Lighting: What am I doing wrong?

Blankenship24

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Hi everyone,

So i recently invested in a Novatron Light set for my Nikon D3100. So here's what i have. Novatron V600D power pack, and 3 lights, 2 standard flash heads, and 1 with a 3 stop.

I have everything set up, my lights plugged in, my AS-15 with the sync plugged in, camera on.

So when i initially plugged everything in, and took a few test shots, everything was so bright white and washed out, you could barely see anything. So then i played around a bit, and now everything looks extremely dark.

I am a newbie to photography, so I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I have my camera set to M (manual) , and I don't have my on camera flash popping up.

Please help me with settings, or anything I am doing wrong.

Thanks so much for your help.
Jen.
 

gsgary

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Did you meter the lights ? what was your aperture (shutter speed makes no difference if there is no ambient light) i could be a number of things studio lighting is very advanced for a newbie to photography
 

joealcantar

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Calm down and let's keep it simple;
Set your lighting set up, Main, Fill and the 3rd light that can be a hair light of background light etc.
You are going to control the Main light output with the potentiometer knob on the power pack, so use the light that does not have the stop adjustment.
Now set up your fill and this light you want the light to be the one with the stop adjustments to give you an adjustment on the ratio or light that is hitting the fill side of the subject.
Now set up your hair light or BG light and go from there.
All the lights have a modeling light switch so you can see where the light is falling on the subject, pay attention to the shadows.
If you need an extra light , consider using a reflector for a fill that way you get an extra light to use.
-The kit probably had some shoot through umbrellas that are going to have the light going all over the place specially if room is white. If you have a softbox or an umbrella you can bounce the light back and feather it (basically turning it so the light comes off the edge of the umbrella) if the edge is hitting the subject some of the rest of the light can be used to light the background a little.
So the most important question is : Do you have a light meter as you will need one to see what kind of light is hitting the subject/background etc? sure would simplify things if you do.
Sekonic has a few training classes that you may want to watch to see if they clear the mud.
Archived Webinars
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Shoot well , Joe
 

gsgary

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Start with one light at 45 degs to the subject on 1/2 power about 5 feet from subject, camera settings on manual F8 1/125 and see what you get, if it is too dark increase your light power if it's bright decrease light power, when you have got the hang of one light you can add another if you use all three at once you can't tell where you are going wrong
 

mwcfarms

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Decrease your aperture, make sure your ISO is as low as it can be without going Lo and make sure you have the right shutter speed for your ambient light. (Lights in your house) Without knowing your camera I can tell you that I start at around ISO 200 F8 and 125 shutter speed. Then adjust my lights as I like.
 
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Blankenship24

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Thank you so much for your input. I do not have a light meter, is that something that I should invest in? I will try using one light, and then go from there. I really appreciate your time.
 

gsgary

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A light meter gets rid of all the trial and error, are you using your lights with ambient light ? because that is another ball game
 

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