One light C+C


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Jun 24, 2012
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Tonight I took a couple pictures of my fiance after dinner.I'm still new in LR4 and am trying things out. Here is one I like. I took a shot at a B&W and a color edit. Tell me what you guys think..the good and the bad!! Thanks!!!

Canon 7D, 70-200 2.8, 430ex ii, shoot through umbrella.

1/160, f/8, iso 400

Color Edit by HTchris, on Flickr

B&W Edit by HTchris, on Flickr

Strobist Info by HTchris, on Flickr
there's more light on her chest than on her face, thus making it the focal point.
there's more light on her chest than on her face, thus making it the focal point.
Perhaps because her chest is closer to the light? lol

OP, there is no reason to be shooting at ISO400 unless you are trying to balance ambient light. Shoot at ISO100 and adjust your flash power. It will yield sharper photos.
Good angling of her body in relation to the lens axis. Good head position in relation to the main light's placement. A nice 2/3 view of her face, and a pleasing expression and eye contact. All in all, pretty well-done for a one-light speedlight shot. If there's any "nit", it's the shine the shoot-through gives on her forehead, and cheeks, and to a lesser extent, on her chin. In a kind of lower-key shot like this, the presence of such bright highlights is not quite "perfect". It's not that it's God-awful or anything, but this is the typical signature of so,so many shoot-through umbrellas...

What is happening in many cases is the speedlight is blasting right in the center of the umbrella, and causing a very HOT, bright smallish "spot" of light on the pointed part of the umbrella. Then, the remainder of the umbrella's entire outer diameter is "dead" by you get this kind of somber, darker, more-moody lighting which looks GREAT, and fantastic on her...but the bright central "spot" of hot light causes reflections on the rounded or highest planes of the face, and there's a degree of sheen, a degree of specularity to it, that just is NOT present when a reflecting umbrella is used.

The difference in how a flatter, duller, "dull-white interior" umbrella illuminates and how a thin, shoot-through lights is subtle. It's something you can appreciate more the more different types of umbrellas you use. On a brighter, lighter, more "airy" or "summery" kind of shot, this umbrella's lighting effect might work better. When aiming a shoot-through fairly straight-on like this from close-up, the tendency for it to cause slightly "hot and shiny" highlights is the most-noticeable difference between a shoot-through umbrella, a reflecting umbrella, or an umbrella box with a FLAT front and diffuser screen, or a softbox, which also has a flat, more-evenly-lighted front than most shoot through will when used with a speedlight.

Overall, I think it's good. It's pleasing enough because you got a good body angle, good face angle, good light angle, pleasant expression, attractive young woman...ALL good things. I don't want to undersell all the great things you did, but I do want to say simply that with a light that has a "prettier" output, this shot would be even better.
I'm going to disagree slightly with Derrel here; I think you have the head turned just a little too far (not much though). Generally, you want to see a little bit of sclera on both sides of the iris, rather than pushing it right into the corner of the eye. As well, for shots like this, consider a reflector on the opposite to bring in just a little fill light and show a little more detail in the shadow area. Those are very minor points however. Nicely done.

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