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Old Mar 2, 2005, 9:43 AM   #1
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While this is more of a snapshot than a portrait, I wanted to use this to ask a question about how to go to the next level with this type of shot.

I have a model coming over this weekend for a shoot. :-):-):-) I'm so excited. Anyway, I read somewhere that you want to place your softbox about 6 feet away and just to the side of you. I just got mine recently (I think it is 24 X 36). Do you just play with distance until you get the look you want? I have a series of sitting poses that I want to try with her, and I just have one speedlight that I wanted to bounce off the ceiling and my soft box. I want a soft black and white look, like a senior portrait, doing mostly close-ups of her face, kind of like what I did with the shot of the boys only more refined.

She has very fair complexion and blond hair. I have a black crinkly sheet for a back drop, and ivory textured walls. There is blue carpeting which won't show in the shot, but I was going to put down a white drop sheet to avoid color splash if that is what you call it. I planned on making a long rectangular reflector with cardboard and some very smooth aluminum foil. I wanted to put this at an angle up toward her face in front of me. (This is my version of a studio withmy limited budget...I apologize if this seems archaic to anyone.) The model knows this is just an experiment, too.

Any tips from anyone reading on setting up the lighting? I know there isn't a canned answer, but given what I have, there aren't many options. There isn't any natural light because we only have room in the basement for now....someday I'll have my own space :G.

Thanks for any ideas! So many of you do such great work, I can't wait to hear your ideas.

WI GIRL
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 10:04 AM   #2
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If you have an Office Supply Store nearby then you can pick up some white Foam Board to use as a reflector which will be better than the foil. Foil will act like a mirror. I know Staples carries Foam Board and you can get a fairly large board for a couple dollars. Wal*Mart may have it too. I suspect it will be with the art supplies. Of course, anything white will work. Even a bed sheet!

The image of the boys is nice, but it looks too much like a flash pic to me. Are you using your speedlight to trigger the flash with softbox?

You'll want your softbox between 3 and 5 feet from the subject. The closer you can get it, the softer the light will be. Keep in mind that you'll need the reflector closer to the subject than the softbox to benefit.

Bouncing your speedlight from the ceiling will work nice for fill to, but you have to be careful not to create unpleasing shadows when doing this. I suggest that you take a few shots at different flash outputs once you have your subject posed.

Your set-up isn't archaic. I have lots of equipment and quite often I'm shooting with a similar set-up as you mention.

Learn to manipulite the key light and you'll be just fine. Too many people ruin shots because they try to be savy with lots of lights.

Good luck and have fun!

Rodney
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 7:26 PM   #3
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Yes, this shot was just a snapshot...I only put it up because I wanted to show where I was and talk about where I wanted to go. I didn't use ANY set up on that. My goal was to get feedback so I COULD use the set up. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 7:49 PM   #4
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Ok, I think I'm on the same track now. The lighting on the shot you have shown here is good, but I prefer a more dramatic lighting. Of course that is my style and you may prefer less dramatic lighting.

In most situations, you'll want your light away from the camera to either the left or right.

A basement set-up will work great so you are fine there.

Rodney
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 7:58 PM   #5
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Am I correct in thinking that you only have one softbox & no other light (except for you shoe-mounted flash)? On another note...I've found the foam board that Rodney mentions in white, gold & silver at Hobby Lobby.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 9:57 PM   #6
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The shot here was just a random shot with who knows what setting. I didn't pay attention to any details, and I can't recall if there was a flash. It was not put here for a critique, but just to show that I want close faces, black and white, but now I want to move on to a higher level with real attention to lighting.

I want a little more dramatic look with the model. I only have one soft box and the speedlite. There are fluorescent lights down there on the ceilings, but I planned to turn those off because they are harsh and direct. I have a floor lamp (halogen) that I can adjust that would reflect off the ceiling for more light, too, or a table lamp with a thin white sheet over it to set next to her. I really don't know anything about lighting except that I learned to be careful of carpet because the color will reflect up onto your backdrop.

So again, any tips about lighting would be appreciated. I should have posted this in the questions forum, but so few people tend to respond there, soI hoped to get more input here.

THANKS!!
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 4:08 AM   #7
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WisconsinGirl wrote:
Quote:
The shot here was just a random shot with who knows what setting. I didn't pay attention to any details, and I can't recall if there was a flash. It was not put here for a critique, but just to show that I want close faces, black and white, but now I want to move on to a higher level with real attention to lighting.

I want a little more dramatic look with the model. I only have one soft box and the speedlite. There are fluorescent lights down there on the ceilings, but I planned to turn those off because they are harsh and direct. I have a floor lamp (halogen) that I can adjust that would reflect off the ceiling for more light, too, or a table lamp with a thin white sheet over it to set next to her. I really don't know anything about lighting except that I learned to be careful of carpet because the color will reflect up onto your backdrop.

So again, any tips about lighting would be appreciated. I should have posted this in the questions forum, but so few people tend to respond there, so I hoped to get more input here.
THANKS!!
Hello WIG,

I wasn't offereing a critique. I wasn't clear on how the shared image related to what you wanted to do. At first I thought you were showing the results of your set-up.

Maybe you can get your son to pose for you with your lighting set-up and we can help you refine your technique once you've got started with it.

Rodney
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