Lighting Help... shadows..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by chrisburke, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    how do i get rid of the shadow seen in the following image? lighting was 1 strobe at left 45/45 with black reflective umbrella and a reflector on the right level with the body

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    #1. Move the subject farther away from the background.
    #2. light the background separately.
    #3. move the main light so that the shadow doesn't fall on the background where the camera can see it. (This isn't a good option because it changes the lighting on the subject, which is more important than the background)
     
  3. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    hmm i tried putting a second flash on the background.. it did make some of a difference.. guess i'll keep working at it.
     
  4. zeroskillz

    zeroskillz TPF Noob!

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    Since its a piece of cloth, maybe try putting a light behind it for effect...
     
  5. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    I think you could benefit from some reading, classes and/or work experience in your local studio. Try [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Light-Science-Introduction-Photographic-Lighting/dp/0240808193/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223146751&sr=8-1"]Light: Science and Magic[/ame] by Hunter, Biver, Fuqua. Strobist's [ame="http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html"]Lighting 101[/ame] can also be very helpful and walk you through the principles of lighting with speedlights. I have to be honest, these maternity photos are not very flattering to your subject and can be easily improved using techniques described in the resources I have listed. Good luck and keep at it.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is it me? I see the pic as being terribly underexposed.

    But to solve that trick, you need to light on 2 different planes. Three tier is nicer but for this issue that you bring up, just shoot A-your subject and B-your background with separate lighting.

    One plane:
    [​IMG]

    Two plane:
    [​IMG]

    Once you learn to control each aspect correctly, you move on to the next. Example, you don't move on to the back lighting until your subject is properly exposed. I like to under expose the background by 3 stops (makes it pretty much BLACK), then toss in a little backlight that *matches* the keylight exposure strength (NO shadows! ;) ). I overexpose the hairlight in a 3-tier setup by around a half stop over the keylight (subject). In the 2nd pic, you can tell I was about a 1/4 stop off or aimed the back light about 6-10" too low (you can tell there is a slight shadow of the bear's head/ears on the backdrop).

    To reduce the need for a strong backlight:
    1 - move subject a little further away from the backdrop (5-7 feet)
    2 - Bring the umbrella closer to your subject (within 3-4 feet or less for a 40-45" umbrella). The increased apparent light size will soften the shadows in the rear tremendously.
    3 - It should not be needed, but if it is, a reflector can be used to remove the last tinges of a shadow if needed.

    If you did the Lighting 101 exercises, it would be a little clearer, as they touch on this indirectly. Look for "apparent light size" for a clear explanation... or if you don't find it, PM me and I will explain.

    Oh... and get those wrinkles out of your backdrop! (lol)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  7. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    thanks a lot guys.. very helpful.. oh and i noticed the wrinkles like 5 minutes later and got rid of them....i'm not so sure i understand how to over expose or under expose a strobe... i can turn down exposure on my camera.. but to do it on the flash, is that just the button on the back that lets me turn the brightness up or down??? i assume so...
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    heres a question about other lights in the room... should I have all my lights off.. of should there be light in the background at all??? its pretty hard to focus in pitch dark...
     
  9. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    The light your strobe produces is on a different wavelength than tungsten or fluorescent room lights. If your camera is set @f8 1/200 ISO 100 you shouldn't be getting any interference from the ambient (try taking a picture without your strobe first at these settings and you should just get a black picture). Then add the strobe light and adjust the power on the speedlight to get a correct exposure. Speedlights do not produce a lot of power and will usually be set at full power (1/1), and can then be adjusted by varying distance to subject, almost always very close especially with modifiers like umbrellas or soft box, etc. :)
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The answer is... yes and no... lol

    If you are shooting in conditions where your camera's aperture is closer to ambient, it *will* affect your pictures if the lighths are on or off.

    If you are shooting in conditions where your camera's are making the ambient too dark, and you are properly exposing the scene with the strobes, the answer is no, it will not make a difference.

    Finally, wavelength will not have a difference... colourcasts *will*. If your room lights are tungsten and your camera is set to auto a 5200K whitebalance, your lighting colours will be kinda screwy. In this case, either turn off the lights or overpower them with the flashes and crank up the aperture settings. Doing what you were doing with the shadows and all, you are obviously playing closer with ambient room light a lot and are therefore, walking that tightrope of if ambeint affects your pictures or not.
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    (Jerry, correct me if I'm wrong)

    Chris, you probably are going to want to put the camera into manual mode now that you have a more complex lighting setup... I'm GUESSING that you are underexposing the image because the flash is pointed at the umbrella and not the subject, and therefore its metering is probably way off. I could be wrong on that as I don't know how or if the flashes meter off-cam, but, I'm certain putting it into manual mode and setting the camera settings appropriately for your flash situation is going to work better than what you're messing with right now.
     
  12. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    hey guys, thanks so much, your all awesome... the shoot last night went great.. i went full manual and am very pleased with my results.. just before the shot, i watched a video from prophotolife.com about lighting and types and positioning and all that stuff.. i learned a lot about white balance, which i never really played with before.. i just kept it on auto.. well after playing with it, i found a major difference and was able to get some pretty cool stuff.. i'll post the pics a little later.. biggest key i found was bringing the subject (my wife) further from the wall (thanks for that tip) it made a huge difference....

    the reason i was asking about room lighting is because my wife brought up a valid point... if i'm sitting in a room with a client, they arent going to want to be sitting in darkness... for the simple reason of, that being creepy.... this i understood, and I tried to explain to her that the other lights affected the picture... then, for the heck of it, i turned on a dim light, and changed some of my settings, and still got great looking pictures... so I know that i dont need to creep out clients...

    I told her that if i got some studio lights (like alien bees) that it wouldnt be an issue, because they are always, on, then flash brighter when the picture is taken... i figured she'd laugh at me when i told her the price.. but instead she said "well if you get a few more clients, we should probably get those" which was cool to hear... my calendar is actually starting to fill up with weddings (my main photo passion other than extreme sports) so thats pretty cool... I understand how pricing works for weddings, but it still boggles my mind when some people say that its to expensive... my cheapest package is 625, which is really cheap for around here.. so they end up getting a frend to take them.. then they call me and say "wow i see what you meant" as I explain to them why the cost is not cheap... but hey.. if i keep getting weddings like I am, wife will let me get some aliens in no time (we use most of my photo money to pay bills...but some of it gets to go back to the gear) just booked 2 more weddings yesterday...
     

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