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Old Nov 24, 2010, 8:28 PM   #1
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when shooting portraits using a backdrop and a flash, what is the best way to not have shadows or to minimize them? thanks
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 8:43 AM   #2
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If you just have the single flash, use it in bounce mode, set not straight up, but at about 60-75 degrees, and position your subject a little further in front of the backdrop than normal. This will let the light reflect from ceiling onto the backdrop enough to minimize shadows.

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Old Nov 29, 2010, 3:16 PM   #3
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To expand a bit on what brian said, make sure the flash is directly above the lens. If it is off to the side, the shadow will fall to the right (or left) side of the subject instead of down and behind.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 6:47 PM   #4
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What if u can't bounce it off the ceiling how would u go about not getting shadows
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 10:32 PM   #5
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Use multiple flashes, and/or reflectors, and/or separate the subject physically from the background. Which methods you use vary with the situation. You may not be able to eliminate shadows, but can minimize them.
A collapsible reflector can be a real help in a lot of situations. One that I like is the 'space blanket', aluminized cloth which folds up to a pocket sized package. It does need either and assistant or a way of tying it up, though.

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Old Jan 11, 2012, 2:53 PM   #6
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i got the gary fong collapsable light sphere and it does a really good job with shadows.when using a backdrop i put it on a flashbracket so i can always keep it above the flash cause shooting verticle with it on the side like gary says you will still get side shadows
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Old Jan 11, 2012, 5:15 PM   #7
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You could go with a ring flash or ring light. They work well for portraits.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 4:14 AM   #8
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Wouldn't bouncing flash of the ceiling leave a shadow under the chin, the only sure solution is to place your model in a large light box, in my opinion a certain amount of shadow is necessary for a perfect shot. Try shooting without flash on a foggy day and there won't be a shadow to be seen.
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 9:27 AM   #9
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I think the goal was to minimize distracting shadows on the backdrop. A bounce off the ceiling works well if you have only one light source but in a studio setting you would use multiple lights on the face, backlight the hair, etc.
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