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External flash photography ?
Old 09-02-2003, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have done all most all outdoor photography. I use the Nikon D100 and I want to play around with a studio flash setup. Can anyone lay out the steps they go through from the start to finish setting up for a shoot ? I am not looking for camera angles just camera settings and flash settings and the light meter stuff.

Thanks..

Mike Whittaker
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Re: External flash photography ?
Old 09-03-2003, 02:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Over 200 views and not one reply.. There must be one person here that has used that equipment.. Hmmmmm

Mike
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Try refining the question.
Old 09-03-2003, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your question is difficult to respond to, because it is too encompassing. Try to refine it, to something that doesn't require pages of response to create an answer. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
 
 
Re: External flash photography ?
Old 09-03-2003, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Basically I was ready to tell you to buy a book because that is what it would take to answer your question as posed.
Mike
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Gonna try to respond...
Old 09-03-2003, 04:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This will be extremely vague, but that's all you can expect with a nebulous question....

Required (or highly recommended) equipment:

Camera......................you have this already
Flash system (2-4 heads)....I use Novatron (3 heads hardwired to powerpack, 1 slave)
Sync-cord...................plug into camera/lightmeter and powerpack
Backgrounds.................seamless paper, muslin, old warehouse?
Light meter.................I use a Minolta (tons of choices here)
Umbrellas, softboxes, snoots, etc.

Let's get a basic setup going.

Put two heads with umbrellas in front of the model at 45 degree angles maybe six to eight feet from the model (though this really depends on the power of the lights). Point the heads away from the model, umbrellas bouncing light back at her.

Don't worry about lighting the background yet, don't worry about a hairlight yet. We're just gonna get you started here. Light is something you will be playing with from now until you quit shooting so there is lots of time to read and experiment.

Take your lightmeter and connect it to your powerpack with the synccord. Set the ISO/ASA to correspond with your filmspeed. Pick a shutter speed. 1/60 or 1/125 are good speeds to start with. Stand where the model will be standing and push the test button to determine the best apeture setting for that light. You may want to adjust the light power so that you are somewhere in the neighborhood of 5.6 to 11. There are two ways to change the amount of light; adjust the power settings or move the lights.

For this experiment, try to keep the lighting equal from the two heads. Point the meter at one and check it. Point the meter at the other and check it. Compare the two. Is that what you want?

Okay, tell the model to stand where you just metered from (hopefully it was 3-4 feet from the background to cut down on shadows; later you can learn about lighting the background to help in this regard). Plug the snyccord into your camera, ensure the camera has the settings you just tested (e.g. 160ISO, 1/125th, f8). Point the camera at the model. Tell her to smile (do this in your most seductive voice if you want a really sexy smile from her [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]). Push the shutter release button. Congratulations, you are now a professional studio photographer. Now spend the next few years experimenting! And above all... have fun!

Keep in mind that this is very very basic. You might already know everything I just told you. But honestly, trial and error is the best way to learn.

My first time, I did it without a lightmeter. I had no idea how far away to set the lights and I didn't know that my camera at the time only had one sync shutter speed. I almost gave up entirely after that shoot.



This image of Nichole was shot on Portra 160, 1/125, f11
There were two umbrellas in front
There was a snoot low to the right firing up the background
The background is Thunder Grey seamless paper
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Re: External flash photography ?
Old 09-03-2003, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Start by setting your camera to f/8 and your shutter speed to it's max sync speed. Use just one light to get to know how it reacts. Now adjust your light with a flash meter to f/8. This is a good starting point and the light can either be positioned straight on or off to one side or at a 45 degree angle. Experiment.

Marc
 
 
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