Makeshift lighting?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by nealjpage, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Well, my work's finally having it's "employee appreciation" (Christmas) party this weekend. It's a murder mystery theme. Anyways, long story short, I got roped into doing "mug" shots. My only problem is that it's being held in a hotel banquet convention center. Those of you that've been to a place like that know about the lighting available. Well, I've got a hot-shoe mounted flash on my FE2, but no additional flash available.

    Those of you that do pro work, how do you get by with a setup like this? Is there something I could bring along, like a construction light that'd shine on the subjects and mount it on a pole or something? I'm not even sure where to start on this. I've never done portraiture before.

    Oh, I should say that I'll be using Efke 400 in my Nikon FE2, which is setup with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I may also use my Bronica 645. I've got some 100 and 400 speed film for that one.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Mug shots shouldn't be hard to do. They are basically the most inartistic portrait shots you can do.

    A hotshoe mounted flash should be fine...you might consider bouncing it off of the ceiling and using a bounce card to shoot some light forward.

    You will want to have a clear white background, which shouldn't be too hard.

    To top it off, maybe you could make up a card for them to hold...with a prison number or something on it.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Exactly.

    With a shoe mounted strobe there's not much you can do with it on besides bouncing.

    Tape an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper on your flash for fill too.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ummm.... we don't. We go in with proper equipment.

    I can't remember ever shooting any job with a camera mounted flash.

    Good luck.

    -Pete
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    That's what I was afraid of! :lol:

    Our mayor used to be a pro photog, but he's not friendly and won't lend me any equipment. I guess he's pissed that we won't hire his equally unfriendly son for his insane prices. And now one else will volunteer, so it's jut me.

    I did find a clamp-mounted construction light. That might help! I see pushing Efke in my future.
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Wow. This thread got moved. I was really confused there for a bit.
     
  7. bango707

    bango707 TPF Noob!

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    so murder mystery huh?! Is everyone dressing up for this thing?
    If it turns into CLUE then maybe you could stylize the lighting a bit.
    I know it wouldn't work for everyone but maybe some underlighting would look cool and mysterious.
    Either that or some high key lighting. Using one light to either camera left or right for your key and a smaller light for fill with a reflector bringing up the rear!
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Given the circumstances you should be able to get away with a hot-shoe mounted flash. I doubt if the people you are doing it for will be discriminating enough to notice. Just don't say anything to them about it.
    Approach it like the Paparazzi and press photographers and go square on.

    The usual approach would be to use an off-camera flash such as this:
    http://www.metz.de/en/photo_electronics/mecablitz_76_mz5_digital.544.html
    Often called a 'hammer-head'. They usually have more power than a h/s flash and they are off lens axis enough to get rid of 'red-eye'. Some also have bounce-board or soft-box attachments to soften the light.
    I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  9. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Thanks for the advice, guys. I took along my HS flash unit. Yeah, it decided not to work. So I mounted the construction light on an easel about four feet from the subject, put the camera on a tripod, set it to auto exposure, and used my cable release. Developed two rolls tonite and looks pretty good. Of course, we'll see what happens once I scan the negatives. I'll post a few once I get them done.
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can't wait to see them
     

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