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Old Jan 12, 2008, 9:14 PM   #1
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I am a photographer (lifelong rookie with 4 years pro) and am starting studio portraits. I have a black and a white backdrops. I have two umbrella lights, and a nikon d70 camera and an 18-70 lens. My question is this. What should I be shooting at to get a a clean, crisp sharp image, without having to go into photoshop and completely gut it. I am working in a 13'x13' room. The size of the room shouldn't have to do with the crappy pics I am getting, so, please tell me what I am doing wrong. I have changed my f-stop, aperture, the strength of my lights. Is there a setting in my camera I should be playing with? Like white balance or something? Any advice would be great. Below is an example of what I am trying to acheive (courtesy of rebecca knowles photography). Is this more photoshopped than studio, that you can tell? Or is there something I am missing in the studio. I just want to create a portrait that I can get such a crisp, cleancut, sharp, bright look out of. Help anyone?
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 5:43 PM   #2
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How do you have your lights configured? It might be helpful to take a picture of the space. And of one of your images.

I usually start with the following setting, and then play from there..

ISO - 200

White Balance - for flash (a pre-set in my Canon)


Shutter speed - 125

No exposure compensation.

I set my lights (when using two with standard umbrellas) at 1/4 power.

Then I take a test photo. I check my histogram, and I look at the picture. I check for shadow problems, proper exposure, and for the right 'feel'

If you want to post a 'problem pic' and a snap of your set up I can give you an idea of what I think might be the problem.

Also, what is the ambient light sourse in your room?

Good luck.

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Old Jan 18, 2008, 5:46 PM   #3
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By the way, that other pic look like it has more lighting - a direct sourse or two, a hair light (down) - all with soft boxes, probably.
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