Can anyone help me?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jennhunter, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    I would like to try some formal Christmas pictures of my kids this year, and would like some tips. I have a white seamless roll of paper, plexiglass, props, and a way to set it all up. My question is, is it possible to get good pictures in my house without any expensive flash equipment using natural light?
     
  2. Inst!nct

    Inst!nct TPF Noob!

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  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    The nice thing about digital is you can use just about any kind of light. The key is to use the same lights. If your using regular incadecent bulbs make sure they are all the same type (prefferably same manufacturer and wattage from same batch). Same goes with the new twist bulbs. Some now list their color value, others don't. So, its good to get the same ones. If you don't know what I mean about color. For incadecant its, soft white, cool white, etc. Same goes for twist or tube light. Some go by soft, cool, daylight. And others actually give their K value (2500, 3200, 5000,.. etc). Just make sure what ever lights you use are the same type.

    You can adjust your white balance to the lights since they will all have the same color cast. As for using lights with the same wattage. Just moving them back or closer will change their levels on your kids.

    As for softening the light. Something as simple as a white sheet infront of the light may do the trick. Something to diffuse the light so its not so harsh. If you try those 250w or 500w halogens, bounce them off a white sheet instead of straight at the kids.

    Next thing to watch for is a color cast off walls or the ceiling if they are not white or nice neutral color.

    But it can be done without expensive gear. Even a good window with lots of sun can be used if you have reflectors and such. Set up takes longer though. And not as easy to use / modify as true photo light sets.
     
  4. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for your tips!
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree... window light is the way to go for you. But NOT with lots of sun. Lots of LIGHT, yes. But no direct sunlight coming in. The larger the windows, the better. You'll actually find this easier than trying to create light and much faster to set up. The white seamless is going to give you lots of bounce, and you'll likely get by without reflectors if the room isn't too large. If it is, hang a second sheet of seamless opposite the windows.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     
  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    HAHAHA, Your correct, I guess I should have been more specific or less general with my words when giving advice. I will try and watch that in the future. :thumbup:
     
  7. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    If I am using only window light, where should I set up in relationship with the windows?
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Deppending on the quality of light (hard / soft). If its a nice soft light you can have it directly on the kids.

    Now if you dont have any way of reflecting the light from the other side of the kids. Then you will want a fairly shallow angle. Say 20 degrees off center (give or take some angle). That way there is not a large shadow on their faces on the opposite side of the window. There is no right and wrong angle. It really deppends on the effect you want the light on their faces.

    If you can reflect some of the light to the other side of their faces you can use a deeper angle.

    Edit: totally spaced out that you said white seamless paper and props!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  9. AtominoPhotoForum

    AtominoPhotoForum TPF Noob!

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    One methode is to buy some lamps normally used for construction work. However its always a game to balance the light. If you by 4 for a few dollars - might be it works. I do similar with more professional lamps. Homepage BR Atomino
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    One thing to realize is that your white seamless background probably won't look white in your pictures, it will likely be some shade of gray.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^^^^^^^^
    Good thought!
     

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