Photo booth question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Summer75, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I am doing an event and feel pretty comfortable with it all expect the photo booth portion. The photo booth will be in a small area, during a busy event, and I will bring my own lighting. I have one light with an umbrella style softbox, a lightstand that goes 8.5 feet tall, a reflector and a tripod. The room will be dimly lit with florescent lights.

    I was thinking of just putting my light up high behind me, setting the camera up on the tripod and doing the "idiot lighting" or "yearbook lighting" or whatever they call it. The flat "never can fail" head on light. I know the sofbox will soften it but I am afraid it will look super flat without shadows. I would like to do better. Ideas?


     
  2. tecboy

    tecboy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you shooting a dslr or just a kiosk?
     
  3. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    DSLR. I am going around doing photos of the entire event. But at the scheduled times when the photo booth is open, I will set up in front of the backdrop and do the photo booth. The photo booth is one of the main attractions so I want to nail it. And it is the only part I feel uncertain about only because of the lighting.
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Mixing colors of light is going to give you the most difficult situation in which to get the colors correct.

    Set your shutter speed to completely ignore the ambient room lighting. Use your (white) reflector on the off side. Don't forget that you can still use your built-in flash for straight-on fill. Just don't make it the key light. Keep it subtle.

    High and behind you is not where I would place your light. High might be o.k., but that maximum height will be too high, IMO. Just above head high should be fine. You don't want to introduce shadows in people's eyes.

    Position your light off to one side just a bit. Aim for about 60-70 degrees from the plane of the subjects. You should experiment some with this setup before the event.
     
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  5. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I am going to shoot RAW so I am not too worried about the colors persay. My light should dominate over the flickers of the florescent lights in the room. It is the shadows I worry about.

    You are right, too high will make weird shadows under the eyes. Thanks for making that point that just over head height would be fine.

    I have been playing with it at home. Whenever I put the light off to the side I get a shadow on the backdrop itself (and usually nose shadow on the face too), even if I position the subject away from the backdrop. How high should the reflector be?
     
  6. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I am toying with the idea of buying a really cheap second light. This way I don't have to fiddle with the reflector which I won't have anyone to hold.
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you're getting a shadow on the backdrop, move it further away unless it's a 'step & repeat' style which needs to be close, in which case, shadows are usually acceptable. The reflector needs to be where it needs to be; in other words: It's position is slaved to that of the key light. This is not going to be the easiest set-up to work with, 'though Designer's recommendation of using your built-in flash as on-axis fill is a good one. This would be MUCH easier with a second light. I do a LOT of this sort of stuff at events and use a VERY basic two-light set-up with a 42" white reflecting umbrella as key, about 30 deg off axis, and a 72" white reflecting umbrella as [almost] on-axis fill, usually about 1.5 stops down form key. That produces a result like this:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I don't have a built in flash on my camera so that won't work. I think I am going to buy a second cheap light for the other side. I have tried with no avail to use a reflector balancing on chairs, tables, etc.... to fill in shadows and am just not happy with the results.

    This example you gave (with the couple) is really nice! The eyes have that sparkle that I hope to keep and not wash out. Do you have a diagram to show your setup by any chance? I can be more visual at times, to learn things.

    What do you mean by a "step and repeat" style backdrop? The backdrop for the event will be provided so I am not sure what they are doing there, but at home I am just practising with a wall.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Step & Repeat backdrop.

    The main problems with using a reflector are (1) It needs to be placed opposite(ish) to the light to work which means your fill light will come in from the shadow side and NOT fill in the eyes, under chin, etc; and (2) reflectors generally need to be fairly close. I use a Lastolite Triflector when I'm doing location headshots, and it's usually literally just out of view; in fact I often crop the edge of it out of the image. A second light will make your life much, much, MUCH easier.

    I don't have a diagram handy, but it's pretty simple. Assume the camera to be the center of the set-up: The couple is about 8' away, and the background 6-8' behind them. The key light is about 30 degrees to my right and 1-2' in front of me. The fill light (large umbrella) is just to my left, and about 1-2' behind me, and set so that it's providing 1.5 stops less light on the subject than the key.

    The key light is set so that the light head is about 7' high and the umbrella angled down at about 30 degrees (approximately). The fill light is set so that the light head is about 6' high and more-or-less level.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't think this will look that bad at all to be honest.
     
  11. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I am thinking that if people turn to the side and make silly poses (as they often do at photo booths), that I will have nose and eye socket shadows. Also if 2 or 3 people come in at a time and overlap each other in funky poses, than I will have shadows from one person on another. Do you think one light straight on will handle that these types of things or make odd shadows?
     
  12. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I am having a heck of a time with the reflector. Maybe if I had another person to hold it I would find it better. I googled the triflector that you mentioned. That is sweet and even goes on a stand. But I think you are right... a second light will make my life easier. Who doesn't want an easier life haha.

    So if I can set it up so I have about 20 feet for the photo booth... subjects about 6-8 feet out and than myself and the camera about another 8 feet out? I actually understood everything you said without a diagram. Thanks very much for sharing that info. It was very detailed and just what I needed.
     

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