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More Soft Experiments
Old 01-22-2007, 03:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The goal of this setup was to capture the warm/soft look I associate with the 1970's. Setup was a 5' octodome camera right, a gridded strip behind her camera right just to add an outline (no filter), a small strip overhead with a grid and a Rosco 11 (light straw) gel, and a light with a standard reflector and grid behind her camera left also with a light straw gel. On my camera I used a Lindahl Bello-shade with a two ply blackscreen oval vignette and a Tallyns warm/softfuser #2 (wb set to flash). Shot it at F7.1, 1/250th, iso200. The iso200 was an oops, usually I use 100 in the studio and 200 for walk around snap shooting, but today I forgot to change it. Shot it JPG and aside from moving the highlight slider a little to the left to meet the curve in levels and resizing, this is how it came out of the camera:


I think the yellow light camera left is a little much and I'd tweak that next time. Whatcha'll think?
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-22-2007, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i thnk the yellow light works. it gives it the sense of an off-camera window with golden-hour/sunset light coming through it.

the strip providing the edge on her left side is a nice balance to the yellow highlights.

the reflection of the octo on the back of the folding chair kinda bugs me.

nice use of a wind machine... i mean a fan.

her tee-shirt, while being a humourous political statement, could also be appropriate for that other thread about shaved pubi.
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 12:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First thing I noticed was that the eyes are not sharp. However, the Tshirt, arms and top of the chair are sharp. Using that type of vignetter, which also softens the image, you need to keep the main part of the subject nearer to the centre of the frame.

Also, the black vignetter causes light fall off (less exposure) around the edges of the frame compared to the center. That's pretty evident here.

I like how you set up your hair lights to outline the model.

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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 01:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd View Post
i thnk the yellow light works. it gives it the sense of an off-camera window with golden-hour/sunset light coming through it.

the strip providing the edge on her left side is a nice balance to the yellow highlights.

the reflection of the octo on the back of the folding chair kinda bugs me.

nice use of a wind machine... i mean a fan.

her tee-shirt, while being a humourous political statement, could also be appropriate for that other thread about shaved pubi.
I thought you'd kinda like this one, I kept thinking about yours and Rolando's setups where there are more lights from behind than in front of the model. Usually I had been putting a backlight on the fill side or just the hair, but since I got a gridded strip I've been shooting more of the rim-around-the-model thing. Yeah, that's a pesky reflection. For the wind I bungied a box fan to a lightstand, your Stanley fan is a more elegant solution. Ha! I hadn't read the shirt in that light, but you're right. Thanks for the comments.

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Originally Posted by LesHoward View Post
First thing I noticed was that the eyes are not sharp. However, the Tshirt, arms and top of the chair are sharp. Using that type of vignetter, which also softens the image, you need to keep the main part of the subject nearer to the centre of the frame.

Also, the black vignetter causes light fall off (less exposure) around the edges of the frame compared to the center. That's pretty evident here.

I like how you set up your hair lights to outline the model.

Les Howard
Yeah, I kinda noticed the sharpness of the eyes versus the shirt in post. I have a different vignetter that isn't centered but offset higher that I'll try next time. I was trying the "crush the blacks" (as I've heard it called) in the images. That was my main intent with the vignetter and it was the first time I used them. So the falloff was intentional but the softness in the eyes wasn't. Next time maybe! And like I said before, the outlining of the model was inspired by JimmyD and Rolando's work and is a result their gracious sharing of how they accomplished it. (Thanks guys!)

Oh and I forgot to mention, this was actually shot in a garage. Perfect for this site's previous incarnation as many of us knew it (the spirit lives on!). And the octobox had a grid on it too.
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 02:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I, like Les, first noticed her eyes and also noted that they were not sharp. Whether a model is completely clothed or completely nude, if you include her eyes in the image you really must try to get them sharp above and beyond everything else.
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 02:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I, like Les, first noticed her eyes and also noted that they were not sharp. Whether a model is completely clothed or completely nude, if you include her eyes in the image you really must try to get them sharp above and beyond everything else.
Yeah, yeah, I know. This is one of those instances when it's very hard to do that. The point of focus was her eyes, but the vignette softens as well as darkens. This makes it difficult to judge eye sharpness relative to center focus. Now that I know about this problem I can better watch out for it next time.

I know the importance of eye sharpness, but I was also testing new equipment that behaves somewhat differently than many, including myself, are used to. I have other styles of vignettes to test as well as other soft filters. I believe there is value in learning these techniques and bringing them into the digital era. It will take trial and error. If I get lectured like some camera phone shooter on points already raised and responded to, I'll be less inclined to share the results of my testing. Instead I'll just post finished refined images and pretend I never snap a bad pic like many others already do.
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 04:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Don't get all bent out of shape. You ask for c&c and then you get it...some you like some you don't.

Anyway, the very FIRST thing I look at on a photo is the eyes. The model may have a fantastic bust staring me in the face but that's not my focus.

So I gave you an honest appraisal based on my particular yardstick...Eyes not sharp, image fails. Simple as that.
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 04:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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RHWeiner:
It sounded more like you were talking down to me than about the image, but these things are always hard to gauge in writing. The tone of both your comments is discouraging, I dislike that more than you opinion of the picture.
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 05:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It sounded more like you were talking down to me than about the image, but these things are always hard to gauge in writing. The tone of both your comments is discouraging, I dislike that more than you opinion of the picture.
You are right...it's difficult to include inflection in writings only.

Okay, let me try again...with less of an edge.

Simply put I commented on the first thing I noticed. I realize that you were asking for an overall comment about the lighting and the '70s look that you were going for. Unfortunately the fact that the focal point was somewhere between her hands and the teeshirt with the eyes being out of focus spoils the image. If you want me to comment on the overall image there are some good aspects (pose, smile, flying hair, tilt of head, hair light) that I liked. The harsh line on her face where the orange light meets the shadow is not something I liked. But, again, it's her eyes that detract from this photo. You even acknowledge that the vignetting was a problem that caused undue softening.

I would like to point out that I was not the only one that noticed this softness of her eyes. I think what happened was that having that pointed out to you was hitting a soft spot or perhaps you were upset that I did not address your original intent...to ask about the lighting setup (very technically done as explained by you)...and instead commented on something that you *must* have known, before posting the image, would have been pointed out.

So, in due consideration of this, I stand by what I said...if you are going to include the models' eyes make sure that they are in focus.

Perhaps I was a bit out of line with my original wording which I feel you took as being condesending. I have not gone to look at your other work, but even so I would not call you a hack. This photo has, like I said, aspects that are good but still is a good attempt in need of reworking or reshooting.

I am just as guilty as you when my 'babies' or my 'art' is "attacked"...I get my gander up, too. But I've also learned to accept that sometimes critique is not being critical and I can actually learn from it. And in those other cases when the wording is harsh or hits me the wrong way I've learned to say "F*ck it".
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Re: More Soft Experiments
Old 01-23-2007, 06:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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IMO - you achieved your goal. The 1970's look is spot on. I appreciate the lighting description..... this information is invaluable to a inspired amateur that I am.
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