Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > People Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 29, 2004, 11:34 AM   #1
Member
 
cdteo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 37
Default

Please help! I have only been taking pictures for a short time and trying to get as much practice in as possible. I just can't seam to get something right in these pictures I have attached. I'm using a Nikon D70 with two Alien Bee 800's one with a large softbox and the other with a white bounce umbrella. In my mind the pictures just look flat or lighting looks off. I don't know how to describe it but they just don't have the same look as the other great pictures I see here. I'm shooting in manual mode but really have no clue were I should have the settings on the camera. I just play with them to where the picture is not too bright or dark. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Thank you,

Chad
Attached Images
 
cdteo is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 29, 2004, 2:42 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
CastleDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 321
Default

That's why it is called flat lighting ... :-).

What you want to do is to set the lights to give a little bit of shadow. The way you do it is by doing a main/fill setup where the main is at your exposure and the fill is about 1 stop or more down. The idea is not to completely kill the shadow but to soften it.

A young model can take more shadow than an older model, because they have smoother faces (less wrinkles).

You also may want to punch up the picture in photoshop/etc with a bit of color balancing (shoot a known object/color card) and sharpening.
CastleDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 3:08 PM   #3
Member
 
cdteo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 37
Default

Thanks for the reply. The picture I posted I had a large soft box pointing at the models left armand an umbrella directly in front of her. Which light would you consider to be my main and which would be fill? Which one should be a stop brighter? Here is another picture with the same lighting as mentioned above.



Thank you,

Chad
Attached Images
 
cdteo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 3:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
CastleDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 321
Default

For myself I prefer the softbox as a main. It allows the model (and me) to move around a little bit more than the umbrella, also I can repoint the umbrella easier than moving the softbox so pointing the model at the softbox is an easier freestyle shoot.

You also want to make sure the model has a little more distance to the background.
(I know it's sometimes hard in "garage glamour" setups). The optimal distance is about 3-6 feet from the background.

Try experimenting around with some of these setups http://www.phototalk.net/forum/showt...ge=1&pp=10

You might want to get a large stuffed animal as a model while you are experimenting.






CastleDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 3:55 PM   #5
Moderator
 
Frank Doorhof's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,320
Default

Hi,
First of all try to move the model a bit more away from the background unless you want the shadows offcourse.

For the wellknow blown out background use a dedicated flash to blow out the background at least 1 fstop over the front (I alway's look at my histogram on the camera, learn how to read that, that is priceless).

To help against flat lighting try to following.
Place one flash on the left or right side of the model but not in front, let's say next to and than a bit forward, use a reflector on the other side to lighten up the shadows.
You will see that really helps a lot.

Any more questions please ask.

Greetings,
Frank
Frank Doorhof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 4:14 PM   #6
Member
 
cdteo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 37
Default

Thank you all for your help. I'm going to go home and practice after work. Any recomendations on a good starting point as far as settings with my D70 in manual mode? Again thanks for any help.

Chad
Attached Images
 
cdteo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 4:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
CastleDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 321
Default

Get a light meter .. It's worthit to start out with. Digital is forgiving but a light meter can get you spot on. Cheap ones work fine (some people may disagree with me there but my JTL gives the same answer as the fancy ones).

Try and shoot as wide open as possible (f8-f11)but if your studio is small then drop it down so you don't burn out the subject.
CastleDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 4:56 PM   #8
Member
 
cdteo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 37
Default

What model JTL flash meter do you use? I don't see any of the JTL's on B&H Photo.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Thank you,

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Chad
cdteo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 5:43 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
CastleDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 321
Default

JTL LM-8

http://www.adorama.com/JTLM8.html?se...&item_no=2


Of course when I looked it up I now see that even Sekonic has a value priced model now...

http://www.adorama.com/SKL308.html?s...&item_no=1
CastleDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29, 2004, 9:34 PM   #10
Member
 
newbieX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 59
Default

Ok...this is a stupid question...what exactly doesa light meter help do? I'm a little confused on this.
newbieX is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:05 AM.