Lighting Problem

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by btferrar, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. btferrar

    btferrar TPF Noob!

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    I am a beginner photographer and I just purchased a rather cheap lighting set to practice with. I bought 3 lights and stands that came with 2 white see through umbrellas. The lightbulbs that came with the kit are 6400k white perfect daylight bulbs. When I first used them to take practice pictures..I thought that the light was a little too white and made the subjects a bit blue and bright. I tried positioning them farther away but all that did was increase the shadowed areas. I want to take portraits that have natural soft skin tones etc..do I need to adjust my white balance on my camera or do I need different light bulbs. Also, can you just put any light bulbs in these kits, or only certain wattage?? As you can see I have lots of questions.
    thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, I assume you are shooting digital. In that case, you should be adjusting the White Balance on your camera...we really, you should be shooting in RAW and adjusting the White Balance later.

    To start with, check your manual about setting a custom white balance. Go through that process to set and use a custom WB, that should do the trick, but it's still best to shoot in RAW.

    Also, you need to be aware of all light sources that may be affecting your light (on the subject). If you are inside and have the room lights on, that could affect your color. You want to avoid mixing light types (temperatures)...because you can only be set to one temperature...so anything that differs from that, can cause a color shift.

    Constant lights are usually hard to work with when shooting people. They are usually under powered and they get hot. I'd suggest keeping them as close to the model as you can, but keep in mind how hot/comfortable it is for them.
     
  3. btferrar

    btferrar TPF Noob!

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    I will try shooting in RAW or adjusting the white balance. If I shoot in RAW then how do I correct the white balance later? Do I need photoshop to do this or just a basic photo program. I was thinking of buying photoshop but I can't spend the $1000 it costs! Any cheaper suggestions??
    Oh..just to clarify, yes I have a digital camera that my father in law bought for me at Christmas...it is a FUJI finepix 5700. It seems like it will be nice for a beginner to learn on. I bought a small adapter ring and I am going to try and buy a couple of filters. Any ideas which basic filters I should buy first. I was thinking a polarizer and maybe a ND filter. Thanks for your reply
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I'm not sure that your camera can shoot in RAW. Check the manual. If not, then no, you can't adjust the WB later, so make sure to do a custom WB before you shoot.

    In a nut shell...when a digital camera takes a photo, it takes the information from the sensor and applies the settings (contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance etc) to the image, then gives you an output file, usually JPEG. Higher end cameras allow you to shoot in RAW, which is basically the info from the sensor, without applying the settings. So you can change those settings before you convert it into a JPEG or TIFF file. It basically gives you more control. It's great because you can change the WB setting afterward.

    If you don't have that option, you will need to get it right...in camera.

    As for filters, the only one I really recommend is a polarizer (to use outdoors). An ND filter isn't something that an average photographers would use very often. I use one for shooting waterfalls where I want a really long shutter speed...but other than that, I never use it. Most other filters are easy to replicate in Photoshop (or other program).

    As for image programs, you could look into Photoshop Elements. It's almost as good and much cheaper. There are also some other good ones that are cheap or even free (GIMP) so look around.
     
  5. btferrar

    btferrar TPF Noob!

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    thank you...I appreciate the time you took to answer all of my questions.. I will have alot to work on in the next few weeks...Thanks again
     
  6. antionette3121

    antionette3121 TPF Noob!

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    sorry to be the simpleton but what is RAW?
     
  7. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    Check this out

    As well there is a thread on RAW vs. Jpeg on the 1st pg. of this forum...

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  8. antionette3121

    antionette3121 TPF Noob!

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    thanks
     

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