1st try with umbrellas and speed lights. (grandson)

greybeard

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Got a cheap umbrella kit for Christmas. 2 white, 2 silver, 2 stands and clamps 59.00 from Amazon. Anyway, my grandson and I had a lot of fun with it the other day. Here is the best one. The back ground isn't the best but the light looks ok to me. What do you think?


Nick Portrait best-1.small by Greybeard16, on Flickr
 

elizabethysmom

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I am just learning about my speedlight so I can't CC much on technique but I will say I think your white balance looks great and his skin tone is very nice. Very nice catchlights as well.
 

irfan.in.tx

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Lighting on the subject is excellent. I would suggest, for next time, increasing the distance between subject and background. It looks like you have a background light also -- that is a good idea, but would be better with more diffusion. If there is no background light, disregard the suggestion.
 

ratssass

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i can't help you with c/c,but i'll be willing to bet the enjoyment you had with your grandson made that $59.00 very well spent.I'm not a technical guy at all,but I think it looks just fine.
 

Derrel

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Pretty good for a first go at it!!! The light on yuor grandson is not too bad. Maybe a wee bit underexposed or "under-developed" in software. The light on the background is not my favorite. I've encountered this quite often...what is going on is the flash in the background is raking upward on the quilted fabric; that is to say, the light is angling upwardly, and that accentuates the texture of the material, and gives a steep degree of fall-off. On a quilted fabric, that angled background light causes the quilted squares to show up very strongly. On seamless paper, if the light is angled upward like that, any wrinkles in the paper will show up very clearly. On muslin or canvas, anyt wrinkles or creases will show up. You get the idea!!!

Now, at times, showing the background texture CAN work, and work well. In this case, not so much, since it competes with the boy.

I've shot a lot of 4-light studio stuff before, and one tip to minimize background TEXTURE, is to try and keep the background light going "Straight AT" the background fabric or paper. Place the bkgd. light about mid-back behind the subject, and aimed "level", at the background. If you DO however, want an in-camera gradient like this, then you can place it low, and angled upward; as long as you make sure the bkgd. is WELL out of focus, then there will not be a problem with texture cues. Buuuut...if you have a wrinkled, tattered backdrop, angling the light at ANY steep angle across or down and across or up and across, will bring out textural clues. The human eye can "see" these clues very,very expertly and adroitly...it's part of what makes human vision so good at deciphering scenes.

Speedlight flash units have a pretty small flash "pattern" at close ranges. The orientation of the head, "wide" as opposed to "tall", will in part, control the way that a speedlight illuminates the background when working on a small- to normal-sized background. Output is also a big factor too; at short distances between the light and the background, even a few inches can make a 1- to 3-stop output difference!!!
 

MyTonyTiger

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Very cute grandchild. Great job with the pictures (I looked at a few on your flickr). The light on your grandson looks pretty good. As others have said though, the background catches more attention than it should, but otherwise a very nice picture. The only other thing that kind of jumped out at me was his teeth being a little too desaturated. But that has nothing to do with the lighting. :wink: Thanks for sharing!
 

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