Matthew Seed ?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sbackburn, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. sbackburn

    sbackburn TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Has anyone heard of Matthew Seed? I love him equine work but was wondering how you get the effect he gets with lighting. I currently own Nikon D610, Nikkor 70-300mm and Nikkor 50mm 1.8. I know he must use a flashgun of some sort but was wondering if you could get this effect with just an on camera built in flash? And which flashgun would you suggest buying for my first one which isn't mega bucks?

    If anyone could give me step by step instructions/tips of how I could possibly get the effect he does with his photographs I'd be grateful. Thanks

    Matthew Seed - The Horse Photographer -private commission horse photography - Limited edition equine photography | Gallery


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    No, you can't get this effect with your built-in flash. All of his images are using off-camera flash, where the flash is located off to one side or the other, and triggered remotely. He is using a beauty dish for at least some of his shots, 'though any round modifier, such as a bog-standard 30" reflecting umbrella will allow you to create a very similar look. The works is creative, but to be honest, I find it lacking on the technical side; many of his images have significantly over-exposed, or totally blown-out areas.

    To do this, you will need as a minimum, a moderately powered speedlight (something with a GN of >100) such as the SB-700, SB-900/910, or one of the Yongnuo or Metz units. You will need a trigger set, light stand, umbrella and umbrella bracket. Everything should be easily obtainable for $300 USD. Note that in some of his images he is actually overpowering the sun with the light he's using, so it may be (in some cases at least) a large studio light, or multiple speedlights together)

    As far as "step by step" instructions, you can't really do that. One has to have an understanding of light, and how to work with off-camera lights, how to control exposure and be familiar with horses. As an example, take image #9 (white horse). This is a very easy shot; the beauty dish on a light stand (probably about 10' high) located to the left of the horse, and exposure based on the horses face. Most of these are very simple shots from a lighting perspective, BUT they do require a basic knowledge of lighting, and imagination. In #21, he's using two lights; one directly behind the horse and one image right.

    Spend some time on YouTube, and search "off camera flash" and "single speedlight portrait" and such to get a better idea of how to work with off camera lights.
     
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  3. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would have said some of these were done by using focused static lighting, especially the ones with the young horses and obvious overhead lighting.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not familiar with that term; what is "focused static lighting"?
     
  5. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    big bulb inside a housing with shutters to control the spread of continuous light. On a stand for height adjustment. http://g02.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1AurX...Read-Head-Light-Stand-Kit-studio-lighting.jpg
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Possibly, 'though I'm more inclined to think it's still the beauty dish, but with a tight grid. Most continuous lights wouldn't have the power for a lot of the images he's making, and barn doors, while they can control spread to a certain degree, don't generally produce the fairly distinctive round light we're seeing on the ground.
     
  7. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Only time I ever photographed a horse was in a racing stables. One horse reacted to the sound of the shutter by kicking out a metal panel at the back of it's stable and transporting a handler from one side of the box to the other with one head movement. Scared the life out of me and I haven't been near a horse since.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I can see where that would be a little disconcerting; I've never had a problem like that, 'though some can be quite nervous. I deal with them as I would dogs and spend the first few minutes on set trying to get to know them, and making friends. A few carrots or horse biscuits in your pocket can make the job a LOT easier.
     
  9. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    or a tranquiliser dart gun
     
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