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MS PHOTO wrote:
Here is a sample photo and I need some help with my light setup. This photo was taken with 2 Ultra Zap 1600 one on both sides & 1 Ultra Zap 800 in the middle all are shot through umbrellas, My lights were in a straight row about 18 feet from my backdrop. The gymnast was 5ft from the drop. Can someone help me with my setup
You don't say what it is about the shadows that you want to change, but if I were to guess I assume you want softer and lighter shadows on your subject, and no shadow on the backdrop.
Right now you have your lights 13 feet from your subject, which is way too far for the umbrellas to have any softening effect. As mentioned above, move the lights much closer to the subject and/or the subject closer to the lights (further from the background), and the relative size of the umbrellas compared to your subject will increase, softening the shadows and lowering the contrast.
To decrease the shadow on the background, the easiest way would be to add two more lights and place them even with you subject, with the left BG light pointing right of center and the right BG light pointing left of center. "Cross lighting" the background this way evens out the hot spots of each background light.
If you don't have two more lights, then using the existing pair of lights positioned as above as BG lights, and using the single light positioned high and near the camera for the subject would also be an option.
Another benefit to moving the subject further from the BG is that you can use a wider aperture to narrow the depth of field, throwing the BG out of focus, which will help to hide the creases and wrinkles and draw attention off the BG and onto the subject.