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Old Dec 27, 2004, 5:51 PM   #1
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Hello All,

I'm not sure if I should post this here or under studio strobs?

I'm having trouble getting my lighting to look right. I'm using two AB800's one with a large soft box and the other with a 24" silver bounce umbrella. I placed one light on each side of the model and a little forward. My pictures look so bland they just don't have that virbrant color that so many of you seam to be able to get in your pictures. I will attach a couple picture that have not been edited at all for you to critique any help would be greatly appreciated.

Nikon D70

2 AB800's

Tameron 17mm 28mm digital lens



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Old Dec 27, 2004, 5:56 PM   #2
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Do not see any attached pictures.

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Old Dec 27, 2004, 6:24 PM   #3
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I'm sorry the pictures are not attached I just cut and pasted them in the message did they not show up?

(Hi Cdteo...it did show up (but huge). I resized it for better viewing...hope you don't mind)...Kalypso


I will attach it to this message
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Old Dec 27, 2004, 11:25 PM   #4
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I'm just a novice, but looks ok to me. If what you really mean is that the lighting isn't very dramatic, that's true. But if you're using a softbox and an umbrella, it's not going to be dramatic -- it's going to be diffuse and thus very flat.

Part of it is placement of your "key" light -- the one that will provide most of the lighting. Then the "fill" should be on the other side, no more than 50% strength of the key.
In your picture, it appears that you "short" lighted your model-- that is, you placed the key (the light with the soft box)on the side of her face farthest the camera. That's certainly the more dramatic way to light (if less traditional, but if that's what you did, then you need to reduce the fill light (your umbrella) down quite a bit so that the side of the models face closer to the camera is more in shadow.
If the softbox was illuminating the side of the model's face closest to teh camera, then you're "broad lighting" the subject... and then the fill light should be reduced even more.
I think your lighting is fine in that there are no deep shadows or blown out highlights. But, the picture looks more like it was shot on a news set (where flat, uniform lighting is most important) compared to say a movie set (where shadow is important) compared to say a film noir movie set (shadow, shadow shadow!) I would say try reducing your fill light by one or two stops first, then start thinking of dramatic lighting effects -- backlights or hairlights to accent her frame... less diffuse lights creating darker shadows (which is really difficult not to look weird) etc...
I'm sure Frank and the others can give you more thoughtful suggestions, but I think you're on the right track!
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 4:34 AM   #5
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The picture is indeed a bit too flat.
You can overcome this by using a bit curves in PS but it will not solve everything.

You see that the black background is really catching the attention here and that is not good.
What you could try is get the softbox on a 45 degree in front of your model and slightly above her pointing downwards let's say the bottom of the box on chin level, place is arround 1 mtr from the model.

Now place the other flash with the umbrella on the lowest possible setting behind your model in a straight line with the softbox one and let it function as a hairlight, it will also spill enough if placed well to open the shadows on the face side a bit.

Let me see what that does.

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Old Dec 28, 2004, 11:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help. I will try your recomendation and see if I can get better results. I think the model was a little to close to the back ground also only about three feet away. I will post my results when I shoot again. Thank you

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Cdteo
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 6:10 PM   #7
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:|In order to create roundness you need a bright side and a shadow side, even if it is very slight as in magazine photography or very dramatic as in a Rembrant painting. Here is how to create this effect.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You need a good flash meter and two adjustable flash units bounced into a light modifier such as a soft box or umbrella. One light units is a main light placed somewhere to the left or right and a nodirectional fill light place at camera axis.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Always establish the fill light exposure first. Turn off the main light, take a meter reading of the fill unit power only (example f4) Now turn on the main light but don't turn off the fill unit. Take a reading with the dome of the flash unit on the subjects chin pointed toward the camera's lens.(example f6.7) Expose the image at6.7 and you will have a great start. You can ad other lights such as hair light above and behind the subject. You can add edge lights to sculp and define the figure. All these extra light need to be metered for reference.

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