Need subjects, settings

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Iron Flatline, May 20, 2009.

  1. OMG, I'm having the most embarrassing problem, but I will be frank about it.

    I have all this great gear, but I don't know how to get started. I bought some strobe materials (flash guns, stands, umbrellas, triggers, all of that good stuff) but I have no one to shoot. It never occurred to me how little time I have with my kids for this kind of photography, seeing as they have school and life. My wife also has some - but highly limited - patience for this kind of work.

    What to do? I don't feel confident enough yet to ask models for TFP, nor do I have a good space to shoot in.

    I've been shooting for 25 years, but this is the first time in my life that I am doing my own lighting. I used to only shoot available light. I feel like I have to take several steps back before growing again. No problem, I look forward to the process... but now I seem stuck and unable to begin.

    So.... ANY ideas?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Self portrait time?
    Start to learn to love your remote and your timer ;)

    That is all that comes to my mind - well the rest of the ideas just have bugs, plants, objects and other macro sorts of ideas. Or you could take to photographing your pets?
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Friends can come in handy. Have a few come in once and a while. Make them supper, then have a few hours photoshoot with them :)
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I am serious when I say this.

    Go buy some fruit. Different colors and different shapes. Then make some arrangements and shoot. Move some lights / flashes around and shoot some more. Then move the fruit around.

    This works well for several reasons. Different colors, different shapes in the fruit itself and in the arrangement. Different textures in the fruit itself.

    Back lighting, top lighting (hair light), side lighting. Will give different light for the colors, textures, and shapes.

    And when your done. Give the fruit to your wife and say, fruit salad please. :mrgreen:
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yoram, go to the strobist site and all the information in lighting 101 and 102 that discusses a technique or method... start by copying it, understanding it and seeing what it does using your equipment. Get the concepts down, the techniques down and practice, practice, practice.

    You can use self portraits, dolls, your kids, the neighbor's sleeping cat, anything. Once the concepts are clear, move on to people you know, then models.

    After the strobist thing has been digested, join a local strobist group... none in your area? Start one! Make gatherings in interesting places (we have a local studio that makes a free day available for us a couple times a year), at people's homes, parks, abandoned buildings, theaters, gyms, businesses like bars and restaurants during off hours, make contacts, not everyone will want to take photos, some will want to model... integrate them and grow the club into a tool that everyone can use to grow with!

    I have a couple of photographer friends and we get together and have a blast during the weekends that the strobist group is not active. If I wanted to, there are things to do and places to go near every day of the week! :)

    I've started the concept that at the first 30 minutes of a strobist meet, someone discusses and demonstrates a concept. For example, at our next meet, I will discuss tethered portrait shoot using a laptop and camera. Witin my 30 minutes, I will also will discuss the techniques of how to work your lighting to achieve different effects such as Rembrandt, Broad Light, Short Light, open and closed Loop Light and Paramount lighting. Next meeting, someone else will do a 30 minute intro with whatever they want to discuss.

    Have fun, that is the most important! :D
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  6. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    i know you understand light. . . what i hear is a lack of confidence. which you can't lack if your going to ever put your work out to be viewed, or put yourself out there and try to create something.

    solutions:

    1.man up and do what you know has to be done. (ask people to sit for you)
    2.alcohol, then ask people to sit for you.

    all joking aside though, what else can you do but shoot? if your going to shoot people under those lights then i don't (from my experience) think anything else (including maniquens) can replace having a person there to use, even if your only practicing lighting techniques.
     
  7. Word.

    I'm on it... though I may do a few run-throughs with fruit and stuffies first.
     
  8. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    I think you will be fine. I asked several people to model for me under the influence! I used to have to beg and grovel to get people to model for me, now I have a standing list, so I must be getting better!

    You can't get better if you don't practice. The hard part is then putting it up here on the forum to be shredded ;)
     
  9. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    or give me your snazzy leica and don't worry about it:)
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know exactly what you mean... You have children right? Since mine was born, he is basically all I shoot now a days. Him or his teddy bears...

    I actually practice on him during his daily TV hour which is the few times he cooperates.

    btw.. Your signature is right on.
     
  11. Right, an attempt was made. 6.30 PM - usually this 4 year old's bedtime, but it's Father's Day in Berlin. This is one of three boys, we went out for some sushi (one of those places where the boats come around a little river) and in return for a promise to hold still for a few shots afterward I let him place Lego guys on the boats and watch them circle.

    Turns out he likes Miso Soup, and the floating pieces of Tofu...

    [​IMG]

    Shot under an S-Bahn bridge in Berlin.

    This is my first ever strobe shot... daylight from left, a shoot-through umbrella on the high right at 1/4 power with a warming gel, and another strobe illuminating the post behind him (also at 1/4 power). 1/50th at f/8. Best of all, I set this up in four minutes flat.

    Not exactly high art, but a first step on a long journey of controlling the light.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, your first step is better than my first step, so we can say you show more promise than I did... lol

    Nicely done!
     

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