Where to position strobe?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by pgowder, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. pgowder

    pgowder TPF Noob!

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  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You position the light wherever it needs to be, to get the lighting that you want. ;)

    There are certain lighting patterns (glamor, Rembrandt, loop, split etc) and those will have specific combination of light placement and model position...but the thing that trumps all that is 'Whatever looks good to you'.

    The lighting on your daughter looks good. The backgrounds are a bit distracting though.

    It looks like you are also using an on-camera light. Is that to trigger the off-camera light, or for fill...or both.
     
  3. pgowder

    pgowder TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I know the background is bad. I literally unpacked the umbrella and fired off a few shots.

    I'm using the on camera flash to trigger the remote flash.

    If I dial down the flash compensation on the camera will that affect the remote flash? Will that help cancel out the on camera flash?
     
  4. pgowder

    pgowder TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to lighting this way. Where do I learn more about those patterns? Any good recommendations on books/dvds/etc?
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The optical trigger needs a certain amount of light for it to work...so I would suppose that if you turned the flash down too far, you might have trouble getting the remote to fire.

    Most on-camera flashes use a pre-flash, which usually triggers the remote prematurely. it seems to be working for you, so either you don't have a preflash or the optical trigger is smart enough to ignore the preflash.

    Actually, using the on-camera flash for fill, is a pretty good idea.
    When you are taking a portrait, you want to be concerned about the light ratio on the subjects face. That is the ratio of light on the bright side compared to the light on the dark side. Even lighting would be 1:1, a one stop difference would be 1:2 etc.
    This is where it's very handy to have a flash meter, so that you can measure either side and know what ratio you are getting.
    You off camera light is probably going to be your Main (or Key) light. This is the light that will light the face and also cast some shadows. The fill light will add light to the whole scene, both the shadow side and the bright side of the face. By adjusting the strength of the lights, you can alter the ratio on the subject's face.
    We usually say that a higher ratio is more 'dramatic', where parts of the model's face are in dark shadow.
    It's up to you, to decide which ratio is going to be best for your subject and the type of portrait that you are going for.

    Another good way to use fill light, is to get a reflector and put it opposite the main light. This will reflect some light back onto the subject. The closer the reflector, the more light you will get back on the subject.

    As for learning the lighting patterns, I'm sure there are some great books and websites etc. Google is your friend. I learned a lot of what I know, from some portrait lighting classes I took. That might be something to look into.
     
  6. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. pgowder

    pgowder TPF Noob!

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  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Of course, today there is the Internet, having a plethora of information on web pages, in videos, other photography forums, company websites, etc. Googgle is helpful for Internet searches. YouTube has a bazillion videos and some are about lighting and other photography topics.

    Light: Science and Magic An Introduction To Photographic Lighting by Fil Hunter, is a good starting point in book form.

    The place-of-places for OCF with speedlights info is www.strobist.com


    Check out broad and short lighting, clamshell lighting, using kicker and hair lights, using reflectors, gobo's, scrims, diffusers, gels, lighting ratios,.......
     

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