Low Key Lighting Attempts

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I've been playing around with low-key lighting a little bit (ever since BlackRose mentioned it). I know someone (Derrel?) said that the subject should be dark as well for low-key so I'm not sure if the cat pictures would be considered low key. I wish I had some continuous lights for this so I could see what the light was going to do before I took the picture. Anyways here are my poor attempts - CC is always needed and always welcome!

TIA!


1. This one is really dark but I like the way the tufts on her ear look!
1/200 f/9 ISO 100 Flash shot through umbrella camera left


2.
1/200 f/9 ISO 100 Flash shot through umbrella camera left


3. 1/200 f/9 ISO 100



Not very happy with the way these last 2 came out. I made a homemade snoot (out of a cereal box) but I'm pretty sure I don't know what I'm doing. I think the snoot may have been too long - not really sure.

4. Seemed like no matter where I put the flash - there was always a blown spot somewhere. I guess I just suck... :)

1/200 f/6.3 ISO 100 Flash shot through DIY snoot camera left


5. 1/200 f/7.1 ISO 100 Flash shot through DIY snoot - camera left
 

AceCo55

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I am intrigued by #1, 3, 4 and 5. There is some mystery about them. We get to see some of the scene but some is unatainable. I like the concept. I think the human shots hold more interest for me (Hmmm that doesn't sound like the way I meant it!) There is more texture than with the feline. I think its called muscle definition (I would off my body for a similar shoot but no a lot of interest in a spherical belly!). For me, I would like to see a hint of the subject in the shadows (at the moment its totally black). Perhaps using a reflector to bounce back just a little bit of light (without revealing too much)
I find #2 shows too much but what it hides makes it look like a 3-legged cat?
The focussing in #1 might be a little soft - I really can't trust my eyes completely any more so I apologise if I'm wrong.
I think #4 and #5 are the standouts - did you shoot through a diffuser/umbrella to minimise the hotspots (or maybe reduce the power of your flash if you are using a snoot)?
Another thing that you might try is use the snoot idea to have a tighter spot (say on the tattoo on the left pectoral) plus a low power diffused light just giving a hint and some detail to the area around that plus a reflector on the opposite side?
Thanks for posting.
 

cgipson1

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Megan... I like! Nice definition on the last two. I found a snoot to be TOO directional as the light beam was too small, and that would cause the strong highlights you mentioned. You can actually use a large modifer without a problem (I used a 64" parabolic)... as long are your light falloff keeps light off the background.. makes for nice soft light. I also used just a gridded mono when I tried it with a single light. That worked well.. although as was pointed out, it did need a bit more background separation.
 
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AceCo55 said:
I am intrigued by #1, 3, 4 and 5. There is some mystery about them. We get to see some of the scene but some is unatainable. I like the concept. I think the human shots hold more interest for me (Hmmm that doesn't sound like the way I meant it!) There is more texture than with the feline. I think its called muscle definition (I would off my body for a similar shoot but no a lot of interest in a spherical belly!). For me, I would like to see a hint of the subject in the shadows (at the moment its totally black). Perhaps using a reflector to bounce back just a little bit of light (without revealing too much)
I find #2 shows too much but what it hides makes it look like a 3-legged cat?
The focussing in #1 might be a little soft - I really can't trust my eyes completely any more so I apologise if I'm wrong.
I think #4 and #5 are the standouts - did you shoot through a diffuser/umbrella to minimise the hotspots (or maybe reduce the power of your flash if you are using a snoot)?
Another thing that you might try is use the snoot idea to have a tighter spot (say on the tattoo on the left pectoral) plus a low power diffused light just giving a hint and some detail to the area around that plus a reflector on the opposite side?
Thanks for posting.

I have to agree about the focusing being soft on #1. I was manually focusing - which I'm not very good at.

I thought about using a reflector but I was afraid it would show too much. I'll have to try it next time.

I don't really remember exactly what I did in #4 and 5. It was shot using a snoot and the majority of the images had a lot of hot spots which is why I gave up on the snoot. I do really like the idea of using it on a smaller area - like the tattoo! Thanks for the feedback!

cgipson1 said:
Megan... I like! Nice definition on the last two. I found a snoot to be TOO directional as the light beam was too small, and that would cause the strong highlights you mentioned. You can actually use a large modifer without a problem (I used a 64" parabolic)... as long are your light falloff keeps light off the background.. makes for nice soft light. I also used just a gridded mono when I tried it with a single light. That worked well.. although as was pointed out, it did need a bit more background separation.

Thanks Charlie! I'm going to give it another try. Wish I had some willing models - seems like my cat is the only one who likes modeling for me! ;)



Frequency said:
i really like those cat images; so fantastic!!!!

But those human bodies are not as good

regards :D

Thanks Frequency!
 

blackrose89

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Great job Megan. Thanks a lot for kicking my @ss at something that was my idea in the first place! Just kidding!
 
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blackrose89 said:
Great job Megan. Thanks a lot for kicking my @ss at something that was my idea in the first place! Just kidding!

Thanks! :p
 

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