Photography EMERGENCY Please Help!!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Groundskeep, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Groundskeep

    Groundskeep TPF Noob!

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    I am a video guy that has been dragooned into shooting still photography for a client of mine. So having worked with video for years, I understand some aspects of photography, but I still feel like I'm jumping into a whole different arena.

    As soon as I told my client that I had picked up a camera that could shoot digital still photos, (Canon T2i w/ 55mm standard lens) she immediately scheduled a photoshoot for tonight. Despite the fact that I don't even have a proper light kit.

    As you can see from the pictures I've taken here, there is a lot of light in this place already, what should I do to make sure every picture is not overexposed?

    This is an indoor shoot with 4 girls posing in business attire/fashion attire, lots of black and white secretary looking attire. I've attached some pictures of the space we'll be using in hopes that some experts will be able to give me advice about what I should have the camera set at, if I should use the flash at all , use external lights or what? Shoot in black and white or color? What kind of poses I should put them in? Just leave the camera on full auto mode? Anything you can contribute to not make this shoot a complete disaster will be a blessing. I've got about 7 hours till go time...If I have no advice, I may just set the thing to auto and leave it at that.

    The first picture there is a green wall that I'm going to shoot them against, going to move all the crap off and we'll have a solid background. Then the rest of the pictures are what I got using auto mode with the flash on.

    Thank you for any contribution,
    Groundskeep

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49991682@N07/sets/72157624049231538/
    [​IMG]
     
  2. graecyn

    graecyn TPF Noob!

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    I see no pictures!
     
  3. Groundskeep

    Groundskeep TPF Noob!

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  4. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Here's what I would do: If you're concerned about overexposing the whites, meter the whites to +2 stops and shoot like that. That way you guarantee not to blow out the whites while keeping them white.

    Shoot in raw and PP curves to get the rest where you want them.

    Somebody else will have more advice, I'm sure, but hope this helps.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Be sure and read your T2i users manual.
     
  6. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    If you're not confident with the camera and have an urgent need to take some photos, there's nothing wrong with Auto, the portrait scene mode, and / or the "P" mode. It should take away some of the pressure so you can concentrate on the composition and you'll at least end up with pictures you can see. Also set Auto ISO and Auto White Balance unless you are confident that you know better.

    I would switch on "Highlight alert" - when you review the photos on the camera, any overexposed areas will flash and you have the opportunity to use Exposure Compensation and try again. Also remember that predominantly dark scenes will tend to overexpose and predominently white scenes will tend to underexpose.

    If they are important, one off shots that you can't ever take again, set the camera to "RAW+JPEG". You will have the most flexibility to recover mistakes and still have a JPEG if you have trouble with the editing itself. You will fill the memory card more quickly though.

    The example photos you linked to are ok. They're not masterpieces, the lighting is a bit flat (it looks like the camera flash was used), but the exposure is fine.

    Look up all of these terms in the manual and make sure you understand them. And good luck :D
     
  7. Groundskeep

    Groundskeep TPF Noob!

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    @ benlonghair - could you say that same thing again, only explain it as you would to a small child?
     
  8. PenguinPhotoWrx

    PenguinPhotoWrx TPF Noob!

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    Get firm goals for the shoot. Make sure you know exactly what the client wants. If appropriate, register with someone your displeasure with being roped into something you don't feel qualified to do, at least compared to a full-time still photographer who is familiar with that equipment. I'm not generally a CYA kind of person, but from your description, it sounds like that applies here.

    Use your videographer eyes- you know what looks good in the viewfinder. If you have trouble posing the models, make it fluid- have them move into the poses like you would shooting video- then just fire the shutter when you see the image you are after "appear."

    Tough spot- good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  9. Groundskeep

    Groundskeep TPF Noob!

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    @ MrBarney Highlight alert, got it. I'm being told to use off camera lights in that room. If this is the case, should I turn off the camera flash? You mentioned something about the camera flash being on as if you disapproved, but I couldn't exactly tell what you meant.
     
  10. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    What lights do you have access to which are off camera, and if they are not continuous lights, how is the person giving the advice suggesting that you trigger them? Are they all the same colour temperature? Will there also be standard room lighting? Window (sunlight), flourescent or tungsten? Can you gel the off camera lights to match the colour of the room lights and set your white balance accordingly?

    Off camera lighting (at least my impression of it) is that it can get very complicated very quickly. I haven't had much opportunity to practice it yet.

    The reason on camera flash, particularly the popup flash, is seen as inferior is that it is in the same direction as the camera. This tends to give what is described as flat light and due to the small size of the light source is generally harsh and unflattering. It's ok if there's no other option, or for use as a fill light but most any other light source is better.

    An excellent example of why on-camera flash looks bad, courtesy of VillageIdiot:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ting-what-do-you-want-know-8.html#post1955362
     
  11. Groundskeep

    Groundskeep TPF Noob!

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    @ Mr. Barney -

    I only have my crappy continuous construction type lights. they have two settings:

    1. Warm yellowish light
    or
    2. Bright white light

    Which should I use and what white balance for them?

    I'm not sure between Tungsten light (3200k) and white fluorescent light (4000k)

    I imagine the lighting inside will remain exactly as in the pictures I've posted there.
     
  12. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    Now you're really out of my comfort zone! :lol:

    I've no idea how bright those construction lights are going to be. I'm assuming that they'll provide enough light (someone else please jump in here!!!)

    Ok, looking at the photos you posted I think I see some tungsten lights in the ceiling fan and spots. So the easiest thing to do (it seems to me) is to set the construction lights to 3200K and then set the camera white balance to either tungsten, manually in degrees Kelvin (I think you need to use the PC software to adjust that) or using an 18% grey card and custom white balance when your lights are in position. You'll need to diffuse them somehow - bounce off the ceiling maybe, or reflect off a large white posterboard? That mirrored wall will cause some issues with trying to keep the lights out of shot. Don't use the popup flash in this situation unless you gel it a orange or you'll get different coloured lighting in the shot and it'll look odd.

    Alternatively, you could turn off the ceiling lights, use the construction lights on 5000K and have the option to add some fill flash with the popup on the camera. White balance setup on the camera would be similar, but you might choose flash WB instead of tungsten.

    Please check all this - as I said, I'm not experienced in off-camera lighting, I've just read some stuff!
     

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