Need Input for shoot!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Bram, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Bram

    Bram TPF Noob!

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    Alright here's my setup: D40x, standard 18-55mm kit lens, a 55-200mm VR, and a SB-600 speedlight. Now, my friend who is a hairstylist asked me to take some shots of the models hairstyles that she did, to put in the salon's magazine (also sold in stores). Now I am really nervous because I have never really done any model style photos. She also noted she would like to have either just headshots, or chest up shots, any input on how to approach this and what angles to try, or ANYTHING AT ALL, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks TPF.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Since the magazines are sold, you will need to provide signed model releases and a use license for the publisher.

    You will want to use the 55-200 at about 85mm, a middle aperture (about f/8) for sharp focus, a tripod, and a plain background the model is 6 to 8 feet from. If you have a remote shutter release (ML-L3), use it.

    The ambient light exposure is controlled by the shutter speed and the aperture controls the strobed (flash) light exposure.

    You will need to either bounce the flash and use a fill card, or use OCF (Off-Camera-Flash). I recommend setting up the flash to sync on the rear shutter curtain.
     
  3. Bram

    Bram TPF Noob!

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    Woah, alot of information there, I unfortunately do not have a remote shutter release. My sb600 will need a cord to be used as an off camera flash which unfortunately I also so not have. If you are familiar with the SB600 how would i set it to syc on the rear shutter curtain? Is that in the manual ?

    Yes as you can see fromt he above comment, I AM NOOB! when it comes to the technical aspect of it.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The SB-600 doesn't have a port for a cord.

    Rear curtain sync is set in the camera.

    Using flash introduces a level of complexity to doing photography. It takes a good basic understanding of how the camera functions.

    A dSLR camera shutter has 2 curtains. Nikon calls then the front and rear curtain, Canon calls then the first and second curtain.

    At any rate, when you trip the shutter the front curtain drops exposing the image sensor. When the time the shutter is set to is up the rear curtain drops covering the shutter and stopping the exposure.

    At that point both curtains reset to the top of the shutter, ready for the next exposure.

    When doing flash photography it can be advantagous to have the flash fire as soon as the front curtain has exposed the image sensor, or at the beginning of the exposure. At other times it is advantagous to have the flash trigger just before the rear curtrain starts to close, or at the end of the exposure.

    In the case of front curtain sync and a moving subject you can get a bright sharp rendering of a moving subject from the short duration of the flash, and then as the subject continues moving you get a dimmer ghost in front of the subject that is recorded by ambient light.

    With rear curtain the ghost is behind the subject because the dimmer ambient lit motion occurs before the brighter flash that happens at the end of the exposure.

    Most cameras have an x-sync speed, which is the fastest shutter speed wher the front curtain opens fully before the rear custain starts to close, usually 1/200 of a second or so. Your D40x has a 1/200 sync speed and no capability to do FP-sync which allows using shutter speeds faster than 1/200 when using flash. The duration of the flash an SB-600 has is about 1/1000 at full power and as short as 1/40,000 at it's lowest poer setting.

    At faster shutter speeds the front curtain has not fully opened before the rear curtain starts to close. The gap between the two curtains is a slit narrower than the image sensor is high and a flash has to fire several times during the exposure as the slit exposes different parts of the sensor, (FP-sync mode)

    Check out this link and watch how a shutter works:
    Jeffrey Friedl's Blog Nikon D3 Shutter Release in Super Slow Motion
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  5. sobolik

    sobolik TPF Noob!

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    You probably want to use bounce flash almost always

    Portraits typically have blurred back grounds. Thus remember to get away from the building walls and don't be close to aid in depth of field control. Use a large aperture hole for reduced depth of field.

    However if you have a sharp background you can blur it and massage it with a good editing program but you can not restore a blurred one. So taking both is a good idea.

    Portraits typically have an expected vantage point and amount of the person. Some seated have the whole body, standing the head and shoulders etc. Study examples on the web and duplicate these. The reason I say duplicate is that a certain segment of the population expects to see them. They will think you screwed up if it is not "normal"

    Also forget normal, go for art. Take additional shots from ankle level to slightly over head, to very overhead. Have the person lined up to where the shot is taken and keep them there but you move left and right high and low. It can adds a Hollywood art to them. Seldom are professional and expensive movies photos etc like we do things. You can study and apply printed photos and movie making angles etc while watching your favorite shows. For example seldom are women shown with their hips square to the camera. Most always angled.

    Study how angles etc. can accentuate flaws or minimize flaws. Up close with a wide angle lens will accentuate the persons naturally big nose. Far away with a zoom will tend to minimize the largeness of the nose. Again: seldom are women shown with their hips square to the camera. Most always angled. A large person when viewed from below can look larger, from above look smaller. People like it when you don't make them look worse. They might even think you did it on purpose

    The same goes for hair styles. To emphasize a feature get very close with a wide lens to demphasize get further away. Watch that you don't inadvertently distort a face to a detriment. To present a conservative hair style perhaps the standard portrait type pose approach is the best choice. To present a radical hair style perhaps a radical angle is the better choice. You can do both angles for each and later pick the best ones.

    Take a photo of the person obviously admiring the hair style in the mirror. Or the fingers putting the final touch on a style. Or the facial expression that symbolizes the hair style emotion. (A festive and free style would not go well with a frown) Be creative and be documentary both and then pick the best later.

    I have an approach for these kinds of things. Shoot first and ask questions later. I will start shooting at ankle level and work my way up until my camera is as far as I can reach over my head. Sort it all out later and pick the best ones.

    success ratio: Take plenty and pick the ones that are closest to just right. I get about 25% that make the final cut. They could have been looking right just a little more... etc. . Out of say 8-15 photos of one pose I might get 2-4 that are close to being just right

    good luck
     
  6. Bram

    Bram TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for your input, only problem is, I see you reffering back to a wide angle zoom lens which I do not have. Also, wheny ou say go ankle and work your way up ? Do you mean shoot full body with feet cut off and keep advancing up till all you got is a head ? Move the camera up or zoom in ?
     
  7. sobolik

    sobolik TPF Noob!

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    Just use the widest you have if wide is the best general idea and use the longest you have if long is the best general idea.

    As far as what I meant to aim for:
    If you are taking a standard portrait of a couple for example. You would put the camera about their eye level and have them pose and look at the camera for the shot that includes say the faces and shoulders only.

    Then for the creative ones you tell the couple that you are going to try some different angles and to keep looking at the camera as you move the camera up down and side to side. The results will be a similar framing of the faces and shoulders but from different vantage points. This is an advantage of a very wide angle lens. You are sure to be off kilter taking the photo while not looking through the view finder. You crop off the excess it to straighten out the crooked ones. Just take a step back to increase the wide angled-ness of what lens you have. The beauty of digital you can do a run through and immediately see how accurate your aim was when holding at ground level and high over head. Just do it again if off target.

    If you are 15 feet from the subject holding the camera very high or low generally has an attractive change in vantage point. At 5 feet from the subject doing the same can have a very awesome effect or be a very terrible result. Shoot first ask that question later. Did it work or is it a dud? If I get 25% to pass inspection then I'm very happy.

    I told a bride and groom that I also like taking photos when they are not looking at me. They were milling around posing for the families various cameras and I appeared out of the corner of the parents eye with my camera held as high as I could taking photos that were more or less looking down at their left cheek bones as they looked off to my left. The somewhat surprised parent was informed by the bride that I like to do that. The parent just resumed posing for the family. How great is that! The bride helping me to inform the subjects.

    Just communicate to your subject that these creative angles might turn out real well so just play along. Also take the standard pose shots as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010

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