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Old Aug 22, 2006, 6:53 PM   #1
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I do instant photos and put them on a six inch button in a mall, and just bought this Photogenic AKC160 strobe, and a silver umbrella, and don't really know anything about taking pictures with a umbrella strobe set up. I only have one umbrella mounted on top of my cart right above the camera; I don't know how high it should be? I noticed that if the camera is behind the umbrella I get a foggy look in the picture, is this normal? I have my shutter speed set 1/60 and have been playing with different aperture settings and also turn the strobe power knob up and down, to try to get rid of the flash burn, but when I get turn it down to where there is no flash burn, then it looks like the photo is almost too dark, and when its well light then it has flash burn. I don't own a flash meter; I guess I will have to buy one? I set the WB to 5400 because the manual that came with the strobe said its temp was 5400+200, I don't know if this is the best way to set up my white balance. In the area of the mall im in there is a very high ceiling about 150 feet tall with a huge sun roof so the florescent lights in my area are usually not turned on until about 7pm, the only florescent light I get is from a nearby restaurant, until 7pm. My strobe is adjustable from 5-watt seconds to 160-watt seconds, so says the owner's manual.
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 8:33 PM   #2
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mark38c wrote:
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I do instant photos and put them on a six inch button in a mall, and just bought this Photogenic AKC160 strobe, and a silver umbrella, and don't really know anything about taking pictures with a umbrella strobe set up. I only have one umbrella mounted on top of my cart right above the camera; I don't know how high it should be? I noticed that if the camera is behind the umbrella I get a foggy look in the picture, is this normal? I have my shutter speed set 1/60 and have been playing with different aperture settings and also turn the strobe power knob up and down, to try to get rid of the flash burn, but when I get turn it down to where there is no flash burn, then it looks like the photo is almost too dark, and when its well light then it has flash burn. I don't own a flash meter; I guess I will have to buy one? I set the WB to 5400 because the manual that came with the strobe said its temp was 5400+200, I don't know if this is the best way to set up my white balance. In the area of the mall im in there is a very high ceiling about 150 feet tall with a huge sun roof so the florescent lights in my area are usually not turned on until about 7pm, the only florescent light I get is from a nearby restaurant, until 7pm. My strobe is adjustable from 5-watt seconds to 160-watt seconds, so says the owner's manual.
The 1st post in this forum has a wealth of onfo in it regarding your question.

Besides that, your main light should be 30-45 degrees to one side of the subject (& about 2ft above, aimed down close to 35 degrees). Plus you need a fill light or reflector directly in front (normally a stop or 2 less than your main light).

The fog your getting when shooting from behind the umbrella is due to lens flare caused by the light washing across your lens (& I'll bet you umbrella doesn't have a black back). I shoot behind my umbrella all the time, but unless there is zero light coming through the back of the umbrella, you basically are wasting your time. You would do better off moving in front of the strobe that's firing into your umbrella (if you choose not to follow the main/fill advice given above).
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 11:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for your quick reply Kalyspo; I will do what you said. Do you think using the built in flash on my camera as a fill would be ok?, I know it can cause red eye but I can remove that with photoshop, untill i am able to get the other umbrella. I wish now I would have broken down and bought the whole lighting kit. My space is also very limited; I am already paying an extra $200 a month for the tripod. I guess I could mount one umbrella about in the middle of the roof of the cart and then leave the second one where it is, I will have to post of photo of my little cart, because the way im describing my setup may be hard to understand without actually seeing it.
Thank you very much.
Mark
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 3:14 AM   #4
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I would use a mirror (or a piece of foil covered foam board) as a reflector, for fill light, before I'd use my on-cameras flash (if your main light is in the right position, spillover light will give you about the right amount of reflected light). (You can get a 4x2 panel already covered at most home improvement stores...& it bends too). You need a guinea-pig to make sure it's hitting the right spot, but what the hey....it's digital & won't cost you anything to experiment until you get the right aperture & catchlights in their eyes.
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