All About Lighting - Ask Anything V2.

Village Idiot

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These threads are always fun for slow days at work. So any question you have about lighting at all, feel free to post it up. There are plenty of people on here that know enough about what they're doing to help out and reply to post.

So, post anything from why would anyone want to spend the money on Profoto when they can buy Alien Bees to wuts light LOL!!!
 

LBPhotog

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Ok, as one of those members that I feel knows more about light than the "average" Joe Shooter I do have a question that's been bugging the hell outta me, and if I can pick your brain VI I would love to.

Best practice lighting ratio is 2:1 main to fill, right ... so, you meter your fill light and main lights separately, make your adjustments accordingly to your lights and poof you're on your way. But, what about if you want to shoot without a fill light, how can you get that same separation effect without your main (in most cases a hot shoe flash) affecting the backgroud ... is that all in the apperature control or is there a need to introduce directional type devices (e.g. snoots)? This one has been bugging me for a long time now and I just can't figure it out.
 
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Ok, as one of those members that I feel knows more about light than the "average" Joe Shooter I do have a question that's been bugging the hell outta me, and if I can pick your brain VI I would love to.

Best practice lighting ratio is 2:1 main to fill, right ... so, you meter your fill light and main lights separately, make your adjustments accordingly to your lights and poof you're on your way. But, what about if you want to shoot without a fill light, how can you get that same separation effect without your main (in most cases a hot shoe flash) affecting the backgroud ... is that all in the apperature control or is there a need to introduce directional type devices (e.g. snoots)? This one has been bugging me for a long time now and I just can't figure it out.

Explain further.

Are you shooting with a specific background like a seemless or a muslin? And how would it be different than the first main and fill setup? Is it because you want to bring the main light around more so that you're lighting more of the front than if you were using a main and a fill?

Most of my shooting I use the environment so I change my settings or the distance of the subject as necessary to achieve separation.
 

LBPhotog

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I'm actually thinking about on location sessions where the only drop you may have is what ever is behind the subject at the moment the shutter is clicked. I guess what I am trying to accomplish is an 'in camera vignette' does that make more sense?
 
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I'm actually thinking about on location sessions where the only drop you may have is what ever is behind the subject at the moment the shutter is clicked. I guess what I am trying to accomplish is an 'in camera vignette' does that make more sense?

If the below is what you're trying to capture (subject that pops with a subdued background), then you can use your shutter speed and aperture (normally, outside or in very bright conditions may have you using other filters) to get the separationg. You can up your shutter speed to kill the ambient as much as you want and then use your flash to properly light your subject. I did use two lights on the photo below; one with an umbrella to light the room and one with barndoors to control the direction of the light so it just hits the subject. This could have been done with one light if I would have used a slow enough shutter speed to expose the room to ambient, since shutter speed doesn't affect the flash exposure. I was shooting handheld though and I probably would have ended up with camera shake in the photo.

Does this explain it, or am I still off?

 

kundalini

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I'm actually thinking about on location sessions where the only drop you may have is what ever is behind the subject at the moment the shutter is clicked. I guess what I am trying to accomplish is an 'in camera vignette' does that make more sense?

Barndoors, grids & snoots.

EDIT:
Oh yeah, don't forget about light fall off...... Inverse Square Law
 
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Big Mike

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Best practice lighting ratio is 2:1 main to fill, right ... so, you meter your fill light and main lights separately, make your adjustments accordingly to your lights and poof you're on your way. But, what about if you want to shoot without a fill light, how can you get that same separation effect without your main (in most cases a hot shoe flash) affecting the backgroud ... is that all in the apperature control or is there a need to introduce directional type devices (e.g. snoots)? This one has been bugging me for a long time now and I just can't figure it out.
Firstly, a 2:1 ratio is only 'best practice' when YOU want it to be. If you want a higher ratio, then that's the 'best practice'.

And when you say 'without a fill light'...are you asking about 'without a second artificial light source'? Because if you are out shooting on location, there is almost always some ambient light and if you're using flash, then you have at least two light sources, either of which could be used for your main or fill lighting.

One of the first things to do, when evaluating a scene/area, is to consider all the light sources. The sun, the open sky, the light reflecting off of a building, off of the ground, off of anything around. You might quickly see that a simple outdoor location actually has several different light sources that can affect your subject.

I'm actually thinking about on location sessions where the only drop you may have is what ever is behind the subject at the moment the shutter is clicked. I guess what I am trying to accomplish is an 'in camera vignette' does that make more sense?
If you are simply wanting to have your background darker than the subject, to make the subject stand out. Then the previous replies hit the issue. You can use your shutter speed to control the ambient exposure, independent of the flash exposure. So a higher shutter speed will usually give you a darker background. Also mentioned is the inverse square law that says that light falls off at an inverse square of the distance. So the farther away your background is from your light (flash), as compared to how far the subject is, the darker it will likely be (assuming that your flash exposure is correct for the subject distance).
 

JeffieLove

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Would you recommend using a beauty dish or softbox for a baby in a high key studio type setting?
 
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Would you recommend using a beauty dish or softbox for a baby in a high key studio type setting?

I'd recommend using which ever lighting modifier you like best and thinks fits the shoot better. A beauty dish will generally have harder edges and is usually a smaller light source. Softboxes will generally offer more diffusion options for a softer light.
 
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SpeedTrap

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Would you recommend using a beauty dish or softbox for a baby in a high key studio type setting?

When we shoot babies we fry to follow the guideline of "Babies are soft and warm and should be lit as such" We almost always use a large softbox to create nice soft light with a smooth trasition.

Elina_2.jpg
 
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gsgary

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Ok, as one of those members that I feel knows more about light than the "average" Joe Shooter I do have a question that's been bugging the hell outta me, and if I can pick your brain VI I would love to.

Best practice lighting ratio is 2:1 main to fill, right ... so, you meter your fill light and main lights separately, make your adjustments accordingly to your lights and poof you're on your way. But, what about if you want to shoot without a fill light, how can you get that same separation effect without your main (in most cases a hot shoe flash) affecting the backgroud ... is that all in the apperature control or is there a need to introduce directional type devices (e.g. snoots)? This one has been bugging me for a long time now and I just can't figure it out.

Place one opposite your main light high as a hair light if shooting on a black background flag the light to stop spill
 
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LBPhotog

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VI - great image, and YES that is exactly what I am going for.

Big MIke - Yeah, I did mean shooting without a secondary artificial light source ...

As for what has been throwing me off was that I always under the impression that shutter speeds had very little to do with the exposure when it came to artificial light source and that apperture values always controld the amount of light ... now that the shutter effect has been explained I will have to play around and see what I can come up with. Thanks.
 

kundalini

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Ok, as one of those members that I feel knows more about light than the "average" Joe Shooter.

As for what has been throwing me off was that I always under the impression that shutter speeds had very little to do with the exposure when it came to artificial light source and that apperture values always controld the amount of light ...

Welcome to Light 101 Joe Shooter. :biggrin: jk
 
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VI - great image, and YES that is exactly what I am going for.

Big MIke - Yeah, I did mean shooting without a secondary artificial light source ...

As for what has been throwing me off was that I always under the impression that shutter speeds had very little to do with the exposure when it came to artificial light source and that apperture values always controld the amount of light ... now that the shutter effect has been explained I will have to play around and see what I can come up with. Thanks.

Sorry, but the way you were explaining it made it sound like you were trying something way more complicated at first.

You have it right, but shutter speed also has everything to do with ambient. Get your shutter speed as high as possible to underexpose the ambient a stop or two, or even completely, up until you reach the camera's x sync (generally 1/200 or 1/250) and then use HSS or close down the aperture and turn up the flash power. That 2-D triangle of SS, ISO, and aperture turns into a 3-D triangle when you add a flash exposure.
 

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