Lighting help?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by KAikens318, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. KAikens318

    KAikens318 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am going to be doing a photo shoot (unpaid) with some of my friends tomorrow night and I want to try and make them as professional as possible. I want the pictures to kind of look like Sears type portraits. I have three studio lights, two with white umbrellas. All have flourescent bulbs with them. I have some regular lightbulbs as well that I can use. I am just wondering if anyone has any tips as to where to position the lights or any resources that would be helpful as I have my first paying gig next week and would like to get everything down pat! I will be using backdrops of all different colors. Thanks!
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hot lights R not Ur friends.

    Sorry. I had to say that.

    What are the "studio lights"? If they're strobes, they'll work better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You don't want it to look like sears = if the tires on my car were as flat as their lighting, my car wouldn't move.
    if you want portrait lighting, use strobes, not video lights.
    lighting isn't something you just PUT INTO place and allow to occur. With photo-lighting comes posing the body, the head, the arms, etc etc but since you are short on time in regards to learning, look up David Ziser's videos. He has number of tutorials on lighting and posing. Many photo books, especially for beginners will also have diagrams where there lights are positioned.
    If you don't have strobe lights, won't be using built-inflash and will only be using lights you described, then either shoot raw to color correct it later OR preset the white balance and shoot at slower shutter speeds to capture your ambient light.
    There are other techniques you can use but we'd need to know what other equipment you have access to and type of camera (slr or point/shoot).
    good luck
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,216
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A week sounds about right to "get everything down pat!" :lmao:

    As far as resources: "Light: Science and Magic. An Introduction to Photographic Lighting" by Fil Hunter.

    You already know the 40 Rules of Portraiture, right? ;)
     
  5. KAikens318

    KAikens318 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks all. No, I don't have strobes. I told the family that I am shooting that if they didn't come out right I wouldn't charge them, but they know that I am just starting out so they will understand. I am only charging them $25 anyway.

    I am shooting with a Nikon D80 with a Nikor 18-55mm lens and I also have a Quantaray 70-300mm lens. I have my three studio lights which like I said are white umbrellas along with flourescent lights, and I have regular softlight bulbs as well. I have a tripod, cable release and also remote.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, set the main light to the right of your camera at about a 45 degree angle to the subjects. Use the largest umbrella and the most-powerful bulb as your main light. Elevate the light so that the center of the umbrella (or the shaft) points at the nose of your subject, which will throw a shadow that goes down and to the left of their nose. Set this light at 5.6 feet from the subject.

    Right next to the camera, at the exact height of the camera, position a second light, aimed straight ahead,at the group,and a bit farther back than the main light. Instead of 5.6 feet, set this light at precisely 8 feet distant from your subjects. Your camera itself will be about 8 to 12 feet. This light should be the same wattage as the main light, but it must be farther from the people than the main light is from the people.

    This will give you a very Sears-like, two-umbrella lighting scheme. Make sure you set the camera's white balance before beginning. Try and shoot at around f/4.5 to f/6.3 at an ISO sufficiently high (320,400,500,640) to give you a shutter speed in the 1/30 to 1/80 range,to prevent subject motion blur. Use a tripod if you have on, or a stabilized lens. Work at it,and see what you can come up with.

    Whether you use the remaining, third light as a background or hair or separation light is up to you.
     

Share This Page