Do you see a difference in the back-lighting??

JustJazzie

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Up until now, I have always done my backlighting by shooting 2 strobes at a white wall subject in front.

I have a newborn shoot tomorrow and the mom requested a backlit shot of her and baby, but I wanted something more portable since her walls aren't white. So I took my bounce umbrella and my shower curtain on the boom stand and stuck someone a few feet in front of that....

I think ssoc the colors were a little punchier on the face here, but maybe thats light bouncing off the white wall in front of him since he was pushed more forward than she was? Or maybe I am overthinking this? (as usual)

Old setup:
DSC_1792.jpg



New setup:
DSC07160.jpg
 

Derrel

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In the shot of the boy, there seems to be less blow-back, less of that lens flaring, wrap-around effect coming from the background light set-up. I think when there's too much light coming from behind, the blowback that bleeds around the edges of the figure becomes sort of an effect in and of itself, and sometimes it's too much. Some people call that blow-back light "wrap". Also...I think this look works the best when there is also some front light on the subject's face. I would say the shot of the woman has too much light on the background, and by too much I mean more than necessary to get to white...it is over-lighted )look at her hand...totally over-exposed, no recovery possible)...the shot of the boy on the other hand is pretty good; look at his neck...see the highlights on his neck, right next to his shirt collar? Light, but not blown-out! Perfect!

Of course, the bright, heavy blow-back look of shot #1 can be, artistically, a really nice look, but there's also a place for a white background that does not wrap around and begin to creep onto the front side of the subject. I actually prefer the second setup's white background look--it's pretty nice! I like the way his shoulders and his outline show the very tiniest,tiniest bit of wrap, but not a bit more.

I would actually like to see a little bit more light on the boy's face, from a softbox or umbrella.

The thing is, this kind of lighting is a balancing act, and can be changed in different ways. The back-lighting depends on how much light the background light is set to, the ISO, and the f/stop used. In this shot, I think the background light amount is good, but the kid's face is about 3/4 stop under-exposed, maybe more. If you just open up the lens to brighten his face, then the background lighting grows brighter too. Adding more light from the front while keeping the ISO and f/stop the same would brighten his face up, while keeping the background brightness the same.

If there's a nit to pick, it's that his ears are lit-up...I'm not a fan of ears being trans-illuminated...once you start seeing that, it becomes hard not to see it...
 
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JustJazzie

JustJazzie

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Thanks Derrel! Lots of good info there. I should add, these were unedited examples since I wanted it to be a fair comparison. I agree 100% about brightening up the boys face, and I did that on my edit!
 

Braineack

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a lot less spill on the second shot.
 

Designer

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To answer your question in the title: No. They look the same to me.
 

ak_

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If there's a nit to pick, it's that his ears are lit-up...I'm not a fan of ears being trans-illuminated...once you start seeing that, it becomes hard not to see it...

If the face were more illuminated it would make it less apparent or? How would you change the back lighting setup to modify this?
 
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JustJazzie

JustJazzie

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If there's a nit to pick, it's that his ears are lit-up...I'm not a fan of ears being trans-illuminated...once you start seeing that, it becomes hard not to see it...

If the face were more illuminated it would make it less apparent or? How would you change the back lighting setup to modify this?
I'd imagine just pulling him further away would do the trick.

I'm not a fan of that part either. This was a one click "stand there a second" test shot.
 

Derrel

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ak said:
If there's a nit to pick, it's that his ears are lit-up...I'm not a fan of ears being trans-illuminated...once you start seeing that, it becomes hard not to see it...

If the face were more illuminated it would make it less apparent or? How would you change the back lighting setup to modify this?

Yes, to a degree, yes, if the face were more-illuminated, yes, the exposure for the face would require a smaller f/stop, and the background light would still be bright enough to give an over-exposed, white tone.

He could be moved closer to the camera. Also, you can burn down the ears in Lightroom to make them darker, less transparent. SInce he's relatively close to the actually illuminated background fabric, moving him away from that light source would darken the ears a good deal, but not affect much else. Relatively close meaning that the inverse square law would have a big impact on him moving even a foot farther away from the background light--and in this case, it is an actual "light", an umbrella lighting up a diffusion fabric.

I shot a maternity set on 9/19, and I did exactly the same thing...I used a white wall with two lights fired at the wall, as well as adding front light to that with a small 24x24 inch softbox in a cramped living room area...you can see in the softbox added setup on the right side that it CHANGES the face brightness, but keeps the background brightness the same. These were shot SOOC JPEGs ,not RAW.

white-two lights vs three lights.png
 

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