Self Portrait .... light practice

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Johnboy2978, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello all. I really usually hate self portraits, but I was bored and thought I'd practice with the new alien bee octabox that I got last week. Since I had no willing subject, it was me in the hot seat. The focus is a little off as I did it w/ a remote. I lighted it w/ the octabox and I had a sigma flash as a slave to serve as a background light. If I understand my calculations correctly, it was a 1:2 ratio. Comments appreciated.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I understand next to nothing about what you are telling us here on ratios and slaves and all that (sorry for being so utterly ignorant in that field, all I can ever do is PLAY with lights, see here and here and here ), I do like to see a photo of yourself at last :D.

    Agreed: focus is not QUITE right, but the lighting is very even. I think I can safely say as much ... anything else needs to be said by the experts.
     
  3. Sebastian

    Sebastian TPF Noob!

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    Hello Johnboy,
    at first I have to say that self-portrait are always difficult.
    You are right, the focus not perfect, but the first thing that comes to mind is the background (our must I say "aferimage"?) is too bumpy.
    The lighting and the
    display detail is still good!:thumbup:
    I use paperboard for backgrounds because it`s more even.
    By the way, you`re a very nice model :lovey:

    Sebastian
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the comments guys. Lafoto, I used an octabox which is a big 47" octagonal softbox as my main light, and I think in this pic it was actually bounced off the ceiling at a 45° angle. The power setting was 1/32 and then used a sigma ef500 dg super flash as a background/hair light which was at 1/64 power to try and separate me from the BG. Actually I guess the ratio should be 1:0.5 instead of 1:2. Just a basic shot, nothing fancy like digi matt can do.

    Thanks for taking time to comment sebastian. I made an effort to blur the BG as I used an aperture of 3.5 but I still wasn't very far from the BG. Seems like I never can have enough room in my den for doing this stuff right.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just a bit about lighting ratio:

    To make a photographic record, film or digital, there must be light reflecting off the subject. In other words... no light, no image. With that in mind, first light the entire scene with flat, even lighting. This is called the fill light. This light will preserve detail in the shadow areas of the image. Whatever the amount of light used, think of it as ONE UNIT of light.

    Then add a second light that is twice the strength as the fill light, or is equal to TWO UNITS of light. This can be achieved by using a light with twice the output, or by using a light with same output placed closer to the subject. Meter carefully. This second light is called the main light, or key light. It gives shape to the subject by creating shadows.

    Since the entire scene is illuminated by the fill and has one unit of light falling on it, introducing the main light will add two more units of light to the highlight areas, making a total of three units of light. So, you now have three units of light in the highlight areas and one unit of light in the shadows, creating a 3:1 lighting ratio. Ta da! Rather simple, really.

    I hope this helps.

    Pete
     
  6. Jazz

    Jazz TPF Noob!

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    JB - I agree that self portraits are tough to do. I think you did well. I like the classic pose and the space around it. I like the light from that octobox and the drop shadow looks good. Not crazy about that sweater as it doesn't seem ... timeless ... enough. Also curious as to how it would look in b&w, especially with this pose.

    Thanks for sharing.
     

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