Studio Lighting for Portaits

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by SS Photo, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. SS Photo

    SS Photo TPF Noob!

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    I am trying to take portraits and cannot get the lighting right. I want a very simple soft lit face with a totally black background. My lights are bouncing off the black background and the faces are not bright. I have a simple 3 light system with 2 umbrellas.
    Does the room need to be totally dark except for the studio lights?
    How many lights should I use and at what placement and degree?
    Thanks for these basic answers.:D
     
  2. JEazy

    JEazy TPF Noob!

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    if you want a completly black background, all you have to do is pull the subject away from the wall, crank up your shutterspeed, and use the flashes to light the subject up from the left or right...or both! hope you can understand that ha.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    set the subject at least 7 feet from the wall.... use a light that gives you a f5.6 or lower output. Do not bounce as the bouce will hit behind as well as in front of your subject. You will most likely have to set your strobes on manuel or auto output with the low power setting or shoot through the umbrella.

    You can light the subject fully from the front, what you want to do is cut the light before it reaches the background. Just keep the power down on your front lights and the light wont reach the background.

    If all else fails under expose the shot a little and bring it up on the subject in the editor. Now starting there experiment till you get your setup the way you want it. Remember you are trying to keep the light from reaching your background in sufficient amounts to light it up.
     
  4. JEazy

    JEazy TPF Noob!

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    um, i don't think he's ever done it before...

    just trust me, pull the subject away from the wall, and turn your shutterspeed way up and use a flash.
     
  5. tekzero

    tekzero TPF Noob!

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    USE A BLACK BACKGROUND THAT MIGHT HELP

    BUT I AGREE WITH J-EAZY
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I have no idea whether easy's way works or not since i dont do digital, but I can assure you mine will. Good luck with it.

    Im going to assume this is what you are looking for...[​IMG]

    Except for the extra color that showed up when i posted it here. scanner must have done that. In over thirty years I have done well ove a thousand bridal portraits on this black background.

    You mentioned soft light. You have to either defuse the light source or bounce.. bounce is an option but the light will spread all over hell when it comes out. If you shoot it open flash from the sides you are going to get harsh shadows on the face or around the nose and eye holes. It is best to have a flat even light across the face for portriats. The reversed umbrella gives you a less intense light than bouncing it from an umbrells. Still the umbrella bounce is okay but either use two or set it in front. Keep the light input down and the shutter speed as high as the flash will sync with your camera. I thought that went without saying.

    But hey what do I know. You might want to read a couple of books on the subject or experiment experiment experiment yourself.
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    This also seems to be a good place to discuss shutter speed and strobe light. The reason you adjust your shutter speed down when you use strobe or drag it, is to take advantage of the existing light. In the case of studio strobe use you dont really want to drag a shutter.. The room light will give you fits on color balance I would think. But it is mostly unpredictable. You set your shutter speed as fast as you can if you just want to register the strobe light.

    Now I may be mistaken here and Marc or one of the ohter will probably correct this but most camera's can't fire fast enough to effect the actual strobe light since most of the strobe I'm familier with fire at about 10,000 of a second down to probably a 1,000th but I really haven't looked it up.

    I personally have never owned a camera that could effect the stobe light by sutter speed, but most could eliminate the room light indoors. Unless I set it up to drag. Like I said I'm not familiar with digital so maybe something is different.

    The best advice anyone can give you is a ball park that you have to practice in. You play the game in the park but only after you practice there first.
     

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