[Serious] How can I improve this studio shot?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by NedM, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey guys. I'm finally diving into the world of working in a studio environment. I recently shot with a model in my studio the other day and when I put the images onto my computer I noticed a lot of discrepancies.

    Here's a shot straight from the camera:
    STUDIO SHOT

    Camera settings:
    Canon EOS 5D Mark II
    F/11
    1/200 sec.
    ISO-160
    Tamron 24-70 2.8 shot at 50mm
    White Balance: Set to custom at 5700K

    Lighting setup:
    I had two Flashpoint 620M 300 Watt monolights setup both at 1/2 power. I had one 24x36 Softbox and one 30x60 Softbox setup. You can see my setup more clearly here:
    SHOT OF STUDIO

    Here are some questions I have:

    Why is my background not completely white but instead a bit more warm in some areas?
    How can I improve or reduce the shadows in her eyes and also caused by her hair?
    How can I make her skin tone more flattering? It's a bit orange or saturated to me.

    These are the only questions I have right now, but any help would very much appreciated!


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    1. The variance in the light on the background is due to natural falloff. With only two softboxes the background is not evenly lighted.

    2. It seems you need a light closer to the lens pointed straight at the model.

    3. Adjust your white balance.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To add to Designer's points: You generally need two dedicated background lights when shooting wide seamless, and it's usually best to cross light (Light on the right illuminates the left side of the paper and vice versa). Read up on the inverse square law to learn about light fall off.

    Your lights should be raised; I generally like to have the lowest part of the modifier above the waist, and often closer to the shoulder. I'm not sure that I would add a light to illuminate her face straight on, but if the hair couldn't be moved and you couldn't tweak her pose or the light position just a bit, than I would up in with a couple of reflectors to kick some light back into those shadow areas.

    Is 5700K the correct WB for the your lights with those modifiers? I would recommend the acquisition of an X-Rite Colour-Checker Passport and its associated LR plugin for optimal colour accuracy.
     
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  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    for that tamron at f/11, it seems really soft at 100%

    so my number 1 would be: getting the focus nailed.
     
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  5. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have heard about the inverse square law and I figured that inconsistent background was due to some light fall off but I definitely need to look into it more. When you mention modifier are referring to the soft boxes I have attached to the strobes? I'm not at all too familiar studio jargon.

    Her hair just happen to be in front of her face for that shot and I was just curious to see if there was a way to eliminate or at best reduce those kinds of shadows. I was shooting for a client for their e-commerce and so the model did do a lot of different poses. If I raise the soft boxes higher or above her waist would that result in more flattering lighting on her face? Here's a shot where her hair is out of the way but the lighting on her face seems a bit off to me: SHOT

    I set the WB to 5700 because I thought that would yield me a 'whiter' or more color corrected image. How can I figure which WB is correct for my setup?
     
  6. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You think so? I thought my focus was spot on but I can see what you're referring too. Before the shoot started I pre-focused using live view and zooming in to have the focus sharp on the model's eyes. I left it alone after that. The model did move around quite a lot and she probably moved out of the plane a few times. I figured f/11 would have given a larger plane of focus, so I wasn't too worried. Maybe f/11 isn't my lens sweet spot... I see that you have same lens. Which f-stop is sharpest for you?
     
  7. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Tirediron's comments on lighting are good advice to follow, he's helped me a lot. Another thing to consider is that if this was a head/shoulder shot, two lights would probably work well, but a full body shots takes more lights to keep even illumination. In lieu of additional lights or in addition to, reflectors can easily be used to tweak the shadows.

    On white balance I leave the camera set to auto WB, then hang this in the first shot. Vello White Balance Card Set for Digital Photography WB-CS B&H In LR it's really easy to get the WB right. You highlight all the images in the set to select. Go to the first image with targets, and use the eye dropper tool to sample the white, gray or black to get the best WB, and or tweak it manually. Then click Synch>White Balance only. All the photos in the series will now have the same WB. You can do the same in PS but a little more difficult.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You should work out the DOF more accurately, not leaving it up to a hunch.

    Also, why not focus every shot? If you are concerned about focus, then leaving it to chance is not the best strategy.
     
  10. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Its a single person with a white background you don't need that big of plane of focus.
     
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  11. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In the OP, I'm not super concerned about needing every shot to be pin-tac sharp. To reiterate, I was working for a client who needed their e-commerce done, so we went through about 200-300+ outfits that day taking about 7-10 shots per outfit. We only had 8 hours, so there was just no time for me to fiddle with the focus for each shot. As long as the shots were relatively sharp, both the client and I were satisfied.
     
  12. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I'm realizing from everyone's post that my f-stop is unreasonably put at f/11. I'l probably read the articles Kmh sent and put my f-stop somewhere at f/8 for better results!
     

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