Can't seem to get my lighting correct.


TPF Noob!
Jan 16, 2006
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Louisville, Kentucky
Can't seem to get my lighting right.

Specs on this shoit:



main light: Alienbee B800 set at half power just above camera right

Fill Light: Nikon SB600 Speedlight with optical slave set to 1/8th power almost 90 degrees camera left.

Background Light: Alienbee B800 set to 1/4 power behind subject camera left aimed at middle of background (used to use as my fill till I realized speedlight was not strong enough for background)

I feel like this picture is blown out, but if I change camera settings to say f11 and 1/500th I get very dull and have to boost exposure in camera raw. Not concerned with the background wrinkles, I know about those and am just bumbling around doin test shots at 1:30 in the morning, I ain't ironing right now.

I'd personally say that you're overdoing it with the BG light. Maybe swap the roles of the Nikon and the AB and dial down another stop on the main lights, keeping the exposure the same?

It looks to me as if the fill light (you said 90 degrees left) either didn't fire is way to low. Or maybe aimed towards to BG too much adding to the BG blowout. The left side of the subject and stool is still shaded more than all else while the cloth behind (on the left side) is blown out. Maybe try pulling the fill light out a bit - say 60 degrees to the subject left.
Like the blown out background. I would try some diffusion on the main light and bounce the fill off a piece of foamcore. This will provide the softer light you may be looking for. Or at least provide for some fun experiments. Main diffusion can be anything from a 500 dollar SoffBox set up to a shower curtain. Foamcore is a must in all studios. Does wonders for opening the shadows. Your exposure times will be longer. Since the subject is not moving that will not be a problem.

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