Diving into portraiture !

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MartinPellowski, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. MartinPellowski

    MartinPellowski TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I'm diving into the portraiture world! I just need some help on what I should purchase as I'm on a limited budget.


    I have a 7d2.
    Shoot through umbrella
    100mm 2.8
    YN 568 speedlites

    I'm curious what else should I get for the capabilities of head shots/portraits


    Thinking of the 50 1.4
    A soft box not sure of the size though? Maybe the westcott 28x28?
    Flash meter (eventually)


    Please help!!


     
  2. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    reflector(s)
     
  3. AKUK

    AKUK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You have everything you need camera and lens wise. Personally I would look at light modifiers, so that you can create a variety of looks. As I tend to prefer high contrast, low light portraits, I favour smaller modifiers such as 7" reflectors with grids and barn doors, 20x90cm gridded soft boxes, 60x60cm softbox gridded, 42cm beauty dish with grid and sock options. I still use big modifiers like a 5ft umbrella or a 6ftx4ft diffuser panel from a 5-in-1 reflector as subtle fills. As @jcdeboever mentions, a reflector wouldn't go amiss either as a fill light to lift shadows under the chin, nose and eyes in certain situations.

    Speedlites will work fine for now but I upgraded to monolights a few years ago and it makes life so much easier. The modeling lamps allow you to see where the shadows and highlights are falling, which is essential when trying to carve out the features on a face. The light meter also takes a lot of the trial and error out of exposure too.

    Really it's all going to depend upon the amount of room you have available and the look you are trying to achieve. I have quite a few guides and articles on portrait lighting, equipment, etc, which may prove useful to you.
     
  4. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Backdrop and reflectors.
    I am confused thought, why did you get a sports camera to do portrait shooting ?
    If you like Canon the FF 6D would have been a much better camera for this type of photography.
    Of course the 7D II is more then capable to do this job too.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yeah, the smaller 24 x 24 inch to 28 x 28 inch sized softboxes are handy. I like Westcott products, and they are made very well, more so than many of the cheaper, Made in China, non-branded products are. But even so.on a budget, I would look for a MIC 24x24 size box that has two things: first, a recessed front design, and second, a fabric 'egg crate' or grid for the sofbox. Both things, the recessed front, and the egg crate, allow you to control the light more so than with a slightly cheaper, flush-face type softbox.

    Some good-sized sheets of foam board/poster board will work well as reflector material, at a pretty affordable price.

    When using speedlights, you are shooting blind...where the light falls, exactly, is never visible until the shot has been made, and that's where the modeling lamps from studio flash lighting equipment can help, both in terms of light for focusing, but also light to make the subject's eyes have more color, and so that you, and the subject can see and "feel" the light.

    I'd try to become familiar with the basics of portrait lighting, and concentrate more on how you interact with the subjects, rather than too much worry on lighting gear.
     
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  6. EIngerson

    EIngerson Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You are set for everything you need. Dial in on lighting and exposing for your lights in both controlled and natural environments. Let your experience tell you what you need for upgrades.
     
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  7. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Derrel, don't some of the pricier Nikon speedlights have built in model lights?
     
  8. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'll agree you have the basics but a cheap 5-in-1 reflector can help (if you have someone to hold it)
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, yes and no...they have a really rapid-fire, stroboscopic model light simulation mode, where you press a button on the flash, and it fires very rapidly (I'm gonna guess maybe 25 to 30 cycles per second), but it's nowhere near the same as a light that can be flipped to ON, and then run continuously for the duration of say, a 15 minute to 4-hour shoot; I just looked at my SB-800: the modeling lamp simulator fires for about 2.0 seconds per press of the button...

    The way I look at it, the modeling light simulation is just to get a rough idea of where to place the light, in a fairly broad sense. My SB-800- has this feature, but I've never used it in the real world since 2005.
     
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  10. AKUK

    AKUK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I remember seeing the "modelling lamp" feature on a flash not too long ago, but for the life of me I can't remember the brand. The Nikon SB-500 has a "video light" incorporated into it, which is 3 LED's where one would normally find the optical slave unit. The previous one had a single LED which was off centre, if I remember correctly.

    [​IMG]

    This would only really work as a modelling lamp if the flash were pointed directly at the subject and the head not rotated, or the whole thing was inside a softbox/umbrella. While it certainly would have its uses, the LED will drain battery life and reduce the number of flash exposures you can take. I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a permanent alternative solution to a monolight. Speedlights are great for their portability and ergonomics but, for versatility in light modification with a lamp, you really can't beat something like a Bowens, Broncolor, Elincrom, Paul C Buff unit with directly mountable modifiers.
     
  11. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    yes, I'm thinking an old Nikon flash as a "modeling lamp" isn't going to work too well for still "portraiture lighting" !

    if you're 'diving into portraiture' keep the Canon mount yongnuo flash
     

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