Fashion / editorial photography help needed

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Illah, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    My main issue with fashion photography is the backdrop and lighting. I use a Nikon D50 with an SB600 and have a nice tripod, but what else would I need to get it to look like a magazine?

    For example, I know I can hang a giant sheet of white paper curving onto the floor to kill shadows to make it look like there's no background - is there a more permanent way to do this? I don't want to replace the paper every time.

    Is the classic 3-point lighting setup a good idea for this? I would probably use two adjustable lamps for the rear and accent and the SB600 as the key (I'm on a budget if that's not already obvious...and hey, this worked when I was in film school :) ). What type of lightbulb balances best to the SB600?

    Thanks,

    --Illah
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You cannot shoot photos like that on a budget. If you want to be able to shoot photos like you see in magazines, you're going to need a very large synthetic backdrop and some very powerful strobes. You might also consider a good ringflash. You'll also need a team of people who are damn good with hair and makeup.
     
  3. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    ...and a $5000 camera with multiple sharp prime lenses, a DJ, a full bar to get the model in the mood, maybe a few flamboyant pretty boys to give witty creative advice :)

    How about from a hobbyists perspective, a ghetto-fabulous setup? I'm not expecting these shots to be featured in Vogue, but I don't want to just shoot camera mounted flash against a white bedsheet hanging from the wall.

    --Illah
     
  4. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Max is right. For the shots you're looking for, lighting is really important. When you say adjustable lamps, I'm picturing floor lamps with the heads you can point in different directions. That type of setting won't work for a few reasons. Without a way to soften the light, the shadows will be just as harsh as if you used the on-camera flash. The color balance would also be all messed up. You can get a very basic light kit pretty cheaply. I got a Smith-Victor kit from Adorama for something like $150 that included two stands, two strobe heads and two umbrellas. I think a setup like that will go along way toward getting you where you want to be. Muslin backdrops you can get from ebay. Check out DIY Photography.net for instructions on how to make your own backdrop stand. Strobist has some good tutorials and tips for lighting on a budget. It won't be Vogue-caliber, but it could be a good starting point (that's the kind of setup I'm learning on)
     
  5. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    Nice, $150 is more along the lines of what I'm talking about! Can't afford it now (just got married...my life belongs to Amex for the next couple months) but in time that's a very reasonable expense. And Muslin seems super-cheap from an eBay spot check.

    99% of the pics I would be taking would be destined for web BTW, i.e. fashion shots for a website. With the style we're going for a little grit might actually look better than a super-clean Dior type shot, so I don't mind it being a little ghetto.

    For example, this girl on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/liebemarlene/page2/

    I don't want it exactly like that but it's in line with what I'm thinking - a little imperfection is fine.

    --Illah
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    if you're going for that you can just shoot with a desk lamp...those shots are all underexposed.
     
  7. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    So something like this? The two umbrellas can be used up front and then I can use a hard light as a rear for halo-effects and hair glow.

    http://www.adorama.com/SVKT750U.html

    Then add on a bounced flash for a front key...should kill any shadows and allow plenty of light.

    BTW - what color temp does a flash balance to?

    --Illah
     
  8. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    May I suggest you read this short article and we can continue this discussion once doing so. I once did a shoot with disposable Fuji Cameras for Italian Vogue "Advertorial"

    It isn't the equipment. It is the theme and the team...

    http://www.180mag.ca/0704/kanarek/kanarek.html
     
  9. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    right on benjikan. Illah, you need creative vision to produce anything GOOD, only then will the equipment supplement the shoot. also, i think fashion photography is an odd duck, i see some shots that i know had ellaborate sets, lighting etc and they look terrific. but then again, in fashion i also see lots of stuff with harsh apparently careless light. somewhere in the middle are the people who find a location and wait for the light they want, and use simple modifiers.

    wow, i'm so off topic, so back on topic.

    instead of buying hotlights to match the sb-600s color why don't you buy a couple flash units, stands, a boom, umrellas, and use the flashes?
     

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