Outdoor lighting question.....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Southerngal, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Southerngal

    Southerngal TPF Noob!

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    If you are shooting outside, and you are it, not a sole to help...what are your options as far as light? You cant be in 2 places at once to hold a reflector up etc.? I still havent grasped the whole lighting things, so any advice as to technique/equipment/setup, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance :D
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Even if there are people to help, the more extravagant lighting setups (multiple reflectors / diffusers) will be mounted on some kind of stand.

    I guess another option would be to mount the camera on the tripod set the self timer then grab the reflector and set it up, but I don't like that thought as the expression you are trying to catch may disappear before the camera clicks.
     
  3. Southerngal

    Southerngal TPF Noob!

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    okay, so say the person is under a tree, shaded area but there are a few small hot spots on his/her face. The sunlight is behind me off to the right...where is my placement of reflectors etc.? fill flash or other, and if other, do I use it head on? All the technical stuff gets me :confused:...I think I think too much, and Im unsure of what to use and when to use it. Right now Im interested in outdoor/on sight photography, so any lighting advice in this are would help.

    Garbz.....thanks for the quick reply :D
     
  4. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I'm definitely no lighting expert, I have the same problems a lot of times when I'm under a tree. I just try and place the reflector to catch some light and soften the hot spots.

    I'm getting a 430EX in the mail either monday or tuesday so I'm looking forward to using that off camera as fill. Should give me a little more control.

    As far as not having anyone to help, I never do. I have a remote for my camera so I either set my camera up on a tripod and hold the reflector and just hit the shutter with the remote, or lean the reflector against my tripod or something else if I can get the effect I want by doing it that way.
     
  5. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Believe it or not, you sometimes want to use a light ABSORBER rather than a reflector.
    Essentially a black cloth that will actually absorb some of the reflected light off of the subject. Most reflector sets come with a black cloth. If not, the $1.00 section of cloth at Walmart is in store here.
    Just use it like a reflector, but it will tone down some of the hot spots. It takes some practice here, but it works.
     
  6. Southerngal

    Southerngal TPF Noob!

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    I can do that. Its just when Im in the shade too, and the sunlight is several feet behind me that confuses me. Do you have to have direct sunlight hitting the reflector for it to be beneficial? I guess my question is...in this case, where should I place the reflector? And another question (dont laugh) I get having a hot shoe flash......Im planning to order one.....can you tell me how you would use it in the given situation outdoors...would you setup and position something to bounce light off of or would you shoot head on?
     
  7. Southerngal

    Southerngal TPF Noob!

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    What type of lighting is recommended for outdoor shooting.....what is easy to carry and setup?
     
  8. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I like the Strobist method. http://strobist.blogspot.com/ You can be as simple or as involved as you please, depending on the look you are after. I use Pocket Wizard radio slaves with off camera hot shoe flashes on lightweight stands with umbrellas. Instead of the pocket wizards (a little pricey) you can use the small Wein photo-triggers that will fire a off camera flash from your cameras flash. I used these for a while, they work well but other flashes will set them off. Just remember to back off the power of your cameras flash or if you can point the cameras shoe mount flash at the remote flash, that work very well. This method uses manual flash settings, so you must be proficient at lighting techniques and optimally use a flash meter for setup. Since you shoot a D80, you can use a stand and setup SB600's or SB800's and use multiple TTL flash that is all auto-exposure. This system works GREAT. But, is pricey also. Hope this helps, if I can help, ask away.
     
  9. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    The strobist is a great looking site, I only had time to read through a little bit. I'm currently putting off a Digital Systems Design test...

    I don't even know what I'm doing really, I just have ideas. When I get my flash, hopefully before I leave for vacation I will have a better idea on whats going on. But until then I can only base my advice on what I've read and seen.

    http://jacobthephotographer.com/061307/ This photog used just 2 strobes, 1 handheld.
     
  10. Southerngal

    Southerngal TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the link....I havent watched the videos yet. Let me ask you this, would one hot shoe setup be enough? And can you explain what you mean by pointing the cameras shoe mount at the remote flash?

    Thanks again....Ill get it all someday!
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A good simple solution is to put you subjects in the shade with a brighter area behind them. The sun over your shoulder is probably not the best idea. With them in the shade you can then use fill flash to light them up al little more I like to use the Gary Fong Lightsphere. http://store.garyfonginc.com/lightsphere.html
     
  12. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If your off camera flash is triggered by a photo-cell, something made by Wein called a peanut slave (or something similar) you will need to set it off with a flash source. This can be your cameras built in flash. The problem with that is the cameras flash only points straight ahead and you may get too much fill on your subject. It can also cause red-eye. But if you were to use any old flash, something cheap that has a swiveling head and point it at your remote flash to trigger it, only that flash will affect your subject. I most likely am making it sound more difficult than it needs to be. You just want enough light from the camera mounted flash to pop the remote without ruining the effect of the off camera flash. A cheap manual flash to use for this setup would be something like a newer Vivitar 283 or the Sunpack 383. I used the 383's for a long while. You could use one on a stand with umbrella as your main light and another (or a cheaper lower power flash) on the cameras hot shoe to trigger it. The flash on camera can be set to it's lowest power setting.
    Now that I have typed all this out, I realized that by the time you purchase 2 383's, and Wein slave you are approaching the same price as a SB600. This would be controlled by the camera wirelessly and give you auto flash exposure while letting you put the flash off to the side for more dramatic lighting. When you start to study lighting you will see referenced to apparent size of the light source. By adding an umbrella to the flash and stand, you are increasing the size of the lights source. This softens the shadows and creates a more pleasing portrait. It also reduces the flashes brightness, so the flash will need to be relatively close to the subject but out of the frame. And to answer your other question, yes you can do very well with one off camera flash and umbrella setup. The strobist site will go over this concept better than I can here. It's a lot to learn, but the results are worth it. Good luck and keep us posted on how it's going.
     

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