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Archive 2012 · Major change, need advice
  
 
jefferies1
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p.2 #1 · Major change, need advice


While I am no fan of the AB lights they work fine and a lot of people like them. The reason you want continous is to avoid a learning curve. This is OK short term but will hurt you later.You will outgrow them in several months. Bottom line is strobes can do anything continous does (except video) but continous can't do 1/4 of what strobes can. The lights you are looking at will work fine for basic small product and portraits. One person and maybe two but forget groups. You will be forced into using a higher ISO, around 400 to get a fair shutter speed and F stop. By fair I mean using 2 light units shown you will be at 400ISO and 1/60 to 1/80 sec at F5.6. Forget F9 or 11 and 1/160 sec with continous.This is also with lights very close to subject. For my portrait work ( single person) I like F4.5 to F5 but I also like to stop the slight movement a person has even when trying to be still. Continous does not do that. Faster shutter would be the only answer and will be very limited. I would keep the strobes and invest in good modifiers. That is the key to light control after you have the concept understood.

The units shown would be great video lights if you want to do that in the future.



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Mark_L
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p.2 #2 · Major change, need advice


If you want a black background then since it is black expect it to be clipped just like it you wanted a white background. You haven't really lost any detail in the hat. If you want to separate the hat from the background use a hair (hat?) light with a tight grid or snoot.

The question is do you like the way it looks not whether the histogram warning is there in LR.



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:44 PM
dmacmillan
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p.2 #3 · Major change, need advice


Mark_L wrote:
The question is do you like the way it looks not whether the histogram warning is there in LR.

You're forgetting a few of the basic tenets here. No matter how aesthetically great an image may be, if there's any clipping, it's no good. There's also a corollary.



Jan 04, 2012 at 07:03 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #4 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
Here I raised the shadows/clipping just a tad (image on right). Would you say that's the correct thing to do in a situation such as this?


I don't think it was a good idea in this case.

Although it brought out more of the blue cap, it also raised the BG, and in this case parts of the BG are now visible as a dull red -- probably not what you wanted.

Lacking a hair light or a rim light, you could get more detail in the top of the hat by raising the key and fill lights a bit higher and aiming them down a bit so the top edge is further forward than the bottom edge, and if they are in fairly large modifiers you shouldn't adversely affect the lighting on the face too much. (A seperate hair/accent light would be better, though. Even a reflector panel might be enough.)

I disagree with dmacmillan in this case (which is unnusual); I think when you're going for a pure black or a pure white BG it should be clipping -- on the left for black and on the right for white.



Jan 04, 2012 at 07:59 PM
dmacmillan
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p.2 #5 · Major change, need advice


BrianO wrote:
I disagree with dmacmillan in this case (which is unnusual); I think when you're going for a pure black or a pure white BG it should be clipping -- on the left for black and on the right for white.

Actually we agree. I forgot to include the [sarcasm] tag.



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:14 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #6 · Major change, need advice


BrianO wrote:
I disagree with dmacmillan in this case (which is unnusual); I think when you're going for a pure black or a pure white BG it should be clipping -- on the left for black and on the right for white.


dmacmillan wrote:
Actually we agree. I forgot to include the [sarcasm] tag.


Ah, gotcha. There must have been a previous exchange I didn't see?



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:20 PM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #7 · Major change, need advice


Thanks everyone for your time and advice. This was just one light using grid and a 42" reflector (white). I'll pull the other AB-800 out and experiment with that as well.

Question ... can I use my Canon 580EX-2 (I have two of them) together with the ABs? Just wondering if anyone has tried mixing the two.

Thanks again,
Dave



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:24 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #8 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
Question ... can I use my Canon 580EX-2 (I have two of them) together with the ABs? Just wondering if anyone has tried mixing the two.


Sure. I haven't used ABs, but I've mixed Speedlites and other studio strobes. It works great to put the Speedlite, set in Manual power mode, out on a boom to act as a hair light, for example, and keep the big boys on the ground as key and fill.

I use a Canon-compatible optical slave to trigger the Speedlite from the flash of whichever strobe is connected to the camera. The Sonia brand uses a green base to indicate Canon-compatible units so you don't confuse them with non-compatible ones.

http://www.flashzebra.com/products/0118/index.shtml
http://www.flashzebra.com/products/0127/index.shtml

You can't use Canon's optical wireless triggering without some special workarounds, because the command preflashes will trigger the strobes prematurely, but going the other way around works fine.


Edited on Jan 04, 2012 at 08:39 PM · View previous versions



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:33 PM
dmacmillan
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p.2 #9 · Major change, need advice


BrianO wrote:
Ah, gotcha. There must have been a previous exchange I didn't see?

Think for a minute. ;-)



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:39 PM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #10 · Major change, need advice


Hi Brian. I have a Cybersync transmitter and two receivers. I was wondering if I can place one receiver on the AB-800 and have that one trigger the second AB-800 by way of slave/flash. Then maybe i can place the second receiver on the 580EX2. I wonder if that will fly??

Regards,
Dave



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:43 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.2 #11 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
Hi Brian. I have a Cybersync transmitter and two receivers. I was wondering if I can place one receiver on the AB-800 and have that one trigger the second AB-800 by way of slave/flash. Then maybe i can place the second receiver on the 580EX2. I wonder if that will fly??


I've never used Cybersyncs, so I'm not 100% sure (and if I'm wrong someone will soon let us know), but I think that would work.

Some optical slaves will lock up after the first shot, which is why you need a special Canon-compatible version, but I don't think that's an issue with radio links like Skyports, Pocket Wizards, and Cybersyncs.



Jan 04, 2012 at 08:49 PM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #12 · Major change, need advice


OK Brian. I will give it a shot this weekend and post if it worked -- should be an interesting exercise.

Thanks again Brian.

Regards,
Dave



Jan 05, 2012 at 01:53 AM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #13 · Major change, need advice


Hello Everyone!

I plan on working at this over the upcoming weekend. I've taken down all our Christmas decorations, so my wife should allow me the time needed to focus on this project (smile).

That being said, I'd like to vier off-topic for just a moment. As some of you may know, I recently traded my Canon 5D2 which has a whopping 21Mpx sensor for a Canon 1Dmk3 which ONLY has a 10Mpx sensor. I did this mainly because with the unpredictability of photojournalist work, I needed the better and faster focus system. Sadly; I'm aware that image quality wise, I obviously took a step backward. Which brings me to my issue ....

I've always shot in landscape mode with my 21Mpx sensor because I had plenty of image into to crop a portrait without compromising image quality since my maximum prints were only 11x14 anyway. For my Christmas party shoot, I threw away so much picture data it was ridiculous, yet still wound-up with good quality 8x10 and 11x14 sized prints. However, I fear that will not be the case with my newly acquired 1Dmk3. So my question is ...

Where do you guys frame your subjects to keep the most image info available while still being able to crop for an 8x10 on a 3:4 sensor? As you know, if we were to print 4x6 ratio prints we'd be fine right off camera, but what happens when we go with an 8x10 ratio?

For example:





The image on the left is a 8x10 crop of the image on the right which is right out of the camera un-cropped.

Do I step waaaaaaaay back and crop off the top and bottom to bring say a full body portrait into an 8x10 print without chopping off someone at the knees? I believe (and I could be wrong) if I shoot landscape and crop to 8x10 portrait I'm going to run into trouble image quality wise with my newly acquired 10Mpx 1D3.

I read this article, but it really doesn't answer the cropping for prints keeping the entire subject within the final cropped image:

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/is-portrait-formatting-always-best-for-portraits

This next article is a PERFECT example. If you scroll down to the first vertical image of a woman (full body shot). You can tell that image is right off the camera ratio wise (or so it seems anyway). Take that very same image and crop at 8x10 and you'll lose part of her legs.

http://improvephotography.com/1305/101-portrait-photography-tips-to-improve-your-photography/

Now obviously for a single shot like that if I move back (or zoom out) I'll capture the 8x10 spot .. but where is that in the frame of the camera? I mean, once we frame it and shoot, when we come back to the digital dark-room and we didn't allow enough space, we're toast. I know for a single subject like this I'll save image data going vertical. But what happens when I have 2 or 3 people -- do I switch to horizontal?

Here's a thread (dpReview) I believe addresses this very same issue:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1002&message=38002535&changemode=1

I guess what I'm trying to learn here is how you guys "see" the image in the frame of the camera and know when you can yield an 8x10 print while preserving as much image data as possible. Hope I'm explaining this correctly. :-(

From my best calculations it looks like I'd lose 1/4 of the frame. If such is the case then I have to step back (or zoom out) to allow an additional 1/4 frame to compensate if I still want the full subject in an 8x10 crop. That's my interpretation of this, not necessarily the right one. :-)

Any thoughts? Sorry for breaking the thread pattern, I wasn't sure if I should have started another one under a different heading.

Regards,
Dave



Jan 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM
BrianO
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p.2 #14 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
...I believe (and I could be wrong) if I shoot landscape and crop to 8x10 portrait I'm going to run into trouble image quality wise with my newly acquired 10Mpx 1D3.


Definitely turn the camera to portrait orientation when you can; no sense throwing away perfectly good pixels; but if you can't, then don't. 2 or 3 people is no different from 1 in that respect; if a person is standing you'd normally shoot in portrait orientation, but if the person is reclining, landscape might be better. Same with a group; if they're arrayed in a more horizontal group then landscape might fit them into the compostion better than portrait.

As far as "seeing" 4:5 in a 4:6 (2:3) viewfinder, it's not too difficult. You can just leave a little extra space on the top and bottom (in portrait orientation) or on the sides (in landscape). You're only losing 1/6 (1/12 on each side), not 1/4.

To help seeing exactly how much space to leave, make a 4:5 ratio target out of paper and look at it through your viewfinder. See where the borders fall with respect to the space in the VF.

For true precision, you can get after-market focus screens that have crop lines etched into them. Here's one brand:

http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/page--Grid-Lines-Crop-Guides--gridlines.html

Even if you frame your shot a little loosely to be on the safe side, you'll still come out ahead of shooting in landscape orientation and cropping out a portrait-orientated section.

Here's a comparison of 2:3 versus 4:5 formats:









Jan 05, 2012 at 05:58 PM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #15 · Major change, need advice


Brian - excellent post and example provided. Thank you Brian.

What's odd is the Canon 1Dmk3 has a custom control IV feature that allows you to see the ratio lines on the picture as you capture the image. I wish that would transfer to the image in Lightroom, but it's only visible in-camera as a guide. So if I'm interested in framing for an 4x5 ratio, it will show me my lines, but the file will still import in the 4x6 ratio. However, I'd be safe because I have that overlay on.

It looks something like this in camera ... which is what I see when I preview the image.

Check out page 178 of this pdf Canon 1Dmk3 owner's manual. It's right at the top of the page titled, "C.Fn IV - 14 Add aspect ratio information"


Canon 1D Owner's Manual

Regards,
Dave







Jan 06, 2012 at 12:59 AM
BrianO
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p.2 #16 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
...the Canon 1Dmk3 has a custom control IV feature that allows you to see the ratio lines on the picture as you capture the image. I wish that would transfer to the image in Lightroom, but it's only visible in-camera as a guide.


The crop lines from your 1D Mark III will also show up on your computer if you use DPP (Digital Photo Professional), which came with the camera. That doesn't help if you do all your PP in Lightroom, but it is in DPP if you ever want it.

The ratio lines are a handy feature when you're using Live View, and of course for checking the framing after capture in non-Live View, but having it in the viewfinder is a real boon for many shooters. The etched focus screens are good for that, but I really like my 7D because I can toggle the grid on or off in the viewfinder when I do or don't want it.

In addition to the Aspect Ratio overlay, it shows the Rule-of-Thirds lines, and it can also show an electronic level if wanted.

I suspect Canon will include electronic overlay in the viewfinders of more of its new cameras as they are released.









Jan 06, 2012 at 01:52 AM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #17 · Major change, need advice


Nice feature that 7D has. I have to admit, having that feature allows us more control and accuracy in-camera. I had no idea that feature was available until I started researching this on the Internet. Pity how I was shooting landscape and cropping a portrait shot tossing all that data away. My former 5D2 was forgiving in that regard. However, I'm confident my 1D3 won't be. :-(

I don't have the Digital Professional software. I sent mine along with the 5D2 but didn't receive one with my 1D3.

Thanks again, Brian.
Dave



Jan 06, 2012 at 02:25 AM
BrianO
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p.2 #18 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
I don't have the Digital Professional software. I sent mine along with the 5D2 but didn't receive one with my 1D3.


If you think you'd use it, let me know; I can get you a free copy (older version) that you can then update online.



Jan 06, 2012 at 04:50 AM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #19 · Major change, need advice


Hi Brian. Let me check my 40D box to see if I have the disk in there. I only fooled around with that product once then went on to Lightroom v3.

Looking forward to my practice session with Barbara using multiple strobes.

Thanks,
Dave



Jan 06, 2012 at 06:34 PM
dortizphoto
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p.2 #20 · Major change, need advice


Hi Everyone!

Today (as promised) I took put my second AB-800 and used it as a hair light. The setup for the following images (and I know they leave much to be desired) are as follows:

2- AlienBee 800 (1 key, the other hair -- both at 45/45 and opposite each other -- front and rear)
2- Honeycomb Grids (To try and restrict light spill-over from reaching the background.
1- 48" Reflector (used as fill on the second and third images)
ISO 100
f/200
Canon 1D3
Canon 50mm f/1.4 Prime with Hoya Filter attached.
Key @ 1/8 power
Hair @ 1/16 power

Im experimenting with the lights, so these are not quality images I know. However, I welcome your valued feedback and suggestions.

I'm using our dining room, so time is very limited. :-(

Thoughts?
Dave




No Fill Applied

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Fill Applied using 48" Reflector (right side)

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Landscape Mode

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 07, 2012 at 01:43 AM
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