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Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-06-2007, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm always interested in learning more about lighting and from time to time, I read a term that I'm not familiar with. There is a lot of lingo to learn! Anyway, how about posting some of your favorite references for websites that have good info on lighting and lighting techniques.

Here's one I just found to start. It's very basic but I think helpful for newbies.

http://www.kennymc.com/lighting.htm

What's your favorite(s)?
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-06-2007, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I read the article and it was very helpfulm. Thank you for sharing. I'm a newbie in using lights, but I'm learning. I one day will have an opportunity to post some images. I'm a student of the game for now.
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-06-2007, 09:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One thing to keep in mind about the advice given at the link, is that many top photographers may disagree with how he recommends taking the meter reading (he is a bit vague there because he talks about measuring the light falling on the model's face, so its not clear whether he is taking a reflective reading or indident reading - incident is what you want 93% of the time). Generally you want to always point the meter's incident dome at the camera and not at the light.
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-06-2007, 10:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorbata View Post
I read the article and it was very helpfulm. Thank you for sharing. I'm a newbie in using lights, but I'm learning. I one day will have an opportunity to post some images. I'm a student of the game for now.
Glad it helped, that's what makes this a great place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith View Post
One thing to keep in mind about the advice given at the link, is that many top photographers may disagree with how he recommends taking the meter reading (he is a bit vague there because he talks about measuring the light falling on the model's face, so its not clear whether he is taking a reflective reading or indident reading - incident is what you want 93% of the time). Generally you want to always point the meter's incident dome at the camera and not at the light.
Cheers,
rfs
Good point RFS but if anybody here can point to some informational websites on lighting, you would be one. C'mon now, share some sites you like for this type of info.
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-06-2007, 11:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Good point RFS but if anybody here can point to some informational websites on lighting, you would be one. C'mon now, share some sites you like for this type of info.
There are really not that many good online sources. I'm a book person myself and try to buy books that have lighting diagrams in them that and that show the end result.

But one good online source (but they show you everything using the lights they sell) is:

http://pictureline.webphotoschool.com/

Just pick any of the lessons and they show you photos and diagrams and everything needed to make the photo in question.

cheers,
rfs
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-11-2007, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi I'm KennyMc a freelance photographer from the UK...
First I would like to thank LSC for recommending my lighting tutorial for beginners...

dorbata..
Glad it was some help...
RFC...
Sorry for being so vague in my tutorial but I'm sure I say something like "take a light reading from the subjects face pointing towards the light source..." This therefore cannot be a reflective reading... A reflective reading can only be taken from the camera position. ie, the light reflecting back to the camera off the subject...
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-11-2007, 03:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennymc View Post
RFC...
Sorry for being so vague in my tutorial but I'm sure I say something like "take a light reading from the subjects face pointing towards the light source..." This therefore cannot be a reflective reading... A reflective reading can only be taken from the camera position. ie, the light reflecting back to the camera off the subject...
English is slippery at best. And the map never seems to be the territory!

I'm not sure I was too clear either. I was reacting to your statement:

"I have found for my style of portraiture, the best way to take a light reading is to use a light/flash meter to take a light reading from the subjects face pointing towards the light source... "


I was just pointing out that many professionals feel that you get a more accurate flash meter reading if you point the incident dome of the meter at the camera position rather than the light position. It is not totally clear from the above quote how you are using the meter. You say you are taking the reading from the subject's face. That would suggest you are taking a reflective reading off the face (since an incident reading off the face would not help much). If using a reflective reading, then that's probably going to give a different reading than if using a incident meter. If you're taking an incident reading, then you'll get a different result if you point the incident bulb at the light source rather than the camera.

Could you clarify what you're doing.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-11-2007, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The flash/light meter in its normal state has the dome on, most beginners do not even know it can be removed or replaced with a spot metering dome...

IMHO you get a truer reading if the light meter is held at the place the main light falls on the subject, because this will record the lights power at the point it hits the subject... If you are pointing the meter at the camera from the subjects nose you not getting a true reading as the light is only hitting mainly the side part of the dome...

This however is personal taste, and we all work out which way is best for the way we work...

My signature on all the forums I frequent is as follows...
My opinions are exactly that, they may not be yours, they may not always be right, they definitely aren't the only way to do things, they are merely my opinions...

Take care,

KennyMc
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-11-2007, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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PS... Did you also visit the basics on light meters page on my site at http://www.kennymc.com/lightmeters.htm ?...
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Re: Great Lighting Websites
Old 02-11-2007, 05:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennymc View Post
The flash/light meter in its normal state has the dome on, most beginners do not even know it can be removed or replaced with a spot metering dome...

IMHO you get a truer reading if the light meter is held at the place the main light falls on the subject, because this will record the lights power at the point it hits the subject... If you are pointing the meter at the camera from the subjects nose you not getting a true reading as the light is only hitting mainly the side part of the dome...

This however is personal taste, and we all work out which way is best for the way we work...

My signature on all the forums I frequent is as follows...
My opinions are exactly that, they may not be yours, they may not always be right, they definitely aren't the only way to do things, they are merely my opinions...

Take care,

KennyMc
The other thing I've found that many people don't know about the meter, is that after one does get the dome off, and you are thus taking a reflective reading, that the reading may cover quite a wide angle (and not be all that useful). They then have to know to use a attachment to narrow the angle of the reading. I have 1 and 5 degree attachments that I find very helpful for reflective readings. I primarily use those for zone system type of calculations but they are very helpful when you have a wide tonal range and are trying to come up with the best exposure to capture the bulk of the range. I also find the Black/Gray/White calibration target and Camera histogram to be very helpful for this latter situation.

And yes, a lot of photography really boils down to personal taste. And that's as it should be since each artist must be faithful to their own vision.

Also, I've found there can be a wide variation in incident readings based on where one points the bulb and it may have little effect on some lighting arrangements and a vast effect on others. For example suppose we have a subject facing the camera and the light is off to the side such that it lights half the face and the side of the model but leaves the other side of the face and body in relative shadow. If we face the bulb at the light we will probably get an exposure we won't be happy with. On the other hand, if we point it at the camera we will probably find that the exposure is closer to what we want. But if the light is close to the camera position, it won't really make much difference whether the bulb is pointed at camera or light. But naturally, its all subjective.

Cheers,
rfs
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