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Old Oct 16, 2010, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Female Portait Help Needed With HS10

In the near future I need to take some photos of our female (and male the males are not the issue) in their firefighters in their dress uniforms. Females wear a white dress shirt, navy knee length skirt, either beige or suntan hose (per policy manual wording) and navy closed toe heels.

I did a few test shots last week with our chief to figure out what background worked best.

The issue is that the hose are looking darker in the photos than they are to my eye. If I raise the ev a little it starts to blow out their face. Also if I use the built in flash on the Fuji HS10 it makes the hose also a white mess and if I use a bounce flash in hotshoe the hose brighten slight but it also overdoes the top of the frame.

Shots are inside the firehouse bays with ample ceiling light against a white ambulance as the background with a flag type sticker over their shoulder.

Any ideas. I almost want to ask for the gals to come with barelegs as I did three different people as test and one didn't wear her hose for the test shots (she hates hose and made it known) and the legs looked ok.....

Oh I shot in the auto, P mode and A mode at f/5,6.... would portrait mode make any difference didn't think of that till it was too late. For the guys A mode at f/5,6 keeps everything sharp and P mode at +1/3ev works well too.

Thanks in advance

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Old Oct 17, 2010, 12:29 AM   #2
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I would ask the chief if they could not have their 'hose on for the images. Would it really matter ?

Another alternative is to use the HS-10 flash, and also an external slave flash, off-camera, set low to the ground and also set about one stop underexposed. This would give you some extra light down-under.

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Old Oct 17, 2010, 4:39 AM   #3
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Which external flash do you have, does it have the ability to rotate as well as tilt? It sounds like the problem is the light direction, everything seems to be from above and if you are also bouncing up you are compounding this problem. I can almost say I never only bounce off of a ceiling, it is the last resort prior to direct flash.

My personal preference would be to use natural lighting, I would move closer to the main doors that the ambulance would use, not so close as to be in direct sunlight (if it is that direction) but not too far in as the quality of the light will reduce. This should give a more directional soft light across the subject rather than just from above.

The other choice would be to use the flash, however, you need to positing yourself near to the corner, then aim in a backwards and slightly towards the corner angle with the flash. This is why you need the rotating head and also quite a bit of flash power so not sure you will be able to fix it with this solution but wanted to give you all the options. Flash is a last resort, natural is best where possible.

My last thought is that it is a DR limitation that we all suffer with to some extent compared to film days. What shouldn't be pushing the limits of the camera range starts to, do you have your in camera contrast turned up?
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Old Oct 17, 2010, 9:51 AM   #4
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Could you do some sort of "clamp on" type light? You might get away with a small desk lamp set on the floor. If the coverage area is to wide use a piece of construction paper and make a cone for a quickie snoot.

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Old Oct 17, 2010, 10:51 PM   #5
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Mark great info (all the light is from the top which is the problem you hit the nail on head... I rarely do portraits so thanks for pointing that out) and yes moving closer to the doors would be a good idea I never though of I was doing it dead center of the building to keep the background clean. I can move so the doors are within 5 feet of the people and if done on a sunny day should cast enough light on them..... Also Sarah suggested asking them not wear their hose.....

Thanks and I do have a manual Vivitar 2880-D I got off E-bay for $20. It works good for high school football photos........


Last edited by Photo 5; Oct 17, 2010 at 10:53 PM.
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