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What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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aside from backing away and shooting more full body..

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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 12:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would suggest, a bigger softbox or move it closer, the light is really harsh.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Also move the model further away from the backdrop and use a 1 stop wider aperture to blur the background...
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 12:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Adding to the two suggestions above, use a white reflector (a reflector can be as simple as a 36" piece of white foamcore from Office Depot for $4.) to fill in some of the heavy shadow areas.

You could get fairly improved results by placeing a white reflector on the floor at her feet and one about 45 degrees from your main light.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks ! I should have known those things. My softbox is rather small (36x36) but I had it at 6' pointing down at the model, my guess is that was a real bad idea.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobEdens View Post
Thanks ! I should have known those things. My softbox is rather small (36x36) but I had it at 6' pointing down at the model, my guess is that was a real bad idea.
36x36 is not a small softbox, several manufactures list their 36x48 as large and their 24x32" as medium. Now you want small, I've got a 12x16 box. With a 36" square softbox you would have had a minimum of 72" inches of light bathing over the subject at 6ft.

What would be interesting to know is what watt-seconds was your light source throwing through the softbox and if the softbox has an internal baffle (interior diffusion screen).

You might wish to try the exposures again with the guidance provided above and then take a light reading from the model's shadow side and her highlighted side and average the two readings to determin an F-stop to start from.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is what I was thinking... it looks like the lights were too hot. If you can't adjust the power settings either on the head or on the power source, just move the lights back a little. And meter again. On a black background I like to meter somewhere between a 4.0 and a 8.0, usually 4.0 because it's easier to have a two-stop difference between the light on the model and the light on the background. With at least a two-stop difference, the black will be more black and less gray.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanJWeitzel View Post
This is what I was thinking... it looks like the lights were too hot. If you can't adjust the power settings either on the head or on the power source, just move the lights back a little. And meter again. On a black background I like to meter somewhere between a 4.0 and a 8.0, usually 4.0 because it's easier to have a two-stop difference between the light on the model and the light on the background. With at least a two-stop difference, the black will be more black and less gray.
Conversly, I'd move the model away from the background, move the soft box in a lot closer and stop down my aperture even more. The light from the softbox will become softer, and the background will get darker.

when doing close up work for headshots I am usually shooting with a 2'x3' softbox no more than 2 ft away from my subject.

Remember, turning down the power on the light does not translate into a darker background if you offset that adjustment by opening up your aperture. Doing that you're right back to where you were but with a more blurred background.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My light was turned down as low as it will go. Measuring the light (not reflected off the model but direct) was f8. I had the camera set as follows.
(Thank God for exif data)

Nikon D70 iso== 200 on all 18-200 zoom lens.

#1 == 1/60th @ f6.3 78mm
#2 == 1/100th @ f14 78mm
#3 == 1/200th @ f14 31mm
#4 == 1/100th @ f8 142mm

I was thinking I needed to turn my main light up a couple of stops and leave the fill as low as it will go. Move the main light to the models head height and put the fill close to the ground. I think there will be some latitude since most of the shots came out 2 stops too dark (had to pull them up post process)

my problem seems to be both too much light and not enough light at the same time, right? One problem that I had was my pc cord was 20 feet. Way too short, I ordered a radio slave today.
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Re: What should I do next time?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, to start with, shutter speed doesn't have as much to do with exposure when using strobes as you'd think. Strobes flash as fast as 1/1000th of a second. So whether your shutter is set at 100 or 250, fact of the matter is the exposure happened at 1/1000th of a second, the shutter is just too slow to realize this fact.

With that in mind its usually best to set your camera to X-sync (usually 1/250th) and don't change it. (exceptions abound, but this is a rule of thumb)

Also, I usually shoot zoomed in as much as possible. I move myself back and forth when I need to frame the photo differently as opposed to zooming out. This flatters the model more as well as decreasing depth of field to blur the background more.

Triggering lights, I normally just use a flash hooked up to my camera and pointed straight up, set at 1/64th power. This is enough to trigger my flash sensors on my strobes, but not affect my exposure. Poor man's radio slave.

Honestly, in the beginning, two lights can sometimes be more unforgiving than 1 light. Try using 1 light with a well placed reflector. You may find it produces nicer images. Later, experiment with the second light by using it for accent lighting. Keep your softbox as close to the model as possible without getting it in frame. Stop down your aperture to control your lighting. (I sometimes have my light so close that I have to clone parts of it out in post)

The attached image is using 3 lights. There is one behind the model that is facing her and just makes a halo of light around her. The other two are angled toward her front, so she is facing them almost dead on in a butterfly configuration. I could have gotten away with 2 lights, one behind and one in front though with a well placed reflector.



*phew* ok ... now what made you think that your shots came out too dark?
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