Sunset strobist with model

ndancona

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Did a sunset shoot in the wind. Fashion type shoot with dramatic scenery. Please critique as I strive to improve.
 

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tirediron

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Not bad; my main complaint is that the strobed light seems a bit harsh, a result, I suspect of a combination of several factors such as: Lack of diffusion, light too far from subject and/or too small a modifier. Not particularily the highlights which are nearly blown, on her upper arms in 9-300-2. The balance of ambient and strobed light is good aside from that. In 39-sml, the exposure is very good, other than the strong shadow she's casting on the ground. That's not a show-stopper, but it's something I personally am not fond of. Overall I'd say you did a respectable job, and quite possibly were at the limit of your equipment.
 

desertrattm2r12

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The one with the long flowing skirt would be your best, if the flowing part of the skirt looked real. I suspect that that photo, pre-Photoshop excesses might be really nice. You're on the right track.
 

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The **exact** location and the exact posing and shooting spots in your second image are outstanding! If the long, billowing skirt had been composited by a professional retoucher, the effect would have come of in spectacular fashion. My suggestion on this shot would be to lower the overall exposure on her, and also a bit lower on the background/scene, to give a more true-to-sunset feel.

Paint on some warmer light on her arms and legs. Darken everything up overall, then carefully, lightly dodge a few of the sunlit portions of the brightest objects in the scene. BOOM!
 
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ndancona

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Not bad; my main complaint is that the strobed light seems a bit harsh, a result, I suspect of a combination of several factors such as: Lack of diffusion, light too far from subject and/or too small a modifier. Not particularily the highlights which are nearly blown, on her upper arms in 9-300-2. The balance of ambient and strobed light is good aside from that. In 39-sml, the exposure is very good, other than the strong shadow she's casting on the ground. That's not a show-stopper, but it's something I personally am not fond of. Overall I'd say you did a respectable job, and quite possibly were at the limit of your equipment.


These were all shot with a bare speedlight. I had a 60x60 softbox with me which I love to use but it was too damned windy.
What do you guys do when shooting in the wind with no help. What other options are there for diffusing an off camera flash? Also, do you ever use the small plastic diffuser that comes with the flash, I always seem to forget mine in the bag.
 
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ndancona

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The **exact** location and the exact posing and shooting spots in your second image are outstanding! If the long, billowing skirt had been composited by a professional retoucher, the effect would have come of in spectacular fashion.

Thought I did a good job with the compositing :(
Was more worried about the shadows on her face in that image than the skirt.
 

tirediron

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Not bad; my main complaint is that the strobed light seems a bit harsh, a result, I suspect of a combination of several factors such as: Lack of diffusion, light too far from subject and/or too small a modifier. Not particularily the highlights which are nearly blown, on her upper arms in 9-300-2. The balance of ambient and strobed light is good aside from that. In 39-sml, the exposure is very good, other than the strong shadow she's casting on the ground. That's not a show-stopper, but it's something I personally am not fond of. Overall I'd say you did a respectable job, and quite possibly were at the limit of your equipment.


These were all shot with a bare speedlight. I had a 60x60 softbox with me which I love to use but it was too damned windy.
What do you guys do when shooting in the wind with no help. What other options are there for diffusing an off camera flash? Also, do you ever use the small plastic diffuser that comes with the flash, I always seem to forget mine in the bag.
Lots and lots of sandbags. You can also stake them down with tent-stakes & rope. The diffuser cap on the speedlight will do nothing at these distances, but somthing like a large Rogue flashbender might have helped.
 
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ndancona

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The one with the long flowing skirt would be your best, if the flowing part of the skirt looked real. I suspect that that photo, pre-Photoshop excesses might be really nice. You're on the right track.

Here it is without the composite.
 

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ndancona

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[/QUOTE]
Lots and lots of sandbags. You can also stake them down with tent-stakes & rope. The diffuser cap on the speedlight will do nothing at these distances, but somthing like a large Rogue flashbender might have helped.[/QUOTE]

This was a 15 minute walk/hike to get to this location. I was carrying two camera bags with all the junk I thought I might need, two light stands, reflector and softbox. The model was carrying a large bag with 3 outfits and loads of shoes. Where would I put sandbags, on my head like a sherpa? :)
 

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I didn't correct the sky's cyan tinge, but something along these lines ought to be pretty easy from a good raw file.9-300-2trail-sharp-edit3-sml_re-EVAL.JPG
 

tirediron

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This was a 15 minute walk/hike to get to this location. I was carrying two camera bags with all the junk I thought I might need, two light stands, reflector and softbox. The model was carrying a large bag with 3 outfits and loads of shoes. Where would I put sandbags, on my head like a sherpa? :)
Make a second trip. No one said this was easy.
 
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ndancona

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Yeah...I would dodge this to taste. I've been working this way more and more lately...I darken to get my background brightness, then I dodge the people in the foreground and "lift" the brightness on them by painting on Dodge at 75% opacity or thereabouts. I couldn't really recover the blown highlights from the original JPG work file, so I just left it dark.

The second image you uploaded, the one without the added faux skirt blowing, would probably respond better to the type of approach I used. It is a fabulous location! OM>G, so jealous!
 

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Where would I put sandbags, on my head like a sherpa? :)
Uhh... You put those on the Sherpa's head. The other Sherpa carries the lunch, the wine, glasses, chairs, sunblock, etc. etc.
 
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ndancona

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[QUOTE="
The second image you uploaded, the one without the added faux skirt blowing, would probably respond better to the type of approach I used. It is a fabulous location! OM>G, so jealous![/QUOTE]

I will try your suggestions and keep experimenting with the editing.

With regards the location, I scouted it a few months ago and have been wanting to shoot here for a while. I shot this self portrait on one of my scouting trips.
 

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