studio lighting groups

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kkamin, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Here is the situation:

    Shooting in a normal room with a 10' high ceiling (3 meters).

    I have a 5 flash heads ([2] 400 watt, [3] 160 watts), a 40" umbrella, 3' & 5' octagon softboxes, a lot of white foam core.

    I need to shoot a group of five people, some sitting, some standing.

    ----------------------

    I've had problems with this scenario. I usually set the large softbox as high up as it will go, but in relation to the subjects it is not that high. I cannot get the subjects evenly lit because I can't get the light source far enough away to do so. I think it is problematic if one person is lit at a certain f/stop and someone at the other end is lit at 1-1.5 stops less. I realize I can shoot the light at them from closer to the camera, but I don't want flat lighting.

    Help.

    And any resources with lighting techniques and diagrams for lighting groups would be appreciated.

    Kkamin
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Lighting depends somewhat on the pose; if it's a "tall" pose, the frame will be more narrow than a wide or horizontally-framed pose, and therefore there will be less fall-off.

    I don't understand why there would be a 1 to 1.5 stop fall-off on a small, 5-person group shot, but then, I do not have your lights or light modifiers. That seems like an excessive amount of fall-off. Maybe it is your light modifiers, or the flash heads and their flash tube design, or a combination of those two factors, but that amount of fall-off seems a bit high from my perspective.

    Two solutions sprint to mind. The first is using your light source camera right,and then using a large reflector to the left of the group, aimed so it bounces the main light back to the group...those closer to the reflector will receive more light than those farther away. That will automatically even out the lighting. By large, I mean 42x78 or 78x78 inch fabric panels, or three to six Foam-Core boards.

    A second approach, if you want a side-lighted group, would be to feather the light so that the weaker edge of the light strikes the closer people in a horizontally-arranged group of five, and the stronger, more central beam hits those farther from the light source.

    I think a 30 to 35 degree angle of main light to camera axis would be okay, which would keep the falloff to a very minimal level,and with a single light of smaller size, would not be too overly flat-looking.
     
  3. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    I like the sound of this idea, but how would the lighting look? It seems like the people closest to the main light might have heavy shadows and the people by the reflector might look a little flat. But I have no idea, how does that approach pan out?

    Thanks, as always for you informative input.

    Kkamin
     

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