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Archive 2012 · Major change, need advice
  
 
BrianO
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p.3 #1 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
...Today (as promised) I took put my second AB-800 and used it as a hair light. ...Im experimenting with the lights, so these are not quality images I know. However, I welcome your valued feedback and suggestions.


I can't tell in the third image, but in the first two the "hairlight" isn't lighting the cap enough on the camera-left side. It needs to be higher and aimed down from more to the rear. If you're in your dining room, though, that may not be possible due to ceiling height limitations. In that case you just have to get it as far behind the subject as you can without it showing in the frame and use it as a rim light, or get it low and point it up to bounce off the ceiling; anything to get more seperation between the cap and the background.

The background bothers me; it's not totally black, but it's too dark to really see what it is. It's neither fish nor foul as the saying goes.

You're definitely on the right path, though. Your exposure of Barbara's skin is good, and the shadows on her face are well placed in my opinion.



Jan 07, 2012 at 04:35 AM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #2 · Major change, need advice


Hi Brian. The background is just our dining room wall with a large painting and frame. This is why I'm trying to keep it underexposed as to simulate a black background. I'll work on repositionin the hair/rim light (as you have suggested) tonight when there's no ambient. I actually have one of those collapsible backdrops so I may employ one of my Canon 580Ex2 to light it up tonight. I can go higher on the lights since we have rather tall cathedral type ceilings in the dining room.

Of course my wife hasn't gotten up yet to see the mess out there, so pray for me. :-)

Thanks Brian, for having a look and for the much appreciated advice. I now have something to work with to achieve the goal you mentioned. Aside from these hideous images and clear need of practice, there is one positive note ... I've decided to keep the Alienbees as opposed to going with continuous lighting. Yaaaay!! :-)

I fooled around with the test image and made Barbara B&W so you can see the ugly background painting all while trying not to clip her. I didn't want to get into extensive post processing of this image since it's just a lighting test subject.

More to come ....
Dave




  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 01:20 PM
BrianO
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p.3 #3 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
The background is just our dining room wall with a large painting and frame. This is why I'm trying to keep it underexposed as to simulate a black background.


In a small room, it's hard to prevent spill from the subject falling on the BG; an actual black BG can help. All things considered you did a pretty good job.

For your next experiment, try f/11 instead of f/8 and see if that's enough to hide the BG.

dortizphoto wrote:
...I didn't want to get into extensive post processing of this image since it's just a lighting test subject.


Since I'm a PP junkie, I played with it myself this morning. (I hope you don't mind.) I lightened some of the blocked up areas of her cap, added a bit of simulated rim light, and blacked out the BG. This really helps draw attention to the lighting of her face, I think.








Jan 07, 2012 at 09:26 PM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #4 · Major change, need advice


Hi Brian. First and foremost ... of course I don't mind if you pull and PP my images. When you do this I learn, and know what to do next -- so please feel free, and thank you for helping me understand better.

As you were posting, I was assembling more lights and added a background. I have a boom, so I'm leaning toward placing the light directly above (as you have suggested) facing down. The setup was as follows:

Key at 45/45 (left side of Barbara)
Fill provided by 45" reflector (right side of Barbara)
Hair at 45/45 (slightly higher, behind Barbara facing her cap -- also left side)
Both Key and hair/rim lights had honeycomb grids as to prevent spill
580EX2 on my dining room chair/below the table, behind Barbara facing the backdrop @ 1/128 power setting
ISO100 -- 1/200 sec. f/8

I should also point out I placed the hair/rim light on her left side because I wanted to bounce more of it from the reflector on her right to obtain more fill.

I still need much work Brian, but what's important is you have taken the time to teach me step-by-step what to do and sometimes that's what some of us need. I can't thank you enough for this because I'm now keeping my AB-800s and have an interest to learn more about studio lighting.

I welcome your feedback, and expert advice. Thanks again Brian, and now for your viewing critique (try not to laugh too hard) .. here's Barbara. :-)

Regards,
Dave




In Portrait Mode

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/7.1    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Lanscape. Here you can see the spread of the 580EX2 shooting up.

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/7.1    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 07, 2012 at 10:31 PM
BrianO
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p.3 #5 · Major change, need advice


Nice background! That looks great, and I love the way uplighting it with the Speedlite gives a bit darker background down at her shoulders and lighter up at her face.

So, how did you trigger all three lights?



Jan 07, 2012 at 10:49 PM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #6 · Major change, need advice


Thanks Brian, that critique means a lot to me. Here's how I triggered the lights ...

Camera: CyberSync Transmitter
Main/Key: CyberSync Receiver
SpeedLight: CyberSync Receiver
Hair/Rim: Hardwired with trigger cable from Camera

Regards,
Dave



Jan 07, 2012 at 10:53 PM
BrianO
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p.3 #7 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
...Here's how I triggered the lights ...

Camera: CyberSync Transmitter
Main/Key: CyberSync Receiver
SpeedLight: CyberSync Receiver
Hair/Rim: Hardwired with trigger cable from Camera


I don't know much about Alien Bees, but one thing you might try is using the built-in optical slave on one of the Bees to be triggered by the other Bees' light. I'm pretty sure that would work, and would eliminate the need for a cable from the camera.



Jan 07, 2012 at 11:01 PM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #8 · Major change, need advice


Hi Brian. I tried that first, but the flash output with the grids and low power setting doesn't appear to generate enough light to be "seen" by the optical slave sensor. Unless I'm doing something wrong. :-(

Here's my "studio" try not to laugh too hard.. lol

Note the SpeedLight on the chair (lower right).. backdrop far right wall.







Jan 07, 2012 at 11:03 PM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #9 · Major change, need advice


Barbara get's fixed up a tad. Heck, my daughter saw the image of her and said she looked "dull" and asked if she could "fix her up some." Here are the results. :-)

I had to lower the hair light as I was slightly clipping her hat on the left side. No PP (just resized for posting here - 600KB limit), straight out of the camera.

Regards,
Dave




With hat, glasses and scarf

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/7.1    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






A tad closer ... with hat, glasses and scarf

  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/7.1    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 07, 2012 at 11:45 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



dortizphoto
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p.3 #10 · Major change, need advice


Here's Barbara, "framed" -- still needs work, but hopefully getting there.





Thoughts?

Regards,
Dave



Jan 07, 2012 at 11:55 PM
BrianO
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p.3 #11 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
Here's Barbara, "framed" -- still needs work, but hopefully getting there. ...Thoughts?


Good placement of the lights; you've got enough angle for some modeling shadows, but the brim of the hat isn't shading too much of the face/eyes.

I like the amount of fill you've used. For beauty/glamour shots that kind of low-ratio fill helps to hide skin flaws, but you still have enough shadow to reveal the cheek bones. There's a bit of a merger between the middle of her jaw line and her neck; moving the reflector a little higher or tipping the top in and moving the bottom out might help, but if you don't have a reflector holder it's not a big issue.



Jan 08, 2012 at 01:48 AM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #12 · Major change, need advice


Thanks Brian. I have to write all this down so "hopefully" I can replicate it again with a live subject. What I noticed is I had to stop-down the hair light as it was clipping the new hat. I suppose I'll need to do the same as different subject's hair color change, etc.?

I hope I don't upset anyone here. I'll experiment some more with this. I'm glad I didn't sell by ABs though.

I had to post process her because the original image (straight out of camera) appeared somewhat flat to me. Here's the same image -- but the processed version.





Thanks again Brian.

Regards,
Dave



Jan 08, 2012 at 01:56 AM
BrianO
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p.3 #13 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
What I noticed is I had to stop-down the hair light as it was clipping the new hat. I suppose I'll need to do the same as different subject's hair color change, etc.?


Yep; it's all about different materials' reflectivity. When you have the light on a boom you can also quickly change the relative intensity by moving the light up or down a bit; the closer to the subject's head the brighter.



Jan 08, 2012 at 02:29 AM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #14 · Major change, need advice


I gotta tell ya. That boom stand scaresme because I fear my AB800 will come crashing down. I'll experiment some more tomorrow before I have to disassemble my "high tech" studio. :-)

Cheers,
Dave



Jan 08, 2012 at 04:40 AM
BrianO
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p.3 #15 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
I gotta tell ya. That boom stand scaresme because I fear my AB800 will come crashing down.


Don't extend it too far out, use a counter weight on the other end, and -- if needed -- more weight on the stand itself.

Or, put the Speedlight out on the boom; it's lighter.

Have fun!



Jan 08, 2012 at 07:05 AM
dortizphoto
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p.3 #16 · Major change, need advice


Thanks, will do. Gosh, I feel like we should have exchanged the latter part of this thread by email (no other contributors). Oh well, maybe someone else will read it and learn from this (what i consider valuable) interaction. I certainly have.

Thanks again Brian.
Dave



Jan 08, 2012 at 11:42 AM
BrianO
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p.3 #17 · Major change, need advice


dortizphoto wrote:
...Gosh, I feel like we should have exchanged the latter part of this thread by email (no other contributors).


Yeah, I was going to comment last night that our forum round table has become a tête à tête. Oh well.



Jan 08, 2012 at 09:09 PM
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