First Time with Off Camera Flash CC Please

Derek Zoolander

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Here is a few that I did this weekend. First time using flash. 2 off camera flashes with umbrellas with manual settings on camera. im too poor to buy E-TTL flashes. These were like 15 bucks each at BH. They are also sitting on a dinner table with some white suede fabric on it that i bought at a going out of business fabric store! Tell me what you think...ANY pointers would be very appreciated.

1.
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2.
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3.
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4.
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5.
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Thanks!
 
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Derek Zoolander

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are these THAT bad??? here I am kinda proud of myself...
 
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Derek Zoolander

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im begging you guys here...a one word answer will do.

bad.

or

good.

or any other adjective. ANYTHING.
 

AverageJoe

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The first one is your best, 2 and 4 come off a little flat. Where were the lights positioned? At what angle were the hitting the subject?
 

rufus5150

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I will say that #2 and #3 are adorable pictures. Very, very cute.

Backing away your fill flash will reduce the second catchlight, leaving the key light to produce a larger (only) one.

Is the sheet white or cream? It's very hard to tell whether the white balance is off or whether that's supposed to be that color.

In any event... the balance between key and fill in #1 is quite nice. It produces nice, feature shaping and soft shadows. I'm not sure that balance carried over into the other images, especially #4 (shadows are harsher) and #5 (lighting seems flat and too well balanced).

Composition could use some work. #1 uses this great angle and pose that... places her back in the middle of the frame. Not always a bad choice, but here there's this huge gap on the right side that has negative space that's not so useful. It can't go away completely, but it could be reduced.

#2 is cute but here's a place where a more centered composition may be appropriate (especially along the horizontal axis). The downside is with the antennae like they are, it's hard to get a balanced photo without including more of the torso.

I can understand why #3 is how it is. It's so darned cute despite some technical and compositional flaws (which I think may have been completely unavoidable).

#4 and #5 suffer from the same thing -- great idea to move them off center one way or another, but I feel that you've moved them too far. The leading room is excessive, ultimately leading to an unbalanced image.

#4 is, again, adorable, but in contrast to the bug outfit, this costume seems to conceal the subject. I might have taken a few in costume with the hood part down showing the subject's neck a little bit. It may or may not have worked, but you'd get the context of the costume and be more focused on the subject.

#5 cuts off the chin. There is no absolute rule about cutting off chins, but it plays against convention. here, it looks like an accident.

On the flip side, the expression in #5 is so honest and genuine that it's a really great capture in terms of emotion. An excellent catch and choice to display for that reason.
 
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Derek Zoolander

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You did an amazing job! I wouldn't have ever noticed this was your first time with off-camera flashes. I just love #2! Again, GREAT JOB!
P.S. What flashes where these for B&H?

Thank you. I was really starting to feel down about the pictures I took and liked for the first time!

I was wrong, they're actually $18. Mini flashes here: Smith-Victor | PG160S Wireless Mini Slave Flash | 690044 | B&H

The first one is your best, 2 and 4 come off a little flat. Where were the lights positioned? At what angle were the hitting the subject?

The flashes were positioned pretty much even next to each other to left and right of camera about 65 degree angles.

I will say that #2 and #3 are adorable pictures. Very, very cute.

Backing away your fill flash will reduce the second catchlight, leaving the key light to produce a larger (only) one.

Is the sheet white or cream? It's very hard to tell whether the white balance is off or whether that's supposed to be that color.

In any event... the balance between key and fill in #1 is quite nice. It produces nice, feature shaping and soft shadows. I'm not sure that balance carried over into the other images, especially #4 (shadows are harsher) and #5 (lighting seems flat and too well balanced).

Composition could use some work. #1 uses this great angle and pose that... places her back in the middle of the frame. Not always a bad choice, but here there's this huge gap on the right side that has negative space that's not so useful. It can't go away completely, but it could be reduced.

#2 is cute but here's a place where a more centered composition may be appropriate (especially along the horizontal axis). The downside is with the antennae like they are, it's hard to get a balanced photo without including more of the torso.

I can understand why #3 is how it is. It's so darned cute despite some technical and compositional flaws (which I think may have been completely unavoidable).

#4 and #5 suffer from the same thing -- great idea to move them off center one way or another, but I feel that you've moved them too far. The leading room is excessive, ultimately leading to an unbalanced image.

#4 is, again, adorable, but in contrast to the bug outfit, this costume seems to conceal the subject. I might have taken a few in costume with the hood part down showing the subject's neck a little bit. It may or may not have worked, but you'd get the context of the costume and be more focused on the subject.

#5 cuts off the chin. There is no absolute rule about cutting off chins, but it plays against convention. here, it looks like an accident.

On the flip side, the expression in #5 is so honest and genuine that it's a really great capture in terms of emotion. An excellent catch and choice to display for that reason.

First, let me say thank you so much for this critique. It's all I've been begging for and it was so helpful.

I know very little to nothing about lighting so thanks for the pointer about moving the fill light back some.

The fabric is a white suede, but I think when I have it exposed correctly it should probably appear white with a touch of cream. The most accurate color is probably in the first picture.

Good catch on #3, in hindsight, i probably should have just centered it and let the hands be seen since they're seen anyways. Again with #4 and #5, thank you, I do notice i over compensate on trying to push the rule of thirds.

Thank you so much everyone! I'll stop whining now!
 

schumionbike

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These are wonderful images. The one thing I disagree with Rufus is that in number 4, I think the kid should push even farther from the center, I think it'll make a neater perspective. Since the lionsuit is taking way too much attention, I would crop the picture much tighter. Just my opinion, hope it help.
 

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