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Old May 29, 2006, 10:26 PM   #1
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Hey everyone,

So I do event designing for local parties and events held here in the SF bay area. And each year a local Indian community comes up to us and asks us to set up a backdrop, a front entrance and a photo drop. They would like us also to take pictures.

So heres what happens, people/families would line up and take pictures and in the rear is our backdrop. Normally, they really don't care for the preference of quality in the picture as long as it was a high mega pixel camera. Fortunately for me, SLR is the way to go! And I think it would be a better investment for our company. So this year I got the Rebel XT and a great tungsten light kit from b&h which is here: Impact Tungsten 3 Flood Light Kit - consists of: 3 Floodlights, Umbrellas, Light Stands -http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Now as for the hall, it's a huge hall with florescent lighting:

And all they give us is a small area which we put our photo backdrop, here is one we did last year. Sorry photo quality is bad; I had to get this from a video:

Now down to the whole reason of the post. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to position the lighting and camera settings? Should I close off the backdrop on the left and right side in order for the lighting to be in full effected? I'm pretty brand new to the lighting field, although I'm not stopping my research
I know for a fact that ill be using ISO 100 because we have plenty of light and white balance should be set to AWB. The normal Indian clothing they usually wear is bright reds, yellows pinks etc. :?


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Old May 29, 2006, 11:02 PM   #2
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Ok...so you are going to use incandescent lighting in an area with florescent overhead lights.. First of all, you shouldn't shoot using AWB (unless you are shooting in RAW mode)...or get a grey card to set your White Balance.

You will have the best success if you set your lighting up as close to the subjects as possible...and set your aperature to only focus on them & not the background (unless others are behind the main subjects).

Since you are using continious lighting, what you see is what you get. In some ways that's a good thing, in others it's bad. For instance, when using seasoned models, they understand holding a pose until the shot is made. When you are shooting people with others around, yakking & such...it's tough to get them to lock into a good pose without them looking lke a deer in headlights (or blurred).

My suggestion would be to have some sort of stobe (off camera) while doing some test shots with a grey-card to make sure your colors are correct. The strobe will "freeze" any movements the subjects make, but it should be your main light.

The main light should be off to one side & slightly above the subjects. The other lights are to fill in the shadows & should be one (close to in front & the other to the other side (or behind). This is very hard to explain in words, but shooting in RAW & using Photoshop will make your life much easier.

Also study the 1'st thread in this Forum.....a wealth of info is there.
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Old Jun 16, 2006, 2:00 PM   #3
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I see you are already going to have shadow problems. Can you turn the backdrop so it is vertical to the wall? If so you can eliminate a lot of the problems with shadows. Like Kalypso just told You. You are going to have color balence problems and probably problems with subject movement if you do not use a fast shutter speed.

DO NOT USE the pop-up flash because of RED-EYE problems. I would get the lights as close to the subject as possible and use the longest lens I have. You can get Daylight balenced bulbs for your lights. Check and be sure they did not already come with daylight balenced bulbs.

Make sure your subject is far enough away from the backdrop to eleminate shadows on the backdrop.I always put a pice of tape on the floor to mark the position I want my subjects to stand on. Shoot so you can crop if needed.

It is not easy giving advise because I'm not there but I have been in positions where I had to really change the way I like to do things to get the job done.

If you have Daylight balenced bulbs you can use TTL and Auto WB at ISO200 and get excellent results with a sturdy tripod.


Revised, I just looked at your light set-up at B&H and your bulbs are all 32,000K so if you have enough light to overpower the house lights you should still be able to use auto WB and be OK. Just get there early and try a few diffrent WB settingsand see what looks good on your camera display. I can set my WB on my D200 but I know nothing about how it works on your canon rebel. Kalypso can probably tell you how to set it.

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Old Jun 16, 2006, 9:12 PM   #4
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If your lights are 3200K you need to set your cameras WB for incandescent or cloudy (try them both). I would still use a gray card to manually set it myself. The main reason being, is that size of room probably has either Halogen, Metal Halide (or depending on the age of the building, Mercury Vapor lamps). All are different color temperatures & most of your presets may not work correctly.

If all else fails, you can set up in a corner & cover the subjects with some sort of black screen or tent. Don't laugh, you should see some of the creative setups good photographers have to create on-the-fly....
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