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Archive 2012 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects
  
 
alaskalive
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


I thought I had all settings correct but I am not happy with the skin tone of the baby here... Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong? I am finding lighting multiple subjects at one time with only my 2 alien bees is not all that easy.






Mother and Son

  Canon EOS 60D    EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens    34mm    f/11.0    1/180s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 10, 2012 at 06:04 PM
douter
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


I would attempt raising my lights, looks to me like they are about eye-height here. also, babies ofyen time have lighter more translucent skin than adults, so you may wish to underexpose slightly.
Douglas



Jan 10, 2012 at 06:35 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


When lighting any single subject you need to consider: 1) the angle of the key light and fill to the face using the bridge of the nose as your reference point to control the pattern, and; 2) the distance of the light to the face to control the character of the light and exposure.

With more than one face in a photo the challenge is doing that on all of them at the same time. The easiest way to do that is: 1) poses the faces very close together, and; 2) keep the noses pointing the same direction. If you do that they wind up the same distance from the lights with a similar pattern on them.

For groups, which is any portrait with 2 or more people in it, I my first choice is centered butterfly lighting because it makes it easier to keep both faces the same distance from the light with the same pattern on them. Lighting two faces with the key light to the side makes it more difficult to keep the pattern the same because compositionally you want one face slightly lower than the other which will put the two faces at different angles to the light.

If you try this advice you should be able to compare with the results you have here and see the difference.



Jan 10, 2012 at 07:38 PM
alaskalive
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


cgardner wrote:
When lighting any single subject you need to consider: 1) the angle of the key light and fill to the face using the bridge of the nose as your reference point to control the pattern, and; 2) the distance of the light to the face to control the character of the light and exposure.

With more than one face in a photo the challenge is doing that on all of them at the same time. The easiest way to do that is: 1) poses the faces very close together, and; 2) keep the noses pointing the same direction. If you do
...Show more

I should have another shoot in the next couple of days. I will definitely do exactly as you say. Thank you for all your help. I am working on doing the things you tell me each time I shoot.
I would LOVE to have ONE overhead Hair Light to work with.. omg, that would be awesome!



Jan 10, 2012 at 07:47 PM
 

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alaskalive
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


cgardner wrote:
When lighting any single subject you need to consider: 1) the angle of the key light and fill to the face using the bridge of the nose as your reference point to control the pattern, and; 2) the distance of the light to the face to control the character of the light and exposure.

With more than one face in a photo the challenge is doing that on all of them at the same time. The easiest way to do that is: 1) poses the faces very close together, and; 2) keep the noses pointing the same direction. If you do
...Show more

I did another shoot.
The baby was Very, Very hard to get to look at the camera.. had to have my spouse get over my head and talk to her constantly.. Finally, using what you said.. get the subjects to be close as possible.. I had the mother whispering to the baby and giving her kisses.. that worked..
But still, the baby's skin is so translucent...I guess that is just the way it is going to be?

I notice in shooting that I must have the light units up quite high in power or I lose the details in te eyes.. they become blurry.. not out of focus, just that they do not show every facet of details.. so, the fine line between enough light.. and blown out skin tones on the babies.. is so fine!






Jan 12, 2012 at 02:11 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


Of course the babies' skin is light and translucent-it's a baby! If you want it darker in the future have the baby more on the fill-light side which it looks like you did on the reshoot. For babies I typically shoot with a tripod so I can interact with the baby.


Jan 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
alaskalive
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


JohnBrose wrote:
Of course the babies' skin is light and translucent-it's a baby! If you want it darker in the future have the baby more on the fill-light side which it looks like you did on the reshoot. For babies I typically shoot with a tripod so I can interact with the baby.


OMG, OMG, I GOT SO CAUGHT UP IN THE SHOOTING OF THE BABY.. I FORGOT..
MY TRIPOD!!!!

I have a wireless trigger.. and a tripod.. what an idiot I am!
Thank you for reminding me!!!

I am getting soooooooooo old.. must be getting some timers! My brain only works SOMETIMES!



Jan 12, 2012 at 02:49 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Problem with lighting on 2 subjects


alaskalive wrote:
I did another shoot.
The baby was Very, Very hard to get to look at the camera.. had to have my spouse get over my head and talk to her constantly.. Finally, using what you said.. get the subjects to be close as possible.. I had the mother whispering to the baby and giving her kisses.. that worked..
But still, the baby's skin is so translucent...I guess that is just the way it is going to be?


A huge improvement both with lighting pattern, pose and exposure. Skin is what it is and you appear to have captured skin tones of mother and baby accurately. Exposure on the faces is spot on with the highlights in the flower of the headband just below clipping and the red channel on the baby's cheek about 1/3 stop below clipping.

Part of the process of learning lighting is training your eye to see the differences different lighting strategies make on the faces. That requires trying different strategies on the same faces and compare the results side-by-side. As I mentioned before problem the centered lighting pattern solves is getting optimal lighting on both of the faces at the same time.

Keeping the faces together is one part of the solution which you did here. My other suggestion was to use a centered butterfly pattern which makes it easier to light faces when they are turned different directions to relative to the key light. That's not what happen here.

Both the shadows on the baby's face and the catchlights in her eyes indicate the key light or some other large source (window?) contributing light is to the right of the camera. That sideways lighting from the right works great for modeling the face of the baby, putting her face 45 from the key light, but it put mom in her own shadow with shaded eyes. Here that's not noticed much because her eyes are also closed.

Had the "key" light been centered over the camera aimed directly at the baby's nose we'd see a symmetrical pattern of lighter toned shadows framing the baby's face and more light on the mother's face. I've edited below to try to illustrate to how it would have look with the centered butterfly strategy I suggested for group shots so you can visualize the differences between what I suggested and what you wound up doing...

http://super.nova.org/EDITS/AlaskaEdit.jpg

If you have an opportunity to shoot a similar pose try shooting as you did here with key light to the side, then try as I suggested with both lights centered directly above and below the lens, with no other sources influencing the modeling. By comparison you should see by the baby's face framed with identical shadows on each side with more light on the front of the mother's face and eyes as in my edit.






Jan 12, 2012 at 02:58 PM





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