alien bees help!

kntrygurl

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Ok...so here is my question...i have been playin around with my lights (2 ab b800 w/ umbrellas) and i was wondering what the best setting is to set the 'slider' on my bees....i'm new to the studio photography and just play around with it as a hobby. i have a canon 50d and have self taught myself how to use and research on the net if i have questions. however nowhere have i been able to find what settings to use....oh and mainly just shoot portraits of my son
 

Big Mike

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You set it to where you need it to be, to get the photo that you want. ;)

It's pretty straight forward, the slider controls the light output from the flash/strobe. If you need more light, then turn it up. If you need less light, turn it down.

OK...first things first. The camera has to be in manual exposure mode. Shutter speed doesn't really affect flash exposure, so all you have to do, is keep it below the camera's max sync speed (1/250). So I'd suggest starting with a shutter speed of 1/200.
Set your aperture for the depth of field that you want/need, or just choose one that will give you the best image quality from your lens. (Try F8).
Since you have full control over the studio lights, you can keep the ISO low to minimize noise....so ISO 100.

OK, so you have your camera in manual, set to 1/200, F8 and ISO 100.

Now turn on your lights and take some test shots (probably best to start with one). If the images are too dark, then you can turn up the power of the light...or move it closer to the subject. You can also use a larger aperture (lower F number) or a higher ISO. Any of those options will make the image brighter.
So doing the opposite of any of those, will reduce the exposure of the image.
 

trcapro

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It's mainly a trial and error thing to see how you want the light in the shot. It really depends on all sorts of factors including the conditions in the room in which you are shooting, the distance the subject is from the lights and a series of other things that can play a role here.

Big Mike is offering some great advice. Personally, I usually shoot at F10, ISO 200 and between 1/125 and 1/160 but I'm shooting in a 12X12 room with pretty easy to deal with conditions.
 

IgsEMT

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When I'm shooting in studio:
ISO 200, 1/160-1/200 second, f/5.6, my bees are about 5-7 feet away from the subject at 1/8-1/4 power. The variation of power depends on the distance from the subject. Start from there...
Good Luck
 

kundalini

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I'm not advocating you go out and spend the money, but this is where a hand held light meter is an invaluable tool. Something to think about and worth saving for if this type of work will be your forte.
 

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