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Archive 2012 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )
  
 
Sphere
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


So it's been a slow season for me as a photographer so I figured I'd sell some of my strobes to make room of a better system later on in the year.

But a potential client wanted to do business portraits(i.e. linked in photos), but I only have one 580exii and a photo flex starlite 1000w or 500w fluorescent tube.

Back drop: A Muslin Blue

I'm thinking I can pull this off without having to rent anything to make up for my lack of equipment. Talk about bad timing right?

I'm also thinking for a setup, I can make due with setting my 580exii as a key light using an umbrella. Since it's for linkedin, it's nothing fancy.

What do you guys think?



Mar 06, 2012 at 04:19 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


It sounds like you're planning a more traditional business portrait, based on the mention of the background. I think that requires a traditional lighting setup: key, fill, background light, hair light and possible kicker.

Is this part of your normal repertoire? I get the feeling photography is a side business. Is this true?

You might be able to get something adequate with your 580 into an umbrella if you have reflectors. Do you have a softbox for the starlite? You might be able to use it also.

I think it takes more skill to do something like this with minimal equipment than it does with the correct tools. I think your success here will be dependent on your skills. It can be done, but I wouldn't want to approach a paying job underequipped.



Mar 06, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Sphere
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


Yeah you nailed it.

http://blog.slvisuals.com/
I do it for fun, and only do paid work via word of mouth.

I'm only charging $150. So normally if I needed I would definitely rent, but this case I don't think it'll be worth it.
(http://www.digiscribe.info/About-Document-Management/Management.aspx)

Those pictures are horrible, so whoever took those I lol. I think I can do better with only my limited set up for the time being. But I just want to see what you guys thought since this community is awesome!



Mar 06, 2012 at 04:46 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


One solution is to do a full face portrait with a centered butterfly strategy in a small white room with low ceilings where you will get a lot of spilled fill. I shot this headshot with one with 580ex and single flash on a bracket with my DIY diffuser. I stood on a chair with top of diffuser touching the 8' ceiling of office at work to get max. spill fill







Another option is forget the flash entirely, find a north facing window and use a reflector. This is and old example from an early tutorial of mine but it shows my basic "relaxed guy" pose using window light I learned apprenticing with Monte Zucker, who shot all his portraits with window light in those days.





Face angle 45 to window. Foot up on chair gets subject into the relaxed pose with shoulder line at angle leaning forward at the hips towards the window in an assertive masculine way with arms forming supporting leading lines for the H&S crop. I shot standing on a similar chair with him looking up. The higher POV is an important part of the technique. It results in the window light getting into the eyes better and a face-lift for chin and neck while keeping the camera and face at the same angle relative to each other as in a ground level face-to-face shot.

You can use the same "window" strategy outdoors on the shaded north side of a building. In shade so you don't need to fight the contrast of the sun. Face the subject north into the skylight, raising the face up by standing on a stool or ladder to get the skylight past the brow. Not needing to battle the sun you probably will not need flash. If you do add it do so from overhead on a bracket or stand not eye level so it acts as modeling "key" not flat fill canceling the natural light. The net effect of adding flash then adjusting the exposure for the same tone in the highlights on the face will be darker shadows. In other words adding the flash has the net effect of making the shadows on the face and background beyond the range of the flash darker.

In sunlight you can put the subject's back to the sun making it the "hairlight". To keep the hair from blowing out in the business shot expose per the clipping warning to keep the sunlit parts under clipping. As with the window or open shade you first want to pose the face up into the natural skylight to get it in the eye by bringing along a step-ladder to raise your camera. Then add your flash as "key" light in a butterfly pattern from above the head, not flat as fill, so the flash and skylight model the face from the same angle. The skylight will provide the fill, which you can supplement with reflectors just out of camera on the sides if you want the shadows lighter than the skylight alone makes them.



Mar 06, 2012 at 04:55 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


With limited artificial lighting ... window light can be a very good friend for key, fill, rim, etc. depending on how you decide to use it.

Of course, you need to concern yourself with mixed lighting color temp if you should opt to mix sources. Using your continuous flourescents to light the background would likely not be too noticeable since no one would know what color the BG was supposed to be anyway (kinda like using a gel).

Electronic flash and window might be close enough to use as a key/fill combo ... but I'd test first to see if you wanted to use the window as key or fill. I'd probably lean toward key, with only a "kiss" of light fill flash to put a specular highlight in the eye.

Just "think" it through and you should still be able to put together something respectable ... although it might take a bit of test/experiment beforehand.

GL ... HTH



Mar 06, 2012 at 05:19 PM
 

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Bernie
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


Window light is your friend.


Mar 06, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Sphere
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


BINGO! ; ) One Light. No Windows, no umbrellas.



Mar 11, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Gervacio
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


wow thats a nice setup for 1 light


Mar 12, 2012 at 12:47 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


Sphere wrote:
...I only have one 580exii and a photo flex starlite 1000w or 500w fluorescent tube. I'm also thinking for a setup, I can make due with setting my 580exii as a key light using an umbrella.


Sphere wrote:
...BINGO! ; ) One Light. No Windows, no umbrellas.


So, which light did you end up using? Any modifier? (Going just by the catchlights, I guess on-camera Speedlite, but I could be wrong.)



Mar 12, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Sphere
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Oops. Emergency! Input please : )


What I ended up doing was putting the background about 3-4 feet behind the subject.

1 580exii with a photo flex octodome xs pointed at the wall set on Manual Power. (1/32?) The bounce fill did the work! I was pretty relieved that I was able to pull it off. But not where I wanted it, but good enough. : )

After reading some of your advise, I was kind of anxious when I got to the office only to find no window lol.



Mar 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM





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