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Need advise
Old 02-11-2010, 07:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm struggling to create a model photograph that creates the dark background where just the model is lit. I want a good exposure on my subject but the dark background. What am I not doing? I've tried stepping down my strobe , increasing the shutterspedd, can't get it to work any hints. PLease
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Re: Need advise
Old 02-11-2010, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The best thing to do is to post some examples of what you have already done so we can look at them and offer suggestions.

BTW, welcome to Garage Glamour and we look forward to seeing you around the Forums.
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Re: Need advise
Old 02-11-2010, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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PhotoDave's right - seeing what you've done is the best guide. But it sounds to me like you want the subject well exposed, but the background quite dark. That means you want a significant difference in the intensity of the light hitting the subject and that hitting the background. You need good light control - keep the light from bouncing around, chose a lighting system that doesn't spread the light too much, work in as large a space as you can (to maximize the distance of the background to the subject, and hence increase the effective falloff.
Jack Cutler used to have a pretty good lesson on what I think you're going for - unfortunately, just now, it seems his entire site (DCC Photo) is gone. Sorry.
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Re: Need advise
Old 02-12-2010, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If your shooting digital, a three stop difference between the model and background should give you a black background. For instance if you meter at model position and you need f8 for a proper exposure, then meter at background position and you need f4 for a proper exposure, just set your camera at f8 and take your image. The background should be black.
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Re: Need advise
Old 02-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As Jford says, big soft light source VERY close (1 or 2 feet or just outside the frame)to the subject, followed by a good distance to the background :10+feet. Physics and the law of inverse squares does the rest. Even with an all white background.

This site has a great tutorial and demonstration of the effect. It really works!

http://www.zarias.com/?p=101

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Re: Need advise
Old 02-12-2010, 10:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagphotography View Post
I'm struggling to create a model photograph that creates the dark background where just the model is lit. I want a good exposure on my subject but the dark background. What am I not doing? I've tried stepping down my strobe , increasing the shutterspedd, can't get it to work any hints. PLease
As has been said, with no examples, all is just guesswork. However, when using strobes, shutter speed has nothing to do with making the background (only) darker.
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Re: Need advise
Old 02-13-2010, 03:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have seen people have this problem when using modern equipment with on-camera flash (or strobes on your side of the pond).

Many modern camera systems have sophisticated automatic flash control that is pretty good at providing fill-in flash. So they work well at balancing the background and foreground exposure.
If this is what you are doing then you need to turn off or modify the automatic flash exposure system, in order to have control of the background exposure.

The answer to your question may depend on the equipment you are using, and the space you are shooting in. Provide some more information and people may be able to give more detailed assistance.
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