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Old Nov 5, 2010, 9:49 AM   #1
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Default Layout question

Actually I have two questions.

First, please take a look at the attached diagram and tell me what you would do differently in the set up.

I'm not trying to do anything special, just trying to find a place from which to start.

Second, after looking at the diagram, do you know of a book or other source that shows layouts such as these (with specific, rather than general details) that I can order?

I'm really not interested in diagrams that don't include distances between things nor am I interested in diagrams that don't include settings.

I've tried to find a book like this, but I really don't know what to call it, so it's trouble to find something without knowing the name. I realize that this is not an exact science, but neither is cooking, but they keep writing and buying cookbooks that have step by step instructions.

Thanks for your corrections to my attached model, and for your advice on a resource for diagrams.

Faithfully yours,
FP
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Old Nov 6, 2010, 6:41 AM   #2
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1. I'm afraid there's no 'canned' answer as there is too many variables in what you want your resulting image to look like...
-> In another word filling the specific data you requested only produce 1 outcome because there's is no right or wrong setting, all depending on what the effect(s) you want to achieve

2. You didn't indicate what is the power on your main flash so we can't tell if the exposure to subject is correct for your particular camera setting (the shutter speed is not critical BTW unless your main flash is not powerful enough to overcome the ambient lighting), and the ISO will vary with the W/s or GN of the main flash...

3. Distances - Again most photographers would adjust the distances from the main flash to the subject (and not to the camera), as this distance also dictates the background distance to the subject as you may, or may not, want to include this background in the resulting image (i.e. light fall-off) depending on the look you want to achieve (and not someone to pick a value for you which may not be the effect you want) - ditto with the fill light flash distance, although I might swap to a snoot or honey comb instead of an umbrella to highlight the hair (as the umbrella spread is too wide), and use a passive reflector for the fill.

4. The flash angle to the camera is more critical than its distance, so most book will give you general placement but not the exact settings as they don't know ahead of time what is the main flash their readers might be using because of the above

There's a lot of tutorial on line so you may not need to buy:
http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Cre...ight-159164364
http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-use...raphy-72416724

... and the light modifiers vendors have them too:
http://www.photoflexlightingschool.c...oor/index.html

I guess this is what they call ART, like cooking you just experiment with the different ingredient till it tastes just right for you or your clients!

Last edited by NHL; Nov 6, 2010 at 7:03 AM.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 1:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the links, NHL I'm wanting to learn about studio lighting as well.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 10:29 PM   #4
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4 sure - I forgot to mention youtube.
-> You can do a lot with just 1 light using different techniques:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH84-...eature=related

... and the effect of one light with varying distances:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H_Zb...eature=related

Last edited by NHL; Nov 7, 2010 at 11:05 PM.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 5:35 AM   #5
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I'm quite surprised that this section does not get more active as IMO lighting is key to photography...

-> It seems to me like most folks here in the forums are more keen on acquiring fast lenses to capture darkness than honing their skill in improving the lighting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snI7e...eature=related
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 7:05 AM   #6
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If you want to learn a lot about lighting, one of the best sites with tons of free tutorials is the well-known and much lauded site strobist.com.

Their Strobist Lighting 101/102 section lists tons of learning material in their archives if you scroll down the page a bit and click your choices on the right side. Here is that link for your convenience ... while I have been in photography for well over 50 years, I have found you can teach an old dog new tricks and I have learned a lot from them: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 3:20 PM   #7
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Default softboxes vs. reflecting umbrellas

If we forget about the mechanics of softboxes and reflective umbrellas for a moment, then this question might make some sense.

When using a off camera flash (speedlite), is there a difference or advantage in using an umbrella over a softbox or vice versa?

I'm not asking about which one is easier to carry or which one will is more likely to get blown over. I'm just asking about their results. Do they pretty much produce the same result or do they produce vastly different results?

FP
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 5:39 PM   #8
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The specular highlights (shape of the reflection) in the eye will be different and can be unpleasant to some if square. Beyond that there is not a whole lot of difference if you are talking average portable sizes.

Nonetheless, softboxes, at a significantly higher cost for them and their accessories, can offer a tad more light control than umbrellas, so it's worth it to eventually have both, but if I were advising someone just starting out, I would go with the umbrellas and learn lighting. Then, when I understood what I was doing and saw the uses and needs I had, get a softbox for its better directional control of light (with accessories). Because of that, I think it makes a slightly better main light while using umbrellas for the other lighting. Anyway, IMHO.

On edit, I found the link for a comparison tool I used a while back for some of my students: http://www.bron.ch/vt_pd_lg_sc_en/index.php If you choose "Soloflex" for the softbox, and Umbrella for the other, you can see comparison photos that may be of help to you. (if it means anything, I don't use their products, but the tool is useful as a learning aid).

Last edited by hgernhardtjr; Nov 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 6:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
When using a off camera flash (speedlite), is there a difference or advantage in using an umbrella over a softbox or vice versa?
Also when using speedlite, your choice is limited to only "smaller" softboxes which tend to be highly directional...
For example: http://www.photoflex.com/Pro_Product..._xs/index.html

-> They also interfere with the wireless E-TTL if you're still on auto (unlike umbrella where you can still point the flash body toward the camera)

Last edited by NHL; Nov 10, 2010 at 6:35 AM.
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