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Help in Selecting Shot
Old 09-25-2006, 10:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Please give me your thoughts on which of these two images (if either) you prefer ... and why:




Yes, I know the focus looks soft, but it is OK in the full-size and uncompressed versions. I really want your thoughts on pose and lighting. (Also ignore the PocketWizard hidden in my sweaty little palm. LOL.)

Both were shot with a 3-light setup. Main light is B-1600 about 2-feet to camera-left at f11, with barn doors keeping the light fairly vertical. Fill to camera right is B-800 in a 5-foot strip-box at f8. There is also a B-800 behind the subjects in a tiny softbox (maybe 18-inches) at f5.6.

The wife and I have different choices, and I wanted a third, fourth, etc. opinion.

Thanks.
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Re: Help in Selecting Shot
Old 09-25-2006, 11:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not wild about either, but I like the direction you're headed in. In the second shot I like the light under the chair - it is more subtle than in the first. Over all the light seems to flat on the subjects for this type of shot, I would like to see more chiaroscuro with these. Also with the lighting there is a bit of a weird effect going on. Without the chiaroscuro, you would definatly need to add some separation lighting. Having the subjects blend into the background is a cool effect and one I like very much, but then it doesn't work when the lighting is this flat. They don't really blend into the background - only their clothing does, and it's not really a blend - it's more of an on off.

So the lighting of the scene (minus the individuals) I like the second best. I also like the angle that you shot that at, it seems to work will with the prop and the lighting. I also like the crop very much. The only thing I notice with the people (other than the lighting and soft focus) is they seem "forced" if that makes any sense? Is this a self portrait and you're working on a timer? Those are always so hard to do. The thing here is to get the shot posed without it looking "posed". But you are well on your way to a very cool and very interesting portrait.

Good luck!

Matt
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Re: Help in Selecting Shot
Old 09-25-2006, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I like the first one.
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Re: Help in Selecting Shot
Old 09-25-2006, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the second one because in the first one the two subjects are looking different directions, seemingly without any reason for it.
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Re: Help in Selecting Shot
Old 09-25-2006, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks.

It is indeed a self-portrait. I tried a lighting setup like you described, but I just couldn't get it to work, because everything looked great with the wife sitting there, but got fouled-up when I moved back into the shot! The wife was getting bored and cranky, so I finally just opted for the easier lighting. COP OUT!!!

The light behind the chair was intended to provide some separation/rim lighting, but seems to have failed. Do you think I should have used more power on that light, or maybe not use the small softbox? I thought about gridding that light and pointing it directly into the back of the rearmost subject. What do you think?

As an aside, the camera was mounted on an autopole, about seven feet AGL. I had to climb up on an apple crate every time I wanted to adjust something!

Thanks again!

Luego
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Re: Help in Selecting Shot
Old 09-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the light under the chair in the second one works and looks great as an accent light. It looks too bright in the first one to my eye. Gridding it and pointing at the back of a subject could work to. So could hitting the background with it but VERY little. Just enough to turn the area around you from BLACK to just about black. LOL the kind of black that would look black if your BLACK shirt wasn't in front of it, dig? Of course that's a different look... There is so much you can do with this, I would just have fun and experiment. You already have a nice shot, now you're just searching for the perfect shot, which is what we are all after, no?

I've been there with the wife/girlfriend self portrait thing. You need to do this over a period of days I think. The fact that she is cranky is very evident in the photograph - not good. I would spend a day or two playing with the lighting knowing that she is going to be cranky and just trying to get the lighting down. Then when I have what I want. I would still wait. The day you want to shoot it for real, come home with some flowers to use as a prop (in this case white lillies would be nice) and tell her to get dolled up because after you take the shot you're taking her out for a romantic diner. Give her a big kiss and tell her how much you love her and thank her in advance for doing this for you and how happy you are that you will have this photo of the two of you for the rest of your lives because she means everything to you.

EDIT: When you do take the shots have fun with them. laugh a bit, say romantic things. You may wind up with more than a flew bloopers but you will have fun and that will come across in the pic that matters.

You will get a great photo.....

Matt
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