Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Studio Lighting, Flash & Other

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 18, 2009, 12:26 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 385
Default Ordered some Alien Bees

Well I am still going off the deep end here. Ordered some Alien Bees studio lighting, 2 strobes, stands, and umbrellas. Now a whole new process and learning curve begins. I have 3 families lined up to come over in two weeks to our house for photos in my soon to be rigged up basement studio - Oh My!!

Plan to be taking a bunch of practice shots during the Thanksgiving holiday break.
__________________
Andy
www.AndyGriffinPhoto.com
Canon 7D
griffina6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 18, 2009, 3:39 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Please let us know how you like them. Paul Buff's products are very popular.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2009, 7:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 385
Default

The bees arrived as scheduled and seem to be working very well. Now I have to learn how to use them properly - That's the hard part.

Obviously, I have much much more to learn but here is a family photo I took in the new basement "studio".






Andy
__________________
Andy
www.AndyGriffinPhoto.com
Canon 7D

Last edited by griffina6; Dec 18, 2009 at 7:58 AM.
griffina6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2009, 7:58 AM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Andy - keep us updated. By the way, where are you setting them up - what type of room configuration (including celing height)?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2009, 11:56 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 385
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Andy - keep us updated. By the way, where are you setting them up - what type of room configuration (including celing height)?
Hey John,

Sorry it took so long to respond back. I haven't taken any photos in several days and now just enjoying some time off from work.

Well I went down to the basement and got some details about the setup. The room is fairly wide with the corner I am using being between 10 and 16 feet wide and as long as I back up with my feet (up to 30 feet or more? - did not measure). The wall on the left is a block wall and the right border is the pool table. Ceiling height is about 11.5 feet and has black plastic underneath. There is one beam that drops down to just a little over ten feet above the floor.

One light was setup about 13 feet away just to the left and close to the camera with a white reflective umbrella. The other was right up against the pool table on the right side and about 11 feet away.

I am attaching two pictures - one a NOT TO SCALE drawing of the layout and the second is a photo I took a little bit ago of the layout without turning on the lights and no subject sitting there just a couple of chairs. Oh and there is a little space heater that is not normally there. My son is having his 16th birthday party tonight and we are warming up the basement a little.

Please let me know of ways to work on the setup for improvements. I may get a chance to test some out before work starts up again.

Thanks,
Andy

1. Sketch drawing Not to ANY scale


2. And a quick snap shot of the area.
__________________
Andy
www.AndyGriffinPhoto.com
Canon 7D
griffina6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2009, 12:11 PM   #6
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Hi Andy, I would love some space like that to be able to shoot at home. Being able to get down there when you like will really help with practise which is what I need.

I would get the lights a lot closer to your subjects. Shooting this far back really limits the softness that the umbrellas can create. Also being this far out means the lights are at a very low angle, if you are closer then they don't need to be too much higher than the subjects to light from above.

I'm looking forward to see how you progress as I want to get better at studio work and I don't often get a chance to get my lights out.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2009, 12:29 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 385
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
Hi Andy, I would love some space like that to be able to shoot at home. Being able to get down there when you like will really help with practise which is what I need.

I would get the lights a lot closer to your subjects. Shooting this far back really limits the softness that the umbrellas can create. Also being this far out means the lights are at a very low angle, if you are closer then they don't need to be too much higher than the subjects to light from above.

I'm looking forward to see how you progress as I want to get better at studio work and I don't often get a chance to get my lights out.
Thanks Mark. I had two worries about being close.

1) I was afraid it would scare or distract the little kids too much but as it turned out they were so distracted anyway.

2) I was worried it would be too bright on the people. I was thinking further away would fill everything and reduce the shadows. I will try some with the lights much closer.

Thanks,
Andy
__________________
Andy
www.AndyGriffinPhoto.com
Canon 7D

Last edited by griffina6; Dec 23, 2009 at 12:39 PM.
griffina6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2009, 4:54 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by griffina6 View Post
Thanks Mark. I had two worries about being close.

1) I was afraid it would scare or distract the little kids too much but as it turned out they were so distracted anyway.

2) I was worried it would be too bright on the people. I was thinking further away would fill everything and reduce the shadows. I will try some with the lights much closer.

Thanks,
Andy
Trust me they don't worry too much about them. Getting them closer will reduce shadows as the light source is wider so a nice flood light rather than a spot light.

As for being too bring just dial down the power of them or you can increase the shutter speed/close the aperture/decrease ISO to get the exposure.

Some shots I've done where the soft box is about 24" away from the subject to wrap the light around them.

I've included a couple of photos that might be helpful. The first is with a soft box about the 24" distance to give soft edges to the shadows. This soft box on the right is a little behind the subject and the soft box is further behind still helping to pick up the hair.

The 2nd shot has a bit of a Christmas feel. This was part of a shoot for a hockey teams charity calendar. It is one of the only shots I've can find where the lights are shown for a group of this size. As you can see they are still only about 4 or so feet from the subjects. If it wasn't a jump shot I would have been working with lights closer than this.
Attached Images
  
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2009, 8:11 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 385
Default

Thanks Mark for the insights. I really definitely try this at home. Holy cow what a crazy shot that second one is but it does a nice job of illustrating you point. I am looking forward to try this technique.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
__________________
Andy
www.AndyGriffinPhoto.com
Canon 7D
griffina6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2009, 8:39 AM   #10
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

You're welcome. As for the 2nd being crazy, there are some of the calendar shots that I wouldn't put up here..... I'm waiting for the ladies to ask me to do their calendar but it's not looking so likely LOL.

Have a great Christmas!!
Mark1616 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 3:53 AM.