Studio Lighting Troubleshoot

sharpiegoddess

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Hey everyone. I'm new here but I desperately need some advice. I've been shooting for over eight years, been in studio for 3, but I'm completely new to strobes and triggers. I'm shooting in a home studio that is about 10x12.

So I picked up two of Calumet's Genesis 400s and Calumet's 4-channel transmitter(x1) and receivers (x3). I have a receiver on each light and one to use to trigger my camera if I so choose to. I am getting two different results between triggering my camera wirelessly (receiver on camera) and taking the photo myself (transmitter on camera.)

When I take the photo myself and the transmitter is on the camera my pictures are coming out almost completely white or completely black depending on the settings. No matter how fast my shutter speed is or anything else the image is rotten. It also does this in every mode even Auto.

When I have the receiver on the camera and am triggering it wirelessly the photo comes out just okay. It seems as though it's missing the flash because I'm picking up identical white balances as the modeling lamp. BUT there IS an actual image like this.

This two part test was taken with identical settings, identical positions, identical light settings, both NOT in live mode, etc etc.

My lights I just can't seem to figure out. I was up nearly all night trying to piece together what Full vs. Proportional means and if this has anything to do with my problem but no matter what I changed to experiment I got the same results. I've tried putting my flash power from 10 to 50, my modeling lamp from 10 to 50, full and prop, nothing fixes it.

Can anyone figure out what's happening to me? Is it my lights or the transmitter or my brain? Thanks. :confused:
 
Welcome to the forum.

Firstly, one thing to point out...the lights probably have a built-in optical slave. So in a studio type situation, you only need to trigger one of the lights, the others will fire in response to that one. Using a receiver on each light, is useful when there are other cameras/flashes around, which probably won't happen in your studio.

So this leads to the question...are you using anything that has a pre-flash (a speedlite, on-camera flash etc.) If you had a preflash firing, it would prematurely trigger any slaves with an optical trigger...and they would not be able to fire again when the shutter is open.

That's the only think I can think of at the moment.
 
When I take the photo myself and the transmitter is on the camera my pictures are coming out almost completely white or completely black depending on the settings. No matter how fast my shutter speed is or anything else the image is rotten. It also does this in every mode even Auto.
.

My lights I just can't seem to figure out. I was up nearly all night trying to piece together what Full vs. Proportional means and if this has anything to do with my problem but no matter what I changed to experiment I got the same results. I've tried putting my flash power from 10 to 50, my modeling lamp from 10 to 50, full and prop, nothing fixes it.

Can anyone figure out what's happening to me? Is it my lights or the transmitter or my brain? Thanks. :confused:

First off, with studio lights you can't shoot in any mode except full manual. Secondly, Shutter speed does not affect Exposure with studio lights UNLESS you excedd the Flash Sync Speed of your camera, In most cases that is 1/250 or 1/200. Check your camara manual.

So do this, with the lights on full power, set your camera to ISO 100 f/8 1/125. Take a shot, if it is too bright, Turn down the Strobe power to 1/2. Still to bright turn down more, too dark turn up till it looks right.

If at full power it is way too dark, Upen up your aperture to f/6.3, still dark go to f/5.6...f/4 as needed.

ONly change one thing at a time till you get a good exposure. People mess up because they change 3 things at once and never get anywhere.

Tracking is the proportion of how bright the modeling light is. At full the Modeling light is always at full power to illuinate your model to get a preview of how the lighting will look. Proprtional means that as you turn up or down the ATUAL strobe power, the modeling light will get brighter or dimmer with that power adjustment. The modeling light is ONLY to see what the light will look like and the angle to the subject, it does not affect the atual exposure
 
Firstly, one thing to point out...the lights probably have a built-in optical slave. So in a studio type situation, you only need to trigger one of the lights, the others will fire in response to that one. Using a receiver on each light, is useful when there are other cameras/flashes around, which probably won't happen in your studio.

So this leads to the question...are you using anything that has a pre-flash (a speedlite, on-camera flash etc.) If you had a preflash firing, it would prematurely trigger any slaves with an optical trigger...and they would not be able to fire again when the shutter is open.

I know I went the extra mile using radio triggers. Call me paranoid or crazy but I'm just not comfortable relying on the optical sensors.



So do this, with the lights on full power, set your camera to ISO 100 f/8 1/125. Take a shot, if it is too bright, Turn down the Strobe power to 1/2. Still to bright turn down more, too dark turn up till it looks right.

If at full power it is way too dark, Upen up your aperture to f/6.3, still dark go to f/5.6...f/4 as needed.

I'll have to try it your way and see if this works.
I'm still confused as to why there is a difference between having the camera receiving or transmitting. I'd think that either way should produce the same result.
 
I'm still confused as to why there is a difference between having the camera receiving or transmitting. I'd think that either way should produce the same result.
There might be a delay in the system. So when you hit the trigger, it fires the camera and the flashes at the same time...but maybe the camera takes a bit longer to respond, so the flashes fire before the shutter is open (or fully open).

But you said you still had problems when firing the camera yourself....:scratch:

And yes, as mentioned...the camera does have to be in manual mode, otherwise you exposure will be based on the ambient (modeling lights) rather than the strobe/flash.
 

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