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Old Nov 18, 2004, 3:27 PM   #1
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I have two Alien Bee 800's and three Smith Victor Hot-lamps.

I watched another photographer in the studio and he was using four strobes. I and some of my customers really liked his results.

I will be replacing one of my umbrella's for a medium sized soft box, my other strobe is used for fill to kill facial shadows.

I would like a background light with gelsto colorize back drops or walls. I would also like a snoot setup to highlight hair.

Is it possible for me to use my existing hot lamps for this or will they not play well with the AB800's?

Here is an example of my work.
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 3:40 PM   #2
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Here is a second example to give variation. I would love to be able to use seamless white or other solid colors and use lighting to change the color of backdrop. I would also for women like to add highlights to hair.
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 4:37 PM   #3
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I use hot lights all the time with my strobes. Although, one thing about them is...they are HOT! Because of this, they do not work well with direct-line light enhancers (like gels...unless they are a foot or more away from the light fixture). Due to the heat, snoots wouldn't work well either.

I have used them reflected off of umbrellas & other colored light panels though & they work great. Same goes for background lighting, etc. (The pic below was made with a hot light reflected off of an arched silver panel to the models rear-left & a strobed 42" white umbrella in front). It was shot using a black seamless paper background with the reflected hot light providing both side highlights & background lighting.

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Old Nov 19, 2004, 10:10 PM   #4
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Great, you just gave me a good enogh reason to go get some reflector panels. I think if I could use the lighting I have already more effienciently I won't need to buy more strobes yet.

How do you control light spill when reflecting hotlamps off panels. What do you use to hold the panel into possition?


PS

Do you have any advice on the two photos Ihave above? What do you think?




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Old Nov 19, 2004, 11:11 PM   #5
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Light spill can be controlled by scrims (although I've never felt the need if I position the lamps correctly). If I did feel the need, I would order some flexable alligator clamp arms for placing what I needed in the right position (actually I recently did, Adorama & B&H have them).

Since you asked...in your first image I can see that you positioned your lights at your right & left sides so they almost equally lit her face. Her hair shadows both come towards her nose from the sides & the dual catchlights in her eyes & lack of any other shadows point to this.

The second image is very close to the first (maybe a little higher on your right than left). Although the shadow on his nose is on the right side of his face, his right collar casts a shadow onto his neck. Both are good pictures but if you fully light up a persons face, it tends to look flat...shadows are not something bad.



For instance...even though I had a bright hair light coming in from her top left, the fill light is from her right (so her smile lines, face dimples & hair cast appealing shadows across her face.
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 11:37 PM   #6
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That is a really nice picture. is that a softbox?

In my photos I have one light slightly to my left camera possition 1 stop brighter than fill light which is 45 degree in front of me and to my right.I do get two catch lights in the eyes which is not that apealing to me, but it beats the harsh shadows I get when I had only one strobe.

What lighting setup would you suggest with two strobes and one or two hot lamps?

Could I have used a reflector or panel for fill and used the second strobe for hair or backgroung?

does anyone know of any good "how tolight" books or websites?

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Old Nov 20, 2004, 3:48 PM   #7
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minutephotos.com wrote:
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That is a really nice picture. is that a softbox?

In my photos I have one light slightly to my left camera possition 1 stop brighter than fill light which is 45 degree in front of me and to my right. I do get two catch lights in the eyes which is not that apealing to me, but it beats the harsh shadows I get when I had only one strobe.

What lighting setup would you suggest with two strobes and one or two hot lamps?

Could I have used a reflector or panel for fill and used the second strobe for hair or background?

does anyone know of any good "how to light" books or websites?
No softbox. I used a 60" Eclipse convertable umbrella that was about 2 feet in front of her. I shot from about 4 feet back using a Canon D30 & a 28-105mm lens...zooming in past the right, lower edge of the umbrella.

Suggesting one lighting setup is hard to do. The background, outfit, type of subject (glamour, portrait, single/multiple person shots, etc.) all come into consideration. The model & I normally pick the type of shot we want, the outfit, makeup changes & then I choose the background & lighting set up while she gets ready. I almost always use mixed lighting with reflectors as needed.

If you order from B&H, their annual Lighting catalog has a lot of info in the front regarding lighting setups. Also, the links in the first post of this forum cover lots of lighting setups & information. I would check the local library if you want books...lighting for film is pretty much the same as for digital.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 5:58 PM   #8
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Man, that is a fabulous shot to take with a am I correct 3 megapixal camera. Whow, I keep thinking I need a better camera than the Drebel to take better pictures, butI guess you prove that wrong. I was thinking about getting the 20D *megapixal camera, but I think I will work more on my lighting skills first.

I was looking to either get a softbox of some 36 or 40" photogentic umbrellas, which would you recommend?

Hey, I didn't see any links in your previous posts..
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 6:45 PM   #9
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minutephotos.com wrote:
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Man, that is a fabulous shot to take with a am I correct 3 megapixal camera. Whow, I keep thinking I need a better camera than the Drebel to take better pictures, but I guess you prove that wrong. I was thinking about getting the 20D 8-megapixal camera, but I think I will work more on my lighting skills first.

I was looking to either get a softbox of some 36 or 40" photogentic umbrellas, which would you recommend?

Hey, I didn't see any links in your previous posts..
The D30 was a $3000 state-of-the-art DSLR when it came out with probably the largest sensor size to pixel ratio ever. It is quite a bargain now with used ones selling for about $500.

A lot of people like softboxes, but a decent sized one (that will light a standing person head to foot) is huge (height, width & depth) when it's set up. Since I like to take my gear to locations a lot, I tend to use both reflecting & translucent umbrellas more often. I prefer a larger umbrella (over 42" to 60") for the coverage & the versatility.

For the links, try the top thread on the main page of the Flash (Studio) Forum.

Even though I might do some fancier setups, there's nothing wrong with going simple. The shot below was made with an Olympus 2MP C2100 & a Vivitar 285HV reflecting off of a Lumiquest Pocket Bouncer held by an assistant about 3ft to my right standing on a 2ft rock wall.

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Old Nov 20, 2004, 7:49 PM   #10
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Excellent, :lol:, I'm a sucker for old church/grave yard shots that lean toward other-worldly or goth themes.

The tunes of Inkubus Sukkubus are also most often found queued up in my player. (when I grow up, I want to be a vampyre :blah::blah::blah
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