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Old Feb 19, 2005, 10:04 PM   #1
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I'm experimenting with strobes for the first time tomorrow and the person who was supposed to help memight not be able tomake it! I need to shoot with a shallow depth of field. Do I set up my lights so that my key light meters at my desired f stop? Would I then use the shutter speed according to the meter? I sound dumb, I know. I have NO experience with studio lighting yet. I've been reading a book today in an effort to figure it out.

By the way, I'm trying to take someone's headshots. I would like to try to take them without strobes/flash, but there isn't much natural light in this studio. I know that there are headshot photographers out there who are not using strobe lighting and are hand-holding their cameras. How would I do this? What kind of lighting would I use? Totally beginner questions. Thank you for your patience and help!


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Old Feb 19, 2005, 10:25 PM   #2
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With strobes you don't need to worry about your shutter speed at all, so long as theshutteris set at or slower than your cameras sync speed. The strobe output durationbecomes your shutter speed which can be somewhere in the 1/1000 to 1/10000 range.

Yes, meter your main light until you get the F/stop you want, then meter your fill to get the desired stop for it. Not sure maybe a relatively flat 1:2 ratio for a head shot? I'm not a people shooter so this target is a tough guess for me. DO use either softboxes (prefered) or umbrellas to soften the light, direct light from the strobe is apoint source which is harsh.

My compadre who is all about people shooting uses a posing table witha non specular reflector on the table it throws some very nice light back up into the face.

Hand held without strobes in a dim studio will be tough :blah:maybe they are using hot-lights?

Nice window light and a foam-core sheet reflector make for some very nice lighting.

Peter.


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Old Feb 19, 2005, 10:36 PM   #3
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How many lights are you going to use? If you meter the main light and add a fill, their light adds. Measure you main light and fill light separately , with the dome of the meter pointed at the respective light. Then measure the entire scene with the dome pointed towards the camera. This is the correct exposure. Use a ratio of 2:1, fill 1 stop less than the main or 4:1 with the fill 2 stops less than the main. If you only have 1 light then use a reflector to get some fill.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 10:52 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for your help! One more question for you (if you don't mind!): Can I harm my camera using a strobe system? I have a Canon EOS 20D, but I'm not sure what lights I'll be using and how much voltage (if that's the correct way to put it).

Again, thanks so much!
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 10:56 PM   #5
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I'll be adding one fill and a reflector. I'll probably take both of your suggestions on the ratios for some variety. I've never used a meter and strobe lighting before (besides the one in my camera) and I'm intimidated! I'm afraid of harming my camera.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 11:06 PM   #6
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It depends on what lights you are using. Some older lights have a very high sync voltage and that can damage your camera. I think Canon specs 6 volts or less. If you are in doubt get a "safe sync" like this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...77363&rd=1or some other means of triggering the lights without directly connecting to your camera i.e radio control.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 11:23 PM   #7
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The 20D has a pc-socket on the side for strobes, the manual says the PC-terminal is rated for 250v or less (it says notto connect a strobe of 250V or more to the terminal)

The 20D's Hot Shoedoes have the low voltage rating,so if you are using a hot-shoe mount/adapter a bit of care is advised (or in either case usingwireless triggers solves a lot of problems)

Peter.
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 8:20 AM   #8
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Thanks to both of you for your help! I may get the safe sync just in case. I will be using the PC socket and Ibelieve this is an old lighting system and I don't want to take any chances. Hopfully, I'll be a little more seasoned on this subject next time I post!
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 8:30 AM   #9
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Let us know how it goes.
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Old Feb 27, 2005, 6:23 AM   #10
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I do head shots at 1/60th @ F/8. I use a gray background, Three lights, and I use a large reflector as a hair light to bounce light back on the rear of the subject.

1 main F/8 :Umberalla: ("NOTE") sometimes I have to reverse settings for

main and fill because of reflection off of

clothing, hair, or jewlery. never the background light.

1Fill F/ 5.6 :Umberalla:

1 background F/8 :16inch hood with reflector to even out light:

1large photoflex reflector up and to the side pointing to bounce

light back on to the subject to help seperate from the background.

D100,24/120 "VR" lens on tripod "VR"off travelight 750 monolights (Always use a wein safesync when using your studio lights with a digital camera)
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