Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Photo Critiques

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 23, 2010, 4:00 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 627
Default

Thanks NHL, I was using a shoot thru umbrella with the speed light. I powered down the speedlight to 1/2 power to avoid blow out.

I wanted the narrow dof so I could make the sure that Wendy's face was the only thing inf focus.

But now, I am super curious. I have never heard that I shouldn't use a speedlite with a very narrow dof, like the 1.2. I'd love to hear more about that.

The piano room is rather dark, so that's why I used the speedlite. The natural light from the window is to the right, so when opening the piano top, it would block the sun. PLUS it's not possible to shoot from that side of the piano. I guess turning the piano 180 degrees would make the light work, but then the back ground would be blah.

The thing I was trying to do was shoot her in what would been interpreted as the natural environment of her at her piano.

Thanks!!
FP
FaithfulPastor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2010, 4:43 PM   #22
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,543
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
Thanks NHL, I was using a shoot thru umbrella with the speed light. I powered down the speedlight to 1/2 power to avoid blow out.
Exactly what I was thinking, 1/2 power through an umbrella is another 1/4 to 1/8 plus the distance... So you're really shooting with ambient lighting!
-> You are better off may be with just a passive reflector on your wife left side from the natural light coming from the right

Also you're getting stray light from the background (i.e. windows behind it) which the weak speedlite setting can not overcome as a fill

Last edited by NHL; Nov 23, 2010 at 5:56 PM.
NHL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2010, 5:55 PM   #23
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,543
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post

But now, I am super curious. I have never heard that I shouldn't use a speedlite with a very narrow dof, like the 1.2. I'd love to hear more about that.
Your lighting condition does not allow this. Normally an f/1.2 would have work with a stronger ambient like outdoor with a speedlite.

What throw me off is your use of a shoot through umbrella
Why? (Also what is the flash head zoom setting and not just it's power as this will affect it's angle of coverage)

Last edited by NHL; Nov 23, 2010 at 6:08 PM.
NHL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2010, 6:02 PM   #24
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

I quite like the last shot, I don't think you should be clearing everything out of a room as generally you will be shooting environmentally, not in a sterile studio.

As for the aperture, that has to be your choice to get the effect you desire. I would rather have the shallow DOF from the lens rather than PP so if you want that then correct the reduced contrast and sharpness in PP.

Looking at the composition, sure there is a lot going on in this photo, but then again we are photographing a piano. I like the way it frames the face, but for me, I would rather you had everything more to the left rather than to the right as the right is the side where the lines are closing down, the left is more open.

If I was shooting this, I wouldn't go so extreme with the aperture, what I would concentrate on is the lighting of the face to get your wife narrow lit to create a nice shape and also adjust the composition. Also, have her head and body less straight on, I would have her legs to camera right as we look at this, the thing to be careful of is a shadow from the lid support but I think you can avoid it.

I really like that you are continually experimenting and your photography is improving all the time. Keep at it, some things will work, some won't...... learn from both
__________________
Any problems with a post or thread please use the report button at the bottom left of the post and the team will help sort it out.

Have fun everyone!


See what I'm up to visit my Plymouth Wedding Photography
site or go to my blog.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2010, 8:21 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 627
Default

NHL, (first, I really love this place. I'd pay a ton of money for the advice you guys hand out for free!!!)

Okay, here's what I think I know about shoot thru umbrellas.
1. They take a speedlite and make it a really big light. My umbrella is about 42 inches diameter when opened up.
2. A big light close to the subject make the light wrap around the subject and therefore creates more even lighting on the subject.
3. You can get the light really close to the subject without creating harsh light.

So I aimed the flash right at Wendy, but thru the umbrella. I turned the flash down so I wouldn't have blowout (what's the word for this when everything is white?). I moved the umbrella close to me, but on my left. I could not raise the umbrella else the piano lid would block the light from her face. If I moved the light too far to the left, the lighting would be far too "dramatic" with too much shadow on the right side of her face.

So that's why I did what I did. Somewhere, I missed the boat. And I'm hopeful that somebody understands where I went wrong.

Faithfully yours,
FP
FaithfulPastor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2010, 12:34 PM   #26
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,543
Default

Let first assume that you did not apply any correction to the images, then IMHO there's something not kosher with your lighting, especially Wendy2, 3 and 5.
(Wendy1 and 4 seems a bit dark, but increasing the brightness while lowering the contrast, fix them nicely.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
1. They take a speedlite and make it a really big light. My umbrella is about 42 inches diameter when opened up.
Correct - However they work as a pair depending on where the strobe (and how large its reflector is) is behind this umbrella. Your speedlite is still a point source, and it might depend on what the zoom setting on your device is: for example my 580EX remembers its previous zoom angle so I can shoot through a large umbrella but this combination may produce a hot spot @ 105mm but not at the 24mm setting. The relative position of the speedlite (i.e. how far away from the fabric) and where it's pointed is also important.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
2. A big light close to the subject make the light wrap around the subject and therefore creates more even lighting on the subject.
Agree - But then again this is just a preference.
When I first started out I just want to get rid of shadow, but as I as become more experienced. I realized that shadowless pictures usually appears 'flat', and one learns quickly on how to shape the shadows into a '3D' images (for example IMO your Wendy2 is better 'shaped' than Wendy3)


Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
3. You can get the light really close to the subject without creating harsh light.
This confused me a bit as somehow you still manage to get a bit of 'harsh' light (especially on the close-up portraits). Have you try to shoot into a reflecting umbrella instead of through it? Some softboxes have two layers of fabric to diffuse the light, but I think a 42mm umbrella might be too big for your speedlite...

I recalled this image which I posted on another thread which has the closest conditions to your's (light skin, dark hair, low-light, and up close to light source) which I have cropped to show the difference in harshness (and contrast). This was shot @ f/2.8 (so almost twice your level!):
Attached Images
 

Last edited by NHL; Nov 25, 2010 at 12:43 PM.
NHL is online now   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 4:30 PM.