Indoor lighting trouble! Please help!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by AutumnRebellion, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    OK, the Sony Alpha is a good camera...so you are doing OK there. I think it's a little behind Canon, in terms of noise, but you should certainly be able to get very clear images at the lowest ISO settings. As I mentioned, you should always try to use the lowest setting. It may be hard to get a good shutter speed with continuous lights though.

    Your settings should be embedded into the images. Photoshop or your camera's image software should have an option to show you all of the shooting information. It might be a good lesson for you to review this info for the shots you like and the ones you don't.

    As for processing that will bring out noise...typically, the more you try to change the brightness/tone/contrast of the image, the more the noise will be evident. Again, getting the exposure right will help.

    Do you need a light meter? It would help, especially if you ever decide to use flash/strobe lights. (You would need a flash meter). However, you have a digital camera, so you it to your advantage. Don't use the image on the camera's screen though. Set your camera to display a histogram of the image. Take your shot, then review the histogram to see if your exposure is OK. HERE is a good link for learning about the histogram.

    There are other methods to getting your exposure set properly. You could use a grey card, for example.


     
  2. AutumnRebellion

    AutumnRebellion TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I guess I need a light meter. And I prefer not to use strobes, but I can see the advantages. I'm not completely against them, but here is my problem, I took some maternity pictures with a fellow photographer who had one strobe light. We did it for free, only for the experience, and when we did the high key shots with a white background, there were shadows. I guess maybe that could've been eliminated with one more light. But, since then, I've been turned off by strobes. I know a little about the histogram display on my camera. I will definitely use that from now on. And I will try to make sure the lowest ISO is used. I will definitely take a look at that link. I guess I feel better knowing that we didn't make a mistake buying the indoor studio lighting that we did. I mean, it's not the lighting, it's me and my camera. That makes me feel better. I can fix this I think. I need to soon, I am supposed to be taking baby pictures this weekend and also a wedding (won't need my lights for that, but, with the wedding, I won't have a whole lot of time to just play around to get things right). Now, I know what to look for first and what to try first.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In this scenario, there is no difference between strobes and 'hot' lights. If you only had one hot light, you would get the same shadows.

    A creative photographer can do wonders with just a single light, or even just a window. Having the right gear will help but it won't get you good results unless you have the 'know how' to go along with it.

    You certainly have the talent and desire, mix in some more technical learning/education and you will be on your way.
     
  4. AutumnRebellion

    AutumnRebellion TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much for your help! I really appreciate it. I will definitely be purchasing some books soon. I would take some classes, but a full time office job, a part-time photography business, plus, a marriage and two dogs to take care of, I mean life in general. I honestly just don't feel like taking on another commitment. There are times when I like to relax, you know? And it's tough to have a business on the side, but keep a full time job. That's another reason I'm here, to figure out when would be a good time to quit my full time job and pursue the side-business full time. Ahh, the life of a photographer can be rough sometimes. Well, anyhow, thank you for your help. I know where to start now.
     
  5. Nikon Norm

    Nikon Norm TPF Noob!

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    Another suggestion I have, is not to overlook reflectors, white foam core or even a round photo reflector works wonders bouncing light and softening shadows, with hot lights you can see where to place the reflector a lot easier.

    By the way your first post of photo's are great.

    If this makes sense: hotlights and strobes both produce light that needs controlling and shaping.

    Strobes advantage over hotlights:

    1. Cooler for the client

    2. More light, so you can use a lower iso, faster shutter speed and smaller aperture for more depth of field.

    So results are sharper images, less noise/grain
     

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