Lighting Experiment: Tell Me How I'm Doing!

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by JackRabbit, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    Ok. New lighting experiment shot. Not sure what I think of this.

    Thanks to burnsw6 for the lighting setup suggestion.

    Strobist info:

    Check the picture of the setup for this picture. I don't feel like trying to explain it in words ahaha

    [​IMG]




    The Lighting Setup
     
  2. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    I feel like it's a tad bit warm.
    Also the shoulders seem a tad bit off, cant put my finger on it though.
     
  3. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    ok. But as far as lighting goes, how did I do? That's really all I'm worried about in this picture. The post processing isn't really an area that I need huge amounts of work in like I need in lighting.

    But yeah I noticed the shoulders too. I think what happened was she was leaning on her right arm and so it made her shoulder extremely sharp looking (speaking about its angle).

    I'd like this thread to be first and foremost focused on my lighting and how I can improve my setup. If you feel the need/desire to comment on something else as well, be my guest ahaha
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It looks a little bit backlighted; see how her neck casts a slight shadow, but her shoulders are bright? And her eyes are a bit dark? I think you've got more light illuminating the background and the area behind her, and not quite enough on the front side of her. The backdrop fabric looks very nice! The way you have the fabric stretched or draped and the way the background is draped or hung works quite well, and that is part of your lighting and propping of the shot.

    I looked at your Flickr page to see the set-up, and thought the LED light as a focusing aid was a good idea, but the focus on this, at f/3.5, is a bit too far back. Her blouse has a lot of nice detail in it, and it is in perfect focus,as are her shoulders, but the frontal planes of her head and hair are slightly OOF. I pulled the shot into PS and applied a +0.50 exposure compensation,and that made her eyes look brighter and better, but any more + compensation and the shoulders started to burn out very rapidly. Since you shot in .CR2 format, maybe you could apply a lifting of the curves in the mid-tone areas,and give the shot a bit more snap. I think this shot would have worked better in the vertical camera orientation. I applaud how diligently you are working at this!
     
  5. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I noticed the back light about midway through the shoot but was just too lazy to take the "diffuser" down and then take the flash off the ceiling and then move it back a few inches and then re duct tape it to the ceiling and then set the "diffuser" back up again and blah blah blah ahahahaa. I guess I'll just have to take it as a lesson learned for next time.

    I also noticed that the hair was OOF but didn't notice it so much in her face until you pointed it out. I'm actually kind of surprised that I shot at such a wide aperture as my kit lens doesn't do so well at the max aperture (f/3.5 is the max). I'm not exactly sure why I did that.

    As for the backdrop, I really do need to get either paper or a vinyl backdrop because every single picture I take requires extensive blurring on the backdrop which ruins the image's depth sometimes.

    And thank you for the PP tip and the words of encouragment! I really appreciate the advice from people so knowledgable like yourselves. I hope I didn't sound like I was defending myself in this post at all. I was just explaining how I noticed some of the same things as you did. I'll do a bit more in PP tomorrow and then re upload it.
     
  6. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    Ok yeah I checked the exif and it was shot at f/6.3. Not really important because I missed the focus anyways but yeah ahaha
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Sorry, my mistake--the pull-back shot was the one done at f/3.5. Looking at it again, I think maybe you could mount the flash on that Bogen tripod, and bounce the flash off the ceiling, OR bounce it off the wall AND a bit off the ceiling right where you come into the room. Looking at the cloth you used as a diffuser, I think a wall + ceiling bounce might also work just about as well,and maybe better.

    The fact that you *noticed* the backlighting midway through the shoot is a very positive, and looking at the duct taped flash on the ceiling, I can understand why you'd be reluctant to re-set the lighting scheme. You are working at somewhat of a disadvantage really---lights work best on stands, or failing that, tripods, or clamps where you can quickly and easily and reliably adjust the light and its height,distance,and angle.

    I am going to suggest that you try something, to create a low-budget softbox. Go to Wal-Mart or some place like that, a place that sells cheap styrofoam ice chests--the $2.79 kind,made out of styrofoam. Use a steak knife to cut out a hole in the bottom of the ice chest, so that your flash fits into the hole,tightly. Use some thin vellum paper as a front panel, and hold it on with tape or push pins. You now have a 1.5 ounce softbox that can be adjusted on a swivel head flash because the softbox is so,so lightweight. Use that as a frontal main light. Buy the large styrofoam ice chest, the kind that holds about 10-12 cans of pop and one 5 lb. bag of ice. Set the flash to wide-angle inside the box, and let 'er rip! If you don't know what I mean by styrofoam ice chest, ask your parental unit...

    You are definitely not being defensive. You show the demeanor of a 40 year old man.
     
  8. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    You need to position her in a way so that the top flash hits her more. Since it's coming straight down it's hard to get more light in her face, hence it being underexposed in her face but not in her shoulders lol Almost there! Love the setup btw lol
     
  9. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. mom2eight

    mom2eight TPF Noob!

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    I think you had a good over all concept with your pic. I like the capture since she sorta looks somber. I wish I could cc on lighting, but im an amature:)
    Burn nice job on the edit.
     
  11. willli

    willli TPF Noob!

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    jack
    Talking about lighting only. The problem that I see in this photo is the lighting contrast ration the light that is illuminating the hair is like half stop more powerful than the light for her face. Always have in consideration the light contrast ratio is very important this is a simple setup that may work for you.

    Key Light or Main Light f 8.0
    Hair light F5.6
    and fill light use a reflector that should help you try again and post the photo if you have any question feel free to ask
     
  12. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    the skin tone seems a bit on the red side, and the hot spot on her nose & side of forehead bothers me a bit. The fabric from her top on her left shoulder needs a bit more contrast, in my opinion.
     

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