Trying to figure out single strobe setup.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dominantly, Jul 18, 2010.

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Which monkey is the best monkey?

  1. 1

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  2. 2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 3

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. 4

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    So I am trying to get an idea for what I like, and what works when shooting portraits, specifically prep for shooting infants. I know the monkey will be quite different from a baby, but it's the closest thing I have :lol:
    I just threw a blanket on a couch and then played around with strobe position and settings a bit, first in i-TTL and then Manual. I have a giant softbox with good power, daylight balanced, that I will be using later when I get comfortable with a single strobe setup.

    So I would appreciate any tips from those of you who do portraits, infant shoots being a big plus. I mean contrast, flash angles, camera angles (besides the eye level point).

    So here are my monkey shots, let me know which you prefer.

    1.
    [​IMG]

    2. strobe low and pointed at top of head to get feet to fade away
    [​IMG]

    3. strobe at a 45 degree angle above feet
    [​IMG]

    4. strobe behind at and angle
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. flyingember

    flyingember TPF Noob!

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    none of them is better or worse than another
     
  3. MohaimenK

    MohaimenK TPF Noob!

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    1 and 3
     
  4. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Really cannot judge by this. Lighting should be adjusted for every portrait, individually.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Each shot is different. Shots 1 and 3 are my favorites.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The fourth, imo. The way you hae the light falling across everything instead of hitting it straight on creates texture in the fur and the background. Firing it from behind also creates a rim light which helps to separate it from the boackground.

    It's also not far enough behind where it creates a silhouette and still exposes the main subject well.

    I think the fourth is the most dynamic of the set and has the most going for it.
     
  7. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I made each shot different to try and see what the light would do to the shape, depth, and contrast of the tiny subject.
    While I know each shoot will be different, is it safe to say that there is no standard, works almost always, light!
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The fourth shot highlights the wrinkles in the background,and shows that the fabric has been draped over a table which is right at the front of the picture area. If you want a good look at the creases and wrinkles of the fabric, the fourth shot is definitely lighting up the background quite thoroughly. I guess it all depends on how much foreground subject and how much background/environment you wish to emphasize. Comparing setup 3 with setup 4 is kind of instructive.
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I personally like the 1st one best but I don't dislike either #3 or 4. Only #2 bothers me.

    Can't offer you any tips though because I never worked with just one strobe. I got 3 right from the start, lol. Ok, not quite true, I did sometimes to create more dramatic light. And that is maybe the problem with those shots depending on what it is you're thinking of doing.

    Most people are not that artsy and, to me, that would mean that for regular infant shots I would go for a less dramatic lighting. Which also means that if you are going for the artsier parents as clients, the more dramatic light may be just what the doctor ordered. Lol.


    But it is safe to say that the use of reflectors along with that one strobe will do wonders.
     
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Although I never took portrait photos, I tend not to like artsy when it comes to portraiture unless it is the look trying to be achieved. I like #4 because there are less shadows on the subject with #3 being next. Being a parent and getting photos of my children over the years, I don't want shadows on the faces that may make the photo unappealing.

    Most portrait photographers use more than 1 strobe but I would think that a reflector as was mentioned by cloudwalker would be beneficial. You mentioned a softbox - maybe try that out and see how it looks as well.

     
  11. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the post. I plan on doing something similar but with a bit longer distance between the subject and backdrop, and adding in the softbox to ensure the subject stays properly exposed.
     
  12. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the input, I brain farted and forgot the reflector; I guess that would probably help :lol:
    I'm actually practicing for my own kids photo shoot (he's close to being born), I want to try and get a quick turn around on a couple photos for the baby announcements, so no worry here about clients.
    I'm kind of fond of dramatic light, artsy looks, texture, overpowering the sun, desaturated tones, etc etc.

    I just picked up this book at B&N called Sleeping Beauties Newborns in Dreamland by Tracy Raver & Kelley Ryden.

    A ton of inspiration in there, cant wait to try some of these shots out. Just need to find some props.
     

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