Lighting for close-up portraits

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by hyperjoga, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. hyperjoga

    hyperjoga TPF Noob!

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    First a bit of history... I was big into photography in high school but after school, my interest seemed to wane... A couple weeks ago my mother, an amateur photographer, told me she was going to sell some of her gear that she didn't use anymore. When I told her I would be interested in taking it, she gave it to me as a gift! I've been REALLY getting back into it since... Now I've got a Nikon N80, a Nikkor 300mm macro lense, and a Sigma (I forget the # of mm) wide angle lense...

    Anyway, so I have a great idea for a series of close-up portraits of my fiance. She is Korean and she has these marvelously exaggerated facial characteristics... She almost looks like a cartoon, if you can imagine. Round face, small mouth, big eyes, wide nose, tiny ears, and her eyes nearly close all the way when she laughs.. She has a very expressive face!

    So my idea is to take a bunch of shots of her making really colorful, exaggerated expressions... Funny faces, sad faces, happy faces, mean faces, weird faces, etc. etc. You get the idea. I was going to use my 300mm macro lense to get her face up close, these pics won't be head & shoulders portraits....

    So I know that lighting will play a really important part in making these pictures artful and not just a bunch of pictures of some girl's face.... Lighting will be key, I think...

    Since I haven't done this in SO LONG, and I never had the opportunity in high school to really get into lighting, I'm not sure where to even begin. I was thinking black & white film, but wouldn't be opposed to trying color.. ANY tips you guys & gals have on lighting, film speed, etc. etc. would be greatly appreciated. Is there a good book on the subject? I found one called "Lighting the Nude" that was about lighting the naked human body, looked like a ~really~ fabulous book.... ? I don't have any lighting gear at this point, but if need be I can certainly generate some $$ to invest in this project.

    Many, many thanks!

    /Micheal
     
  2. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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  3. hyperjoga

    hyperjoga TPF Noob!

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    Cool deal, thanks for the tip... Is that a good deal on the strobes? I see that there are several of them listed today.... Many of them are around $299 for a set of two...

    http://search.ebay.com/search/searc...SortProperty=MetaEndSort&query=strobe softbox

    As far as literature goes, would ya'll recommend any books? I've been reading the National Geographic Field Guide to Photography, which I'm learning a lot from...

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  4. hyperjoga

    hyperjoga TPF Noob!

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    Also, what's the difference between 660ws and 368ws? Brightness? What does WS stand for?

    Many thanks,
    Micheal
     
  5. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    for a hobby studio I think it's a super-deal... coz it gives you basically everything you need...

    WS stands for Watt Seconds, which is basically the (light) power these strobes provide.

    Some photographers prefer continous light though
     
  6. hyperjoga

    hyperjoga TPF Noob!

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    Groovy, thanks again for the tips..

    Is (under all/most circumstances) more light power better? Or do some photographers have different WS power strobes for different situations? I realize I don't need more than one at this point, but curiousity killed the cat. :)
     
  7. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    the bigger your object (think distance) the more powerful your strobes...
     

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