Black skin & Hair - expert tips and tricks?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by lightmajestic, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. lightmajestic

    lightmajestic TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I've got a job coming up which is for a hairdresser & entails me shootnig 8 models, 4 guys and 4 girls, all of them black.
    I was wondering whether there are any special considerations or tricks to consider when shooting black or dark skin beyond the standard exposure techniques?
    The same applies for hair - this is a new field for me and I'm wondering whether there are any advanced lighting setups that would be an advantage when shooting hair - I've got a Bowens twin lighting setup, reflector, snoot & SB800.

    Thanks for looking!
    Rick
     
  2. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    In my experience with this situation, I've found that Blacks often have oilier skin and results in more reflections. Less or no direct lighting really helps. Bouncing up from a white card helps to level out the primary (overhead) source. Try to avoid models wearing white/light colored tops, it really increases contrast problems. Mostly just common sense.
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You'll probably want to shoot a stop over your meter reading, depending on the model's skin tone.
     
  4. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    1: Some indirect light (big softbox or bounced off white ceiling if possible) and some direct light.

    2. Use a flash-meter.

    PS...make sure you have had a good look at some examples of the type of shot the hairdresser wants.
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Make sure too that the black hair does not blend in to anything in the background.

    skieur
     
  6. lightmajestic

    lightmajestic TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the advice so far, all very helpful
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Ummmm.......sorry to be rude if I am, but shooting an African American is no different than any other shoot if you don't put your camera on P mode.
    You expose. For the overall scene. Just like always.
    There is no mystery here.
    Skin color makes no more difference that the envirornment color.
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    WTF?????
    First of all, I have a real problem with some of the wording here.
    Avoid dark skinned models in light dressing? What??????? Dude, isn't that is what you are paid to do? Aren't you supposed to figure out your camera a little better than that?

    This whole thread is pretty offensive overall. Why would it be any different to a proffesional to shoot a person of Hispanic Decent, an African American, a Japanese person...............whatever.

    I don't get this thread AT ALL.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Umm sorry but I don't agree at all. Firstly the models are hair models not fashion models. I would assume in this case the photographer would have some weighting if he requested that the models wear darker coloured clothing. Why make your own work harder and push the envelope into a potentially unmanageable situation?

    This is not a case of figuring out your camera. It's a case of dynamic range pure and simple. Now you may not get this because of your shooting style. I mean no offence at all by this as I love many of your photos and the effect you put on them often works very well. But there's very often cases where brides dresses blend into white walls, or when exposing for the brides dress you completely blackened the groom's suit (post processing maybe?) Either way it works in the wedding photos but this is not something that is normally seen in any hair studio shots where detail in all parts is usually emphasised. Thus one needs to limit the dynamic range.

    Whether an Irish person with a black shirt, or a Dark skinned person with a white shirt the result is the same. Something's gotta give. The suggestions here so far of bumping up the expose one stop from your normal metering, and limiting the dynamic range is a good start.

    I'd like to add things from a business point of view. Remember who the client is and focus on the hair not on the model. Separation via hair-lights or contrasting backgrounds is the key here.
     
  10. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Do not agree. And I do this for a living.
    What does it matter one iota if it is hair or fashion? Does she know or not how to set her camera? That's pretty much the long and short of it.
    And set details are not my thing. I'm given a certain peramiter to work in, and because I'm a professional, I figure out a way. That is my job. It's NOT about making my life easy.
    Dude, how is knowing dynamic range not knowing your camera? I bet 80 percent of people on this forum, sweet as they are, wouldn't know dynamic range if you beat them in the face with it.
    But the base of my point is that this whole thread is racist, IMO. I can't even believe it's still here with the "blacks have oily skin" crap. I have oily skin. How is photographing me any different than photographing any other nationality or race???? There isn't any!
    Notice how only white people are commenting here. If they knew how to expose correctly, they would be as offended as I am.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Firs, earn your money! Second, you need the faces to look good for the hair to look good so start at this link...
    http://www.nyip.com/ezine/people-and-pets/peopleofcolor.html

    I think that most would agree that Monty Zucker was pretty good at what he did. ;)

    mike

    (it really is about the contrast, just like everything else ;))
     
  12. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Exactly!
     

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