What am i doing wrong please help

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by JayClark79, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    Ok this shot was takin in the studio in my basement.. I had a flash in front left, and another flash behind right.... The camera settings are ISO 400, f/4.5, and 1/125.. Im using a 50mm 1.8

    I can not seem to get the exposure down.. they always come out way under exposed... and the pics to me are also very noisy..

    Please help.

    Pic below.. I know the blacks are blown.. i only adjusted the lighter side of the exposure.. im also having a problem keeping the background completely black :(

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AnotherNewGuy

    AnotherNewGuy TPF Noob!

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    Why ISO 400, this is common for portraits but since you control the lighting I don't understand?

    I think the black is killing your light.

    I'm no pro but try this..

    Use the same lights but try popping up your onboard and bring the exposure down. This could help with fill light. Maybe slow down shutter speed and bring ISO down to 100 to get grain out of there.

    Or add a reflector to front right. It seems like your back light might be aimed too shallow. Unless the lit up ground is what you are going for. Also, with your light set up, it seems like you would want the kid facing the other way...

    Are you using soft boxes or umbrellas?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The exposure looks pretty good to me. I adjusted the blacks to be lighter in Photoshop using the Highlight/Shadows tool,and lifting the shadow values just showed me the wrinkles in the backdrop, especially near the front of the frame--the background stayed darker than the foreground, which is expected.

    This is a small photo, so it's hard to see much noise. If you think the exposure needs to be brighter, and less underexposed, my first suggestion would be to up the ISO,since I am assuming you are using the flashes at full-power manual. If you are "not" using the flashes at full power manual, you might be able to move the flashes a bit closer to the subject,so the flashes are just out of camera range.

    Overall though, I don't see the signs of underexposure--this exposure looks fundamentally sound to me, but then I don't have the RAWs to look at; is it possible that the RAW converter you are using is set to Default mode, and is just opening up the images with settings that are a bit dingy-looking? I mean, how much + exposure do you need to dial in to correct these to the point show above? I would think that if the camera were at ISO 400 at f/4.5, that a dual flash system with a 383 Vivitar as Main light ought to be just about right when shot through or shot into a 40-inch or so refelcting umbrella like a Photoflex convertible.
     
  4. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    What should the ISO be then.. I have it set to auto ISO and it auto sets for 400... i wouldnt think 400 would be noisy?
     
  5. |)\/8

    |)\/8 TPF Noob!

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    If the photo was underexposed and you lighten it in post you are going to get a lot of noise. You are going to have a hard time keeping your background black if you are using just bare flashes without any modifiers, but I would suggest putting as much distance between the background and your subject as possible. Move your lights closer to your subject, light in close falls off fast, "inverse square law". To get the cleanest file possible try to shoot at ISO 100, and try to go to f/5.6 - f/8, yeah you will have to crank those flashes up. I don't know what flashes you are using, but put them in manual and adjust until you obtain the proper exposure if you do not have a light meter or gray card. By using your flashes to overcome any ambient light your shutter speed becomes pointless, so you can only adjust your exposure by aperture and your flash power. If you do not shoot in RAW, learn how to.
     
  6. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    Hey Derrel this particular photo has a 1.7+ on exposure in lightroom.

    The main light is at 1/2 power, and the back light was 1/8th i believe.. Wouldnt upping the ISO make it more noisy?

    Here is a link to the full size image.. i understand no one is going to actually view it at this size.. is this amount of noise at this size expected... hell ill through in a link to a couple other sizes to
    Original Natalie - Jason Clark's Photos- powered by SmugMug
    3x Natalie - Jason Clark's Photos- powered by SmugMug
    XL Natalie - Jason Clark's Photos- powered by SmugMug
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would not use AUTO ISO with flash exposures--the ISO is one of the main flash control methods,especially with a newer, good-performing sensor. How are the flashes being controlled? What I mean is, what is determining the flash power level? The flash power levels on both flashes should be adjusted using a thing called the Jay-Index-Finger.:lol:

    Maybe I'm dense...I just don't know how one would shoot flash using Auto ISO. And that makes me wonder how the flash power output level is being determined. If you think the images are too dark, too underexposed, nudging the ISO up 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop would be the way to brighten them up in-camera. But the fact that you say they look way underexposed makes me think maybe the camera is having some say in flash output levels.

    Edit--okay, while I was typing you provided the flash power info: I would suggest upping the flash power on the main light to full power and the back light to 1/4 power. Upping the ISO on a black background shot with a person dressed in light-colored clothes will not show "much" noise, actually. On modern d-slrs when shot under "good light", there is very little noise, especially in the highlights; the noise will be confined mostly to the shadow values, and when the shadows are relatively filled-in with flash, the noise level is usually pretty minimal with a modern d-slr like your 500D. My suggestion on upping the ISO was based on the assumption that the flashes were at full power, but now that I know you had the main at 1/2, you've clearly got room to double the flash power on the main and the other light, and achieve a more generous exposure without any need for an ISO adjustment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  8. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    I am bouncing the flash, and im using 2 Vivitar 383 flashes... i could try bumping the f/stop up and upping the flashes.
     
  9. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    lol the flashes are being controled by basically ebay triggers, and yes the jay index finger is setting the flashes power
     
  10. |)\/8

    |)\/8 TPF Noob!

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    You answers are in my post, read it try it, or keep chasing your tail, ;).
     
  11. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    i need to start looking at the on camera histogram and trusting it.. i took a test picture before these... it looked great in the display.. i checked the histogram and it shows blown blacks, and underexposed..... DOH...
    when i bumped up the power levels things looked way over exposed.. i did not check the histogram that time though
     
  12. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    ill give it a try guys thanks for your help!
     

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