So just got my new flash...Need tips for portraits!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by AmericanJesus, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. AmericanJesus

    AmericanJesus TPF Noob!

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    So,

    I got the 56 flash from sony. Ive got it down for macros and other things. But all my portraits so far seem...like a flash was used =\. I also picked up a light sphere!
     
  2. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    A bounce diffuser such as Lumiquest or Stofen might help, or Sony might even have one for their flashes. They only tend to spread the light out somewhat, making the flash shot less harsh. You can also bounce the light off the ceiling or wall. The best way, though, is to go with off camera flash using one or more units.
     
  3. AmericanJesus

    AmericanJesus TPF Noob!

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    Ive been messing around with the off camera option, some nice macro results, but portraits are still meh.
     
  4. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Practice!

    And post a couple! Let us judge!:D
     
  5. AmericanJesus

    AmericanJesus TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    #1 is rather under-exposed, and the two kitten ones are fine; but since the OP seemed to be interested more in portraiture, let's look at that. Indeed, 'meh' seems to be an accurate description for the light here. The appears just slightly under-exposed, but I think the main problem is that the lighting is too diffuse; that is, there are no shadows anywhere, to speak of. While harsh shadow and highlights aren't desirable, neither is their complete abscence.

    The first thing this image needs is a better background; even just a plain, light-coloured wall would help. I think you could get away with two lights; one main diffuse light at 45 degrees, and then a smaller light just off centre to provide a little contrast.

    I'm sure some of the others who are far more expert at studio lighting than I can give more comprehensive advice.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    number 2 is flat!. Bounce the flash off something smaller or something at a different angle. That gives the subject some contour. The bottom one is excellent.

    Simple rules. Don't fire the flash dead on.
    Don't fire the flash directly unless you really mean it. Direct harsh light is a fantastic artistic tool, but can also kill a great portrait.
    Don't bounce your flash at an angle that the light becomes totally flat in the entire room.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Pretty much all portraits with the flash ON camera will be "meh" boring and flat. Get that flash off camera and the magic can start!

    Need I post it again? www.strobist.com ;)
     
  9. AmericanJesus

    AmericanJesus TPF Noob!

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    The flash was in my hand for that one. Im trying to figure out where i can go with it and howfar before my a100 refuses to sync the off camera. I also ordered a Strobists kit from where he recomends! Thanks guys!
     

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