Christmas set up with lights and help with AF

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CherylL, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. CherylL

    CherylL No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    246
    Location:
    near St Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was inspired by Smoke665 and his Christmas scene. The lights and sheet are hanging from an old projector screen. White blanket and fake snow for the base. I purchased a trigger, light stand, and umbrella about a year ago and haven't done much with them so all new to me. Light stand to the left and a white board to the right for bounce.

    After much trial and error I did get this set with the pups. The LED lights wouldn't show up and googled that the shutter needs to be at 60. The other settings ISO200, f2.8 and the speed light at 1/8 power. Canon 5Dmarkiii, 50 1.4, 430EXii.

    Normally I shoot with spot AF point, but using a tripod and shutter cable I used zone AF and One Shot. With the pups individually it worked. I will be taking photos of the 3 grands next together and with moving subjects and 2.8 concerns me. If I go with a greater DOF then the wires are visible.

    Any suggestions on AF points or focus modes? Any tips would be appreciated thanks.

    [​IMG]Grumpy Puppy Christmas 2017 by Cheryl, on Flickr


     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    5,249
    Likes Received:
    1,813
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,334
    Location:
    NoVA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    youre going to have a heck of a time getting three kids all in focus at 2.8 with your 50mm.

    maybe try using your 85mm backed up and stopped a bit, and then you can rearrange the lights further since you have the extra compression to work with.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    14,167
    Likes Received:
    6,609
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    try stopping down the lens a bit and upping the flash. for something like that background, DOF wont just be about what aperture you are at, but also where you place your focus plane. you can stop down the lens to get more in focus, but back up to where the rear of the focus plane is juuuuust behind what you want in focus. with a DOF calculator you can figure out the size of your focus plane and set up the subjects accordingly. you should be able to get what you want in focus while still rendering the background OOF.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. CherylL

    CherylL No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    246
    Location:
    near St Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was using the 50 to get closer. The 85 1/8 seemed to far away. The subject was placed about 5 feet from the background and cropped and I had to photoshop the right sides since the BG isn't that wide. Should I move the blanket on the floor away a few more feet? I can place a white sheet to meet up with the BG. And move the tripod further back too?

    The set up:
    [​IMG]The set up by Cheryl, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    40,652
    Likes Received:
    12,306
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Pup-dog looks more than a little irritated at being used as a model! :lol:

    If you have room to move further back, and use your 85 (or longer) than do it. As Pixmedic explained, where you put your point of focus is as, if not more critical than how great your DoF is.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. CherylL

    CherylL No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    246
    Location:
    near St Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I plugged in the numbers using the 85 and f4.5 and I will then have 1.1ft in focus. Makes sense now using the DOF calculator. I do have room to back up the tripod. Thanks for all of the replies!

    The pup was super annoyed. I had to chase him around a few times. But no worries, he got lots of treats and a belly rub. :)
     
  8. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,334
    Location:
    NoVA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    btw, if you think the dogs are hard, wait till you try the kids. ROFL.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    1,912
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    1. Drop the background LED lights and add back post - will save you a ton of effort.
    2. All of the Christmas shots I posted were shot with a 50 mm prime, ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/100. I was about 15' back. That gave me a total DOF of about 9 1/2 feet. Just over 3 feet in front and 6 feet behind. The "set" was staged so that the background sheet was at about 7' behind the "eyes" of the model (taking it out of focus). The fence and other items were stacked behind as well to utilize the DOF. You'd need to calculate the DOF for your camera but should be similar.
    3. Frankly your biggest problem appears to be lack of light. You're under powered with just one speedlight, and then shooting through an umbrella is causing you to lose even more. If you want to use speedlight you really need to use a black "reflecting" umbrella, drop it down and move it closer, then power it up to get to an f/8 exposure on the key side. Then adjust your reflectors (plural) to put the fill where you need it. Or else change your shooting location so you can bring in ambient light and use the speedlight for fill.
    4. It's gonna be HARD to shoot either the pooches or grandkids (especially little ones) by yourself. You really need a helping hand. Set your camera to AF spot, sit your derriere on the floor and hold the camera so you can adjust as needed. Put that spot on the eyes, and your DOF will do the rest.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. CherylL

    CherylL No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    246
    Location:
    near St Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yes, the pups will sit and stay! ;) With the grandgirls, the soon to be 8yo now thinks smiling is over-rated, the 4yo has spontaneous meltdowns and the 17 month baby is everywhere.
     
  11. CherylL

    CherylL No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    246
    Location:
    near St Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for sharing your details! I do have a black umbrella with silver lining. The adding the BG lights in post did cross my mind and then I wouldn't have to worry about a slow shutter speed on a tripod. I was trying to challenge myself. :highly_amused: Just to get the pups set up it took a week of trial and error and user error. My daughter will be helping with the kids. I call her the cat wrangler. It was very difficult by myself with the pups. They do not like flash.
     
  12. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    1,912
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    I can't remember where I saw it now, but if memory serves me right I think I read where you lose almost 60% of your light when you use a shoot through umbrella. As to the background lights, it can be done in one shot, though I'm not sure you can do it with one speedlight, which is why I suggested adding them post.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

azs

,

news