First Photo Shoot with Studio Strobes

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by HEO2NE, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. HEO2NE

    HEO2NE TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to TPF and have been enjoying it and learning alot from everyone. I have just purchased studio strobes, stands, umbrella's, soft boxes, etc. and have been playing around a little bit and enlisted some family and kids to do a test run. Big Mike offered some advice on teh black backdrop but I still am having issues with too much light hiting it and having it show up too much. Please give me your C&C so I can learn more. I made the background via advice from this forum. Thank You!
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  2. jamescell

    jamescell TPF Noob!

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    Nice even lighting! What sort of setup are you using when you do the photos with black backdrops? I tend to always use gobos, or snoots when trying to keep the background black.
     
  3. HEO2NE

    HEO2NE TPF Noob!

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    I'm using 40" Umbrellas and a 24 x 36 softbox. The one that sorta came out that I posted, I had the softbox and umbrella setup almost aiming at each other from opposing sides trying to reduce the light hitting the backdrop. I thought about getting what I think is called a flag or a piece of black cardboard to block it further but have yet to try that. I do not have barn doors (yet :))
     
  4. That One Guy

    That One Guy TPF Noob!

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    i recommend the book "Master Lighting Guide for portrait photographers" by Christopher Grey.

    it explains different lighting modifiers/accessories and shows diagrams for different lighting. i have this book and highly recommend it.
     
  5. HEO2NE

    HEO2NE TPF Noob!

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    Thank You...I checked that book out and it does look pretty good. I'm going to order it. What was your opinion of the current pictures I posted?
     
  6. That One Guy

    That One Guy TPF Noob!

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    comps are good. lighting is pretty good. no harsh shadows.

    how many strobes do you have and how did you set them up for this?

    to avoid alot of light hitting the background, you could move your subjects further away from the background .
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    On some of these, #1, 2, 3 & 4...it looks like you are lighting the background separately...which is OK, if you want it to be bright and/or lit up. But if you don't want it to be bright, then you need to change your set up.
    #5 & #6 are under exposed.

    First of all, you need to know that light fall-off is at an inverse square to the distance. Which is to say, that light falls of faster/more as you back the light away from the subject or surface.

    You obviously need the light to hit the subjects and that same light will also hit the background. But if the light is a lot closer to the subject than it is to the backdrop, then it will be much less intense when it hits the backdrop.

    Two things you can do are move the subjects farther away from the backdrop and move the lights closer to the subjects (and adjust the exposure or light power to suit the new position). Also, moving the lights closer to the subjects will also make the light softer.

    It would probably help to do a bit of both...so move the subjects away from the backdrop and move the lights closer to the subjects.

    Of course, if you can use something to block the light from hitting the backdrop, that will also help.
     
  8. HEO2NE

    HEO2NE TPF Noob!

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    Thank You for the input...I was using a Nikon SB600 on a stand to light up the background for the blue backdrop, a 600ws head with a 40" umbrella and a 600ws head with a 24x36 softbox. I did try to keep them about 3 feet off the background. If I recall the main light was set to 1/4 power and the softbox was set to 1/8 power and the Backdrop light was set to 1/2 power about 2 1/2 feet away. I will need to find some more space so that I can get farther back and thus move them away from the backdrop.The main light and fill light were probably 4' away. I'm getting together with some more 'test subjects' this weekend for an hour and hopefully I can try some of the things you have suggested. Clearly this will take alot of practice! I'll post some more after this weekend. I also just bought a Color Vision Spyder to calibrate my monitor.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    So you are using the umbrellas as the main and the softbox as the fill?

    I might try switching those up...that way the brighter one (main/key) will be the softbox. A softbox spills less light than an umbrella. Also, your fill light doesnt have to be opposite to your key light...it can be closer to the camera position and further back.
     
  10. leila

    leila TPF Noob!

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    i don't know enough about lighting. photos are nice though.. i really like the one with the black background. looks so classic and professional.
     
  11. crystal_lynn

    crystal_lynn I am sure I sound childish

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    These look great you are certainly doing better than me with your lights. I just used my for the first time yesterday and the pics seem off to me.
     

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