights, and the distance the lights are from the subject. Moving the lights closer / farther is like changing the power level. So there is alot of variables to power levels. It's determined basically on a case by case basis. Now if you never move them, or change light modifiers, you will develope a basic setting for your studio configuration. An expample of this would be the department store studio. They don't move the lights and subjects always in same spot. So, they use constant power settings (doesn't mean its always right, but normally close enough for the customers).

    Basically set them up and start practicing. A flash meter would help quicken things up. But trial and error method will not take to long to get dialed in. Just remember, the further away the more power you need. Of course there is math you can do. But I just either adjust power or move the lights. By the time I do the math, I could have been done. :lol: Even though I have a meter half the time I just adjust by eye. The meter definately helps with initial settings though. As I can't leave my stuff up all the time.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    As mentioned, we can't give you the setting...there are too many variables. You will have to set it up and figure it out for yourself.

    Take note that to get your background to photograph as white, you will probably have to light it separately from your subject. Light falls off with distance, so the light that is hitting your subject will be less bright by the time it hits the background...and for a white background, you may want/need more light on the background, not less.

    So when you set up your lights, have one or two of them pointed at the backdrop and not on the subject.
     
  4. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    And be thankful you are living in the digital age which should save you a lot of time.
     
  5. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    How about camer settings?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    It will have to be in Manual mode.

    Set your shutter speed lower than your max sync speed. 1/160 or 1/125 should be safe. It has no bearing on the exposure when it comes to flash/strobe lighting.

    Your aperture setting, along with the flash power setting (& ISO), will determine your exposure. So that's one that you will have to figure out for yourself.
     
  7. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike, Im about to head out into my garage/studio and get started thanks again.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think before you head out to the garage, go spend 20-30 hours over on the Strobist website. Look for lighting 101 and 102.
     
  9. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    F/8 and be there...?
     
  10. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    After a little trial and error I ended up with this one. I know its not perfect. My model Amber needed a break so I thought Id share.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    The next purchase should be a quality light meter like the L358. It will give you your settings in seconds.
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    A good start.

    The light is even & flat, looks like you had two lights (maybe more?) and they were either side of her, both firing at the same power. The result is practically the same as using on-camera flash. It's not wrong, but it's not what we would typically think of a nice portrait lighting.
    Try turning one light down, or using only one at first. The stronger light will be your 'main or key' light. This light is to give your subject shape and form. It should cause some shadows to be seen. The other light is your 'fill' light and it's job is to control just how dark those shadows are. If it's too strong, then the shadows disappear altogether...which is what you have here.

    Also, there seems to be a pink hue to the whole shot. Maybe your WB is off.

    As I mentioned before, you can make the background brighter/whiter by adding light to it, without adding that light to the subject. It will make things easier if the model is farther away from the backdrop.
     

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