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Old Sep 17, 2006, 11:04 PM   #1
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Howdy,

Hope all of you are doing well. I have a question. I'm shooting church staff portraits this Wednesday. I am using my Nikon D50. We are shooting them inside the church.Wewill be in a little room, so it will be a little crowded.I am using the built in flash on my D50. We haven't got a backdrop yet. I am short on cash. We will probably borrow one froma friend. We already had a little studio set up. (We were shooting a video) A friend of mine had all of his professional lights set up for the video. He said thatIcan use them for the shoot. :-)My question is, could any of ya'll please tell what to setmy D50 to, in order to get the best shot. (Settings wise) I would appreciate it if ya'll would give me some tips and tricks too. Thanks. God bless you all!!

-TheCartoonist
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 8:39 PM   #2
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DO NOT use the built in flash for the portraits under any circumstance. An external flash set to bounce off a WHITE ceiling is much much better, especially if you can get the flash off the camera to one side.

If you are shooting individual portraits using the pro lights:

The main light should be higher than the subject and about 45 degrees off the axis of the subject and the camera.

The fill light should be on the other side of the subject and about at right angls to the subject camera axis. It should be about as high as the main light but not as powerful.

The background light should be behind the subject and pointed to the backdrop. It should be strong enough to wash out any shadows but not too strong to overpower the exposure.

Think of an analogue watch/clock with the subject in the center, the camera at 6 o'clock, the main light between 7 and 8, the fill light at 3 and the background light at 12.

Adjust the lights to remove any strange shadows. They should give enough light to be able to use a decent shutter speed and a medium aperture.

Use preset white balance unless you're shooting raw.

If you are shooting a group you will have to arrange the pro lights to give even illumination to the whole group. Keep them high to give a natural light.

The videographer should be able to help you with this if he knows his lighting.






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Old Sep 19, 2006, 8:39 PM   #3
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UPDATE:

Ok everyone,

We have rescheduled the shoot for next Wednesday, because some of the people can't do it this week. Could ya'll please tell mewhat to set my camera to when taking portraits?I would appreciate it. God bless!

-TheCartoonist
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 8:47 PM   #4
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Thanks, Bob. That really helps me out!! By the way, you said not to use the built in flash. Should I not use a SB-600 either?

-TheCartoonist
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 9:03 PM   #5
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SB-600 is great, but you should bounce off a WHITE ceiling only or use a bounce card. Avoid direct flash as it makes the subjects look like a deer in the headlights. Unfortunately the D50 doesn't have the wireless commander mode like the D70s which would allow you to put the flash off to one side in bounce mode. You could use the SC-28 or SC-29 extension cables however.

Investigate the Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce http://www.omni-bounce.com/ or LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer http://www.lumiquest.com/.
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 12:40 PM   #6
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Ok,

We shoot tomorrow morning. (Wednesday) We will have a test run tonight before we shoot tomorrow. A friend is letting us borrow a backdrop. Since learning to shoot in low lighting, I am going to shoot the portraits in "A" mode, (Not "AUTO" mode) and I'm going to set the ISO at 800. What do ya'll think? Do ya'll think thatthese are the right settings to shoot the portraits? I am not using the built in flash nor am I using a SB-600. (I don't have the money to get one right now)

-TheCartoonist
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 3:42 PM   #7
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If you're using the professional studio lights, I doubt that you will have to use an ISO setting that high. Then again, I would wait to hear what Bob Nichol has to say 'cause he seems to be on top of this!!
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 8:03 PM   #8
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ISO 800 may be too high but I can't tell from here. You want a fast shutter speed but a shallow depth of field which means the aperture should be more towards the smaller numbers but not the smallest. Easy enough to experiment with different settings so don't be afraid!
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 8:58 PM   #9
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Without being able to scout the setting, it's difficult to give a recommendation. However, I think an iso of 800 is too high for portrait work. Noise will be evident, and the tricky lighting may make it worse. A flash with a flash bracket, or as was recommended a bounced SB-600 would be of great help. You also don't mention what lens you will be using. This will have an impact on how to approach the shoot.

I do recommend shooting in RAW. This will give you a bit more leeway in exposure, and help combat the tough lighting. Also, noise reduction software will help in processing the image, helping the noise that is going to be present.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 12:13 PM   #10
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Good thing abut shooting digital is you can take some test shots and check them on the LCD. You can check the histograms and make sure there are no blown highlights. I would shoot in RAW so as to give you a bit more cushion as far as exposure goes.
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