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Old Apr 12, 2004, 9:13 PM   #11
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Default How close?

Originally Posted by amytude
Kalypso--when you say "real close", how close is that? Like inches away?
Not inches...lol. Ususally 2-4 feet will work. The larger umbrella give you a much larger light source. The pic below was taken with the umbrella about 3' away...you can see how her skin is lit even in areas that would normally be in shadows. I ususally shoot from right under the main umbrella...makes'em look taller too.

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Old Apr 13, 2004, 2:52 AM   #12
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Use the modeling lights with everything connected as you would shoot, the modeling lights will give you the idea of the shot.

I first worked with flashes whithout model lights and that was very very difficult, now I can set the right mood in about 5-10 minutes.

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Old Apr 13, 2004, 9:04 AM   #13
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Ok, that's about how close the lights are right now. I do see how she is lit...thanks! Good tip about the taller thing. I'm 5'0" myself and could use these tips if I ever get brave enough to pose for the camera.

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Old Apr 13, 2004, 12:03 PM   #14
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Good photographÖ keep the good work up!!!!!!!!!

Let me tell you one thing - There is one rule of photography, and that is "there are no rules". Photograph what you feel is right, and to get the best results, go experimenting. Here I find many opinions, I repeat - these are opinions, and thatís what I am going to do, give my opinion:

First of all the backdrop - It is pretty wrinkled and not so tidy. Either iron it or wrinkle it even more so that it should give an interesting abstract look. When you use a white backdrop, itís always a good idea to either throw some light on the backdrop by placing a light behind the subject, or another effective method is backlighting. If you have enough room behind the backdrop, place a light facing the white sheet (backdrop) so that it lights it up. It gives an interesting glow. One thing I will of course mention here (as most of the people have said) increase the distance between the backdrop and subject. However, if backdrop is backlit, less distance looks okay too.

Aperture - you photographed on f-8, thatís good! All lenses (of all cameras) have a best aperture. That is an aperture value where it gives best results. Mostly it is either 8 or 11. (Reference - Amateur Photographer, Issue: August 26, 1995). I would mention here that with an aperture of 8 you get enough depth of field to ensure that your subject is focused from the nearest point to the farthest (from the camera). But donít forget there are other factors too that affect depth of field.

Lights - You used two umbrella reflectors. One with silver and the other with white lining. Next you reduced intensity of one light to 1/2. In my opinion you should use similar lights, and then control hilights and dark areas by either reducing light intensity or increasing the distance, or changing both. Remember one thing - bigger the light source, less shadows its gonna form, so its good to use bigger umbrellas. I prefer softboxes though, but that again depends who I am photographing. If itís a man I'd perhaps go for small umbrellas and if its a woman, I'd probably use softboxes. Anyhow, thatís another debate. Coming back to your photograph... You have some very dark shadows between the kid and dad. That should be reduced. One, you should have moved the light on the right a little behind the subject, and the one on the left at 45 degrees (opposite to what you have done). That would have taken care of most of the shadows in that area. Second, you can use a reflector placed in front of the subject (probably on the knees and tilted upwards) to further reduce the shadow and get a little more detail. I personally donít like even-lit photographs (even though my daughter's pic I've posted is evenly lit). Dark and light gives a better 3D effect. The difference between the hilights and dark areas should be between 1 stop to 3 stops (again my opinion).

Light Meter and metering - A light meter always handy and almost always accurate. When you use two lights or more (even with reflectors), and want one light to be brighter than the other, which usually is the case, always find out the difference between hilights and dark areas. What I do is, take meter readings separately. I only turn on the light I want to take the reading off. Next, I switch it off and switch on the other one and so forth. Thus I know the exact difference between two lights or more. If you take light reading with all the lights on, you may not get a correct exposure value. Also, make sure that the light meter is facing the light correctly.

Finally coming back to lightís distance - if you bring your lights too close to the subject, it will burn certain areas and will give harsh shadows. On the other hand if you take your lights too far away, you will not get a good aperture value, hence you may lose some sharpness. Therefore, your lights should be placed around 1-1/2 to 2 meters away from the subject. A 320 Ws light, used with Umbrella reflector, would easily give f-11 at 2 meters. So you can have a good bright and sharp exposure. I personally like approximately 1/2 stop over exposed photos (but then its personal liking/disliking)

Once again I would say that itís only my personal opinion, and I hope that you and other fellow members agree to what I have written. (even though its too long )
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