Beginner needs help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by NinaRoxanne, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. NinaRoxanne

    NinaRoxanne TPF Noob!

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    :mrgreen: HI!

    I'm in need of some H-E-L-P!
    I'm trying to get my photography business up and going and have just a few question!


    First off.
    What would be the best lens to take newborn photos?
    I have an in-home studio. Basic black and white backdrop & 2 box umbrella lights.


    This is my website and the photos I have taken so far
    http://www.wix.com/ninaroxanne/NinaRoxannePhotography

    I a lot better without outside photos because my pictures come out so much clearer.

    For my in-home studio I'm not sure where to set the lights, or what setting to have my camera on! The photos come out better to me when the flash of my camera is off. I can set my flash on the lowest and it still comes out TOO much.

    I'm trying to do infant/toddler photos the most and we all know they move TONS! So I need my flash right!?

    Help! Where do I put my lights? What do i put my camera on? I want clear photos just like that ones i get from outside!


    Also.. whats a must lens?
    I have a D60 & D40x
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good luck!
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Get a Whibal card kit www.rawworkflow.com and learn to do a custom white balance so your clients have more realistic and consistant looking skin tones.

    Work on keeping your camera level, unless you intend the image to have a dutch tilt.

    You don't give much info on the lights you have. Are you using strobes or continuous lights? How high can you get your light stands to go? I'm not sure what kind of modifiers you are describing either.

    For starters, in a 2 light setup, put the main light to the left or right of the camera at about 45° or so and the second light, key light, should be on or very close to the lens axis and above the camera. The key light should be at least 1 stop less bright than the main light and 2 stops may look better. How far the lights are from the subject depends on the effect you want to get.

    To make shadows look very soft the light needs to be as close to your subject as you can get them. As you move the lights away from the subject the shadows will get more definition and look harder.

    Additionally, you can use a reflector(s) for additional fill. I often have one on the floor but propped up at an angle against my camera stand for just a kiss of fill from underneath.
     
  4. jnm

    jnm TPF Noob!

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    you need to fix the white balance of the pics on your site.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Nina,
    You are in need of some photographic training and lessons/skill-building. THere are a number of resources on the web, like the photo school at Photoflex.com and the "Strobist" blog run by David Hobby, as well as perhaps portraitlighting.net.

    Kids do move. Sometimes a lot. Two large, 42x72 inch "panels" or "scrims" would be good for kid photos where you want a fairly broad,soft,even light that allows a toddler to move through the shooting space with relatively constant lighting. If you Google search under the terms "panels" or "scrim lighting" I think you will find the web site run by a guy who is a long-time veteran with panel or scrim lighting methods--I believe his site is called Lighting Magick, with a k at the end. I don't want to pass judgement, but I do think that panel lighting techniques would be the single,best method for a person with your background,and with your stated desires.

    With a few turf stakes,and a few sandbags, and some additional fabrics, you could use your panels in-studio, outdoors, and also in people's homes. You will need some low-cost lights to shoot through the panels. A must-have lens for a 1.5x Nikon would be something like a Sigma 24-70 or the recently discontinued by still excellent Nikon 24-85mm AF-S G series lens with the 67mm filter size. NOT the 24-85mm f/2.8-4 older lens--that will not AF on the D40.

    Good luck.
     
  6. MosaicW

    MosaicW TPF Noob!

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    Is this achievable afterwards in PS, or can you not really fix it completely if you simply screwed it up when you took the shot? I have a lot of grey b&w shots that look just like these...
     
  7. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    With black and white pictures, the white balance doesn't matter. This can be fixed by eye using the color balance tool in PS or better yet, use levels. I try to set the WB in levels if I can't get it right in Lightroom or DPP. In CS4 I do a levels adjustment layer and click on the middle eyedropper in the pane to the left (which is the gray dropper). Then you click on an area in the picture that should be neutral gray (sometimes part of an eye works, sometimes not). and watch to see what the color does. This does not always work for me (maybe someone else has a better way in PS). Then I try color balance and work with that until I get there.

    If you're shooting in RAW, it may be easier to use your favorite RAW conversion software.
     
  8. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    Your kidding right? This is a joke someone put you up to it. Your actually going to sell edited cds for $50 dollars? This is like the joke about the guy who buys pencils for 7 cents and sells them for a nickel. He's going to make it up in volume! So, if you shoot 3 sessions a day, three days a week, for 52 weeks a year, plus spend two or three days every week editing, and another day taking care of taxes and general business chores, your willing to do all that work and gross less than 25k per year? Subtract your operating costs like equipment, supplies, props, and taxes. Girl your gonna have to get another job so you can afford to go to work. Sorry if this sounds harsh but I can't believe your gonna take peoples hard earned money, call yourself a photographer, and you don't even know what kind of lights you have. Please tell me this is not for real.

    I have nothing against you becoming a photographer but what your doing is a recipe for disaster, it's like opening a law office, then asking lawyers how to practice law. Learn the craft first, then open a business. Your work is not bad, you have a good eye for composition and it appears you can work well with children, but IMHO your still a long way from quality portraiture. Please for your customers sake, get that horse back in front of the cart. A love of photography is essential, in this business, but not enough. You currently need both competent photography and business training to succeed.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Chas, seems like you missed the big news story called "Baby On Board, and
    a Photography Business, Too", published by the New York Times in 2007.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/business/yourmoney/15cameras.html

    The OP is a member of a huge, growing trend of female shooters who are new to photography, and yet are beginning photography businesses.
     
  10. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    I know, you'll see them next on the call for help consumer section on TV because they screwed up the session, because all the pictures came out blue, and because they work so cheap they can't afford to refund their customers.
     
  11. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    I've been asked no less than 5 time this last year, from my customers who thought they were getting a deal, if I could fix their pictures. I feel bad for them because I can usually fix the color and if the exposure is not too far off that too, but the aspect ratio is what it is. Sometimes I even "fix" that. Unfortunately for the customer it costs more to "fix" them than to do it right in the camera. The question is: What would you rather have 35 unusable digital files for $50 or a really good print for $100. While the consumer thinks they are getting a deal, they're not getting value.
     
  12. tailz03

    tailz03 TPF Noob!

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    Some people just have too much money to spend. :( Ive been doing photography for 6 years now, semi pro for a year and i wish i could afford a studio.. Instead people who still need to learn before doing anything else get whatever they like. Meh Bitter much? ...lol.
     

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