Help me create this look!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Buttercup, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. Buttercup

    Buttercup TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First, here's what I've got:
    - Nikon D80 camera with speedlight flash
    - two continuous studio lights on tripods, 1600 lumen each, and umbrellas
    - black backdrop
    - photoflex white/silver reflector

    Now here's what I wanna do:
    I want dark, velvety backgrounds - like you can't even see anything there - similar to these portraits...
    [​IMG]
    I really like the dark & moody lighting in these portraits. Lots of interesting shadows.

    My problems:
    - Everytime I set up my lights (or even just one of them) the light spills over past my subject and onto the backdrop - so my pics end up looking like a guy sitting in front of a curtain. No fancy shadows or anything good looking. It's not moody, it's not artsy, it's just crummy!!!
    - As well, my camera either wants the flash to go off, or a really long exposure time, causing blur.

    How do you do it? I realize there might be some Photoshop involved which is fine. But I need a good picture to begin with.
    Advice please! And perhaps diagrams on where to place the lights would be awesome too!

    Thanks for helping this "studio newbie"! :heart:
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Southwest Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    looks to me like it was a combination of careful placement of the subjects, the lights and plenty of separation in space between the BG and the subjects. May have also used snoots or barn doors to gain better control over the light spill. Play around w/ the positioning of the subjects and the lights as well as varying the power of the lights. PS or similar programs can turn even the brightest BG completely black.
     
  3. Buttercup

    Buttercup TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What look exactly is it that you want? The three pictures are very different the only thing they have in common is they all are black and white, with a dominant diffused light source, and a black background.

    The top left one has a very diffused light coming from the 3/4 position with something either subtly fill lighting the front or a reflector to bounce some light back so it's not completely dark. The one on the right has a far less diffuse light placed much closer to the subject giving a greater fall off. The one in the bottom right has a key light diffused yet from the looks of things tightly focused on the subject.

    There are many ways to setup lights. I suggest you read http://strobist.blogspot.com the lighting 101 articles. Even though it focuses primarily on flashlight, the principles are identical for every type of light.
     

Share This Page