Lighting is Frustrating!

AdamBomb

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I've been experimenting with my SB-600 lately off the camera. I've read quite a bit on the Strobist Blog, and am still looking for pointers, from different point of views. I just took some shots a few minutes ago, and none of them really jumped out to me as... 'Neat.'

Do you have any pointers in this particular scenario? Not really concerned about the composition, more technique, and the settings. Still not 100% fluent with the SB-600 yet either.

1/640 F3.5 ISO200

(Photo is straight from camera, No PP)

3229676024_dc09469ed2.jpg
 

TamiyaGuy

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Hmm, in my opinion that's a pretty nice lighting setup, basic yet effective. Was it just the SB-600 you used for that? (and presumably a black backdrop) What might be worth trying is using the 85mm manual zoom setting, just to highlight the model's face and plunge absolutely everything else into black. Just try not to blind him with a 1/1 flash output ;).
 

Big Mike

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I just took some shots a few minutes ago, and none of them really jumped out to me as... 'Neat.'
What would you consider 'neat'? (what are you trying to do?)

My first observation is that the light is quite hard. There isn't much of a gradient from dark to light. I'm guessing this was shot with bare flash?

Hard light can be great but it's often more pleasing when people are shot with softer light. To make the light softer, enlarge the size of the light source (umbrella, softbox, bounce etc) and/or get the light closer to the subject.
 
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AdamBomb

AdamBomb

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That's me in the picture. And yes, It's JUST the SB-600 I was working with. No Backdrop, Just a Dark room.

And as far as what I consider neat, well I guess I could say... Dramatic.

Should I maybe try some kind of reflector on the other side? And Yes, I'll look around for some way to soften the lighten the light.
 

beltzclan

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I use a single off camera flash quite a lot. Try diffusing the light. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. A shoot through umbrella would work best, but in a pinch you can shoot through a white sheet. Sounds crazy, and you may to play with the output, but it will make the transitions softer, and not so harsh in the bright spot. Play with the distance of the flash to the subject as well.

For distance, studio work requires moving a softbox so close to the subject, that any closer an it would be in frame. You are using a flash, so your will need to play with the distance.

From a composition standpoint, the only thing that jumps out at me is the fact that you cannot see the pupils of the subject.

Other than that, I think you are getting close to what you are looking for.
 

goodoneian

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That's me in the picture. And yes, It's JUST the SB-600 I was working with. No Backdrop, Just a Dark room.

And as far as what I consider neat, well I guess I could say... Dramatic.

Should I maybe try some kind of reflector on the other side? And Yes, I'll look around for some way to soften the lighten the light.

if you're going for something "dramatic" move the flash farther back and as said previously set the zoom head to 85mm to only highlight the face or whatever part of the body you want to light. and use a snoot if necessary (i'm assuming you know what that is if you've been reading up on strobist)

that's what i did with this:
3189277553_6e5cc696af.jpg

don't think i'd consider it dramatic but the lighting setup was just a snooted sb80dx like 15 camera left and around 7 feet up
 
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AdamBomb

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Ok, I made a Quick Snoot, and I put a Tissue over the end to diffuse a little bit. I'm liking these results better. Any more suggestions?

3229987690_83848ab7a1.jpg
 

beltzclan

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Ok, I made a Quick Snoot, and I put a Tissue over the end to diffuse a little bit. I'm liking these results better. Any more suggestions?

3229987690_83848ab7a1.jpg

The snoot helped localize the light and the tissue diffused it. I can now see the yes.

Now take the shot you have because it works, and "cool" it down in post process. It is just a bit warm.

Fix that and you are in business.

You could also go black and white.....
 
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AdamBomb

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Which? (I think I cool 'two' down a bit too much)

3229179941_41f03bd14b_b.jpg
 
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beltzclan

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I like the black and whit. But what I meant by cool it down is to adjust the white balance. It over all a bit to warm. If not in RAW you can do a levels adjust. Sorry I should have been clear.

But so far I like the B&W.

The eyes sit roughly in an intersection following the rule of thirds too so compositionally it is good.
 

Derek Zoolander

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cool thanks. i wanna try this out once i get a flash SOME DAY
 

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This has been a great thread, VERY informative to a beginner like myself. Thanks much folks.
 

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