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So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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in my dungeon, er, basement, playing with my new soft box. It's something like 36x48 (and was a pain in the ass to get down the stairs into the basement) and I get the thing set up and my strobe mounted and then start playing with my flash meter to see what kind of readings I can get with the soft box close to my subject. I just don't get it. How can yuze gize put a huge soft box so close to a subject and shoot at f8? I can't get anything less than f22, even on the lowest power setting. I've seen photos where photogs have these large soft boxes almost on the laps of their models and they are shooting f8. My camera won't sync at the rate required to accommodate the light. Am I missing something here?? I feel really stupid now because here I thought I could get a huge light source so that I could move it in closer to the subject and get rid of point light problems and I'm not seeing it happen. Yes, yes, you're saying, "Move the *$%&ing soft box farther away." Yes, that is the solution, of course, but what gives with those who can put a soft box so close to a model and use f8? I could increase the ISO but I want to shoot slower so I don't have to deal with noise. Maybe I'm just making this too complicated. I'll just go away now. I think I need to steal some of Mike Hickey's blue and purple pills, or maybe mix up some other ones and then I, too, can run through the car wash naked singing, "Everything is beautiful" or something similar.

Good day!

Mike

Oh, by the way, I'm shooting Speedotrons with 1200 w/s of pure, unadulterated power turned down to 1/4 power.

Chow.
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Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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get a roll of trans-lum from porters camera store

http://buyporters.com/Merchant2/merc...Category_Code=

cut a sheet or two to size and rig up with some velcro
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Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 10:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have some sheets of plastic you can try... send me your addresss.....
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Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow... major frustration!

OK, first off.. been there, done that - assemble the softbox in the room that you're going to shoot in. The more you flex the support rods, the better you're going to get at doing it and so breakdown / assembly gets easier. I managed to tear my first box trying to move it from one room to another when it caught on a door knob. Never again.

[ QUOTE ]
I can't get anything less than f22, even on the lowest power setting.

[/ QUOTE ]

The problem seems to be that you have too much power coming out of your light pack, and the flash head just doesn't know what to do with it so it throws it out the front of the softbox, right?

I regularly shoot with the softbox within a foot or two of the model's face at anywhere from f5.6-f8, but... I'm using a PCBuff White Lightning Ultra 600 (300 ws), and I have the ability to dial it down to 5 f-stops below the maximum. That's how ya do it.

Sometimes less is better.

And, by the way...

[ QUOTE ]
My camera won't sync at the rate required to accommodate the light. Am I missing something here??

[/ QUOTE ]

Your effective shutter speed, in a darkened room with the subject lit only by the flash and the modeling light, should be equivalent to the duration of the flash. Your camera's shutter speed, though, should be set at the fastest your camera syncs at (for example, on the Nikon D100 it's 160th/sec) because anything faster than that will probably result in a very underexposed image, and anything slower than that won't increase the exposure (the flash probably takes less than 1/10,000th of a second and if that's all the light there is - discounting the modeling light - then unless you pop the flash a second time, there won't be an increase in the light hitting the film / sensor).

Now, if you're combining ambient light and electronic flash, then slowing the shutter speed down will help you increase the ambient light exposure, but will do nothing for the electronic flash portion of the exposure.

That make sense?

Wayne

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Hmmm.
Old 07-30-2004, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1200 w/s at 1/4 power is still 300 w/s. Waayyyy too much power for a close softbox.

Yry around 50 to 100 w/s if you can. If need be go to Home Depot (the photographers dream store) and get some landscape fabric or plastic window screening. Put it on the inside of your front diffusion panel. It should drop the light output by 2 stops.

Your mileage may vary.
 
 
Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mike,
Don't increase the ISO you'll just make matters worse. Now if you can decrease it any you might be on the right track. But most likely you'll have to do as others have suggested and use some sort of diffussion in your soft box. Another option would be to use a 1 or 2 stop neutral density filter on your camera, but personally I don't like anything in front of my lense that just dosn't have to be there. Good Luck,
Mark
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Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi John,

Ya, I'm not a big fan of putting things in front of my lenses either. I hadn't planned on changing the ISO unless I purposely want to shoot at a higher ISO. I'm trying to do it all with my ISO at 200. I have a bunch of white, rip-stop nylon that I use for my home-made light bank. I'll just fold that over a few times and throw it in the mix and see how my light levels change.

Thanks for your thoughts! Have a most excellent weekend!

Mike

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Re: Hmmm.
Old 07-30-2004, 10:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Rich,

Ya, I thought 300 w/s might be a bit much but it's the lowest I can go as far as power settings go. I'll have to make a trip to 'da Depot' and sees whats I can dig up. I was just mentioning in my other reply in this thread that I have a bunch of white, rip-stop nylon that I can fold over and stick inside the box and see how it affects my light levels.

Thanks for your thoughts! Have an awesome weekend!

Mike

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Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Wayne,

Ya, it all makes sense. I know the theory behind all the light and stuff. The problem is just that my power pack puts out way too much light. I need to get some more diffusion in front of the strobe and so I'm going to try some of my white, rip-stop nylon that I use for my home-made light bank. I think I can do it with that. Not sure how much I'll need but I'll just keep folding it and doubling it until I get what I want.

I have the Nikon D70 and I think I can sync up to 1/250th, maybe even faster. I lost the damn manual already and I haven't even read it. I just need to play with it some more. Tomorrow I'm going to experiment and try some self-portraits of me and my guitar or drums or sax or something.

Need to run for now and get some shut-eye. I'm toast. Have an awesome weekend and thanks for your thoughts.

Mike

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Re: So there I was....
Old 07-30-2004, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds like a plan!

Hey Jayson, howz thingz down your way? I'll be passing by you next weekend on my way to a group shoot (otherwise known as an artistic clusterf**k) in Taxachussetts on Aug. 7 . We'll have 13 models and 13 GWCs. Should be interesting. Two make-up artists, a model coordinator, and a partridge in a pear tree. Me and Sonny will be there sharing stories about GG probably. hehehe

Have an awesome weekend! Time for me to unplug. Be well.

Mike

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