[Serious] How can I improve this studio shot?

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

  1. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Reducing the eye shadows caused by the hair: in shot #1, the left-hand side's softbox WILL cause a shadow on the face, because the hair is in between the softbox and the model's face/eyes...you need the main light to be more on-axis, and not so much off to the side. RE: the orange makeup...you can tinker with the oranges and reds and yellows in Lightroom, and tone those down, to get a more-realistic or should I say a more-pleasing makeup look. Some makeup will photograph with that type of coloration.

    A good idea is a key light coming from a slight angle to the model, and the second light, or the fill light, placed RIGHT NEXT TO the camera and aimed straight ahead at the model, and not as you have lighted this wioth cross-lighting. Cross-lighting is fine on backdrops, but often causes issues with the people in front of the background.

    If you want a white backdrop, you can add light to it, or subtract light from the subject, and then expose for the dimmer subject, which will drive the backdrop "Upward", or brighter. For example, had you exposed her at f/8, the backdrop would have looked whiter.

    Shooting this with just two lights is not nearly as easy as it would be with three, or with four light units.


     
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  2. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly the information I was looking for! Thank you so much for your input. I'm definitely going to give that 'upward' tip a shot when I get back in my studio. For now, I'll just have to settle with two monolights. I'll need to invest into a third and possibly a fourth strobe so I can get the results I want.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    There are many ways to liught things. Here is one suggestion you could try:

    IF YOU have the space...move the main light farther away from her, so its intensity drops from f/11 to about f/5.6...then crank one background light to Full power. So, one main light that illuminates her...from relatively far away...and at less than half-power, and the exposure set to get her into decent focus...say at f/5.6 or f/6.3...and the second light set so it hits the backdrop from a fairly straight-ish angle, just out of camera view, but behind her foot position on the seamless paper's front or "apron"...

    Using LESS light, on her, and exposing for a dimmer main light, with lens set to f/5.6 or f/6.3 or so, and one light lighting the white seamless, at a higher output level than the main light, will give a pure white backdrop.

    That would be one way to shoot this in a smallish office like you did. You do not necessarily "need" a second light for shadow fill-in. In a low-ceilinged office and with a white seamless paper on the floor, there'sprobably enough ambient spill from the main light to fill-in the shadows cast by one softbox.

    And by the way, the softbox is not a very large one...moving to a larger box could be helpful. But not 'necesary'. There are many,many ways you could light this type of e-commerce catalog or site stuff.

    Look on-line for studio videos on YouTube, or on web sites dealing with white background shots and how to do them.
     
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  4. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If this were Reddit, I would give you gold but for now enjoy a nice winner rating! Thanks again for that all helpful information. I am definitely going to give that a try and see how that works. Typically, I usually have a whole lot more room and a higher ceiling to work with, but I've since moved my studio into this smaller office temporarily.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you are taking the wrong thing from the discussion. f11 is fine. I often shoot at f22 in the studio. I think the softness is due to poor focus. The model's hair is casting a shadow on her eyes. You need to place the lights to prevent that. I assume your gear has modeling lights. If not take a test shot to see how your placement worked and then adjust from there.

    You can blow out the background in post process by using the levels function.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    LIsten to this guy ^^^^^^.

    There's nothing inhernently "wrong" with using f/11 under studio flash, but for a one-person, one-plane, standing pose shot, you likely could get by with f/5.6 or f/6.3 or f/7.1 or f/8, since there's not a pressing need for a lot of DOF. Buuuuuut...getting the focus correct is important for good sharpness. On modern, high-megapixel cameras, missed focus shows up, clearly. I think on shot 1, you missed focus. The lens is surely sharper than the photo shows...even $20 pawnshop optics can deliver higher sharpness when focused properly.

    As fmw mentions...use levels or the curves tool, and tweak the whites...you ought to be able to "lift the whites up" pretty easily; I use the curves tool quite often to do that.

    Yous situation is better than having blown-out the background light to a high degree, where you have blowback, coming from behind her, and bouncing back toward the camera.

    If you want to use two lights, you COULD use 4 large V-flats, or 4 LARGE reflector panels (house door sized or bigger)....blast the lights into the panels, which will bounce light back to the backdrop paper...THEN, the reflected light from the background bouncing back toward the camera position can be caught and bounced back off of a second set of reflectors, toward the model's face and front.

    What will that do? There will be MORE light on the background (say f/11 incident at the backdrop paper), and DIMMER light on her face and front. Expose properly for the face and the dimmer lighjting that it has on this thrice-reflected light (say f/5.6 ioncident light), and PRESTO! Pure, white backdrop, directly done, in camera. Using the science of light.
     
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  7. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, guys! I took a lot of advice given to me in this thread and I was able to get
    the results I wanted in my studio.

    First, I moved my studio into another part of my building with much
    more room to work with than previously before. In addition, I also moved my soft boxes further away from my subject or more straight on to help ease the shadows on the face. Both were set to just under 1/2 power.

    IMG_20170731_090935.jpg

    I also went out and bought two Einstein 640 WS to compliment the two Flashpoint
    620M 300 WS I already had. I used both the Einsteins has my background light and
    set them crossing over just as Derrel suggested. I set them both 1/32th for power. I'm
    not entirely sure what the rest of the numbers mean. I'm really new to having a studio.

    IMG_20170731_090501.jpg IMG_20170731_085201.jpg

    This was the final image and I couldn't be happier:

    rsz_img_0199.jpg IMG (1).jpg

    Previous shot on the left. Current shot on the right.

    Thanks to everyone for the great advice! I'm still very much new to studios so it's definitely a learning process.

    Here were my camera setting:
    f/7.1, 1/200 sec. @ ISO-200
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  8. lance70

    lance70 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can try moving the model a little closer to the camera.....have one light shooting at the backdrop which looks like you did but if she's moved up a bit you won't get as much bounce off the backdrop.....Then shoot in RAW and adjust your white balance in post processing. Maybe try and put the main light a little closer to the model as well.....
     

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