Frustration with 3 light setup.

jwbryson1

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I'm frustrated already with trying to do 3 light portraits. Perhaps it's my limited room to work but I can't get the lighting right. I try to force light on the backdrop to blow it out (it's grey) and I get overexposed models. I try to fix it in LR and I get wrinkles. :soapbox: :banghead:

I have 3 speedlights triggered with radio units. Maybe I need a constant source of light.

It sucks to suck and that sucks. :violin:

Sigh. Do all NewB strobists get this frustrated this fast?

Done. Thanks for reading.

Going to get a beer....:cheers:
 

Mach0

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Trying to do too many lights at once is frustrating. What's the power setting at the flash and how close are they to the back ground? Is it a muslin? If you can use a steamer, clamps, and make the model stand a little away, the dof will reduce the appearance of the wrinkles and you don't have to worry about light bouncing back to the model.
 

GeorgieGirl

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I have said the same thing for over a year and now in year two I am still not at 4 lights. I like torture I suppose. I read and I read and I read, and I can do it with three. You can do it with three too and you can learn to be creative with the lights. What are you using for modifiers?
 

gsgary

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Are any of you using a flash meter ? because if you are it should not be a problem
 
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GeorgieGirl

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I do... but with a three light set-up the challenge can def be the BG, or depending on light placement, shadows against it. I think the OP can do it with 3 lights with some better understanding of lighting.
 
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jwbryson1

jwbryson1

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I'm reading Neil van Niekirk's book on OCF but I'm still learning (obviously). I'm bouncing 2 speedlights off reflective umbrellas and the third speedlight I have on the floor behind my kid trying to blow out the grey backdrop. Not as easy as it seems.
 

GeorgieGirl

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Not with grey, but with a BG that needs to be even, neverthe less, IMHO for this shor to work....here there is a light at the BG, altough with a 1x6 modifier and 2 lights modified by a shoot through umbrella...the two lights are postioned to share the work of subject and BG...although these are not speedlights, the idea should be the same....Are you using a meter? Is this the *look* you want, or do you want something with more shadows and sculpting?

MG7348-L.jpg
 

gsgary

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I don't shoot with a white background, but i set up a studio night for our club because i'm the only one who shoots in a studio. This is with 3 lights, 2 on background 1 main light and a reflector and this shot is straight out of camera

IMG7003-L.jpg
 
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jwbryson1

jwbryson1

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What about picking a roll of white paper up and trying to get all high key on that.

This actually makes a lot of sense to me. I think I'm confined to working in too limited a space and with insufficient lighting. Makes it hard to get it right.
 
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jwbryson1

jwbryson1

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Not with grey, but with a BG that needs to be even, neverthe less, IMHO for this shor to work....here there is a light at the BG, altough with a 1x6 modifier and 2 lights modified by a shoot through umbrella...the two lights are postioned to share the work of subject and BG...although these are not speedlights, the idea should be the same....Are you using a meter? Is this the *look* you want, or do you want something with more shadows and sculpting?

MG7348-L.jpg

More with shadows and sculpting but at this point I'd take anything. :confused:
 

kundalini

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...... This is with 3 lights, 2 on background 1 main light and a reflector......
That was my way of thinking also. Light the background evenly on either side. This will give you enough light and remove shadows/wrinkles on the background. Use your third light as the Key and built-in flash and/or reflector for Fill. You'll want the background lights to be ~1 1/2 stops brighter than the Key to have it white.
 

c.cloudwalker

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I started with 3 lights but I never had more than one behind the subject. I don't think there is a need for it with real studio strobes (of sufficient power that is,) especially if doing head and shoulders as in the examples shown. One thing that is very important however, is to learn how to be satisfied with the results you can get with such a set-up so long as it doesn't interfere with the quality of the image.

For example, in gsgary shot, the background is nicely white but there is a definite lack of light on the front of the subject. By moving one the strobes off the background, you could have have had a nicely lit subject but your background may not have been perfectly white. Which is more important? Background or subject? The subject is imo.

The way I used to do head and shoulders type shots is very simple. A bare bulb strobe right behind the subject head which lights the background and also plays as a "hair light." You need to be careful about the positioning of your subject in this case because the strobe can show.

Another version of this is to put the strobe just over the highest part of the frame. Works better as a hair light but not as good as a background light as it may not be as even.

The choice of the background can also help quite a bit. Don't use white or if you do, don't worry if it is not quite white. I found it easier to use either a black background and not lighting it at all or, if black is too much, whatever color but still not light it. The lighter your background color, the lighter it will be in your shot but you can use the back strobe only as a hair light and get better results this way.

I never worked with flashes in the studio but just thinking of the size of the head I imagine it's going to make a fairly big difference in the results.

Hope this helps.
 

Bossy

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You have to light both seperately, your backdrop (usually takes 2 lights to be even) then your model. I usually use 4, 2 for the backdrop, 1 main and 1 fill.
 

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