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Archive 2012 · Dummies? Mannequins?
  
 
awacs
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Dummies? Mannequins?


Are dummies or mannequins useful for trying out studio lighting scenarios? In your experience, are they reasonable stand-ins for actual humans, at least for getting the feel of different setups? If yes, where do you guys get them?

A head and a full body would both be useful.

Thanks!

Aram



Dec 08, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Dummies? Mannequins?


I use a Styrofoam head that holds wigs. Works well. Got it at the thrift store for 2 bucks.


Dec 08, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Steady Hand
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Dummies? Mannequins?


Howdy,

I suggest you practice on real people, rather than plastic or foam heads.

Lighting is only one aspect of making a good portrait.

Skin is not the same as plastic, though one can see many photos posted here that look like it.

People (any age, any color, any size) are what you should spend your time learning to photograph.

I hope these comments help you.



Dec 08, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Dummies? Mannequins?


Steady Hand wrote:
Howdy,

I suggest you practice on real people, rather than plastic or foam heads.

Lighting is only one aspect of making a good portrait.

Skin is not the same as plastic, though one can see many photos posted here that look like it.

People (any age, any color, any size) are what you should spend your time learning to photograph.

I hope these comments help you.


If it is your only option what else is a person supposed to do? Not practice because they do not have a volunteer?
Why do I feel that if I would have said not to use them you would have said too use them..... Better plastic looking than dingy yellow as far as looks go btw.


Edited on Dec 08, 2012 at 07:01 AM · View previous versions



Dec 08, 2012 at 06:52 AM
Jim Rickards
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Dummies? Mannequins?


Gotta agree with Steady.

Where the light falls is the only basic info you might get with a mannikin. You won't see how the catchlights look in the eyes, for example.



Dec 08, 2012 at 06:56 AM
 



Michaelparris
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Dummies? Mannequins?


Jim Rickards wrote:
Gotta agree with Steady.

Where the light falls is the only basic info you might get with a mannikin. You won't see how the catchlights look in the eyes, for example.


I agree but sometimes you have to work with what you have. I worked on a styrofoam head one morning for about an hour and a half trying to get a certain look. When I did the shoot that afternoon I knew exactly where I wanted the lights and what power. Got the subject/model in and out quick....Believe me I would love to have models at my disposal but the reality of it is sometimes you have to make do.



Dec 08, 2012 at 07:08 AM
awacs
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Dummies? Mannequins?


Steady and others, thanks, those are the tradeoffs I was wondering about. I understand that catch lights, subtle shadows, texture etc will not be represented. Michael, it looks like you've found some value in it, at least in the absence of a patient model.

Thanks everyone. I have negligible experience in studio lighting (whatever you call a studio -- could be the great outdoors with artificial lights!) and need to build some skills.

Aram



Dec 08, 2012 at 06:11 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Dummies? Mannequins?



When you're first learning studio lighting, the learning curve can be a bit much especially if you're relying on the patience of a human being -- no matter who it is: sibling, spouse, child, grandparent, friend, whatever. There's pressure involved as you don't want to bore the person, you may feel bad about having them sit for hours as you make tedious adjustments.

Aside from using a mannequin, do some fine art shots using your lighting. Shoot an apple, an orange, or whatever else. Obviously, the lighting may be different than shooting the portrait of a person, but you'll have plenty of time to work the lights, you can practice different things, and really come out of it with some nice photographs. If you can learn to make an apple look good with studio lighting, you'll be well on your way to making people look good.



Dec 08, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Dummies? Mannequins?


friscoron wrote:
When you're first learning studio lighting, the learning curve can be a bit much especially if you're relying on the patience of a human being -- no matter who it is: sibling, spouse, child, grandparent, friend, whatever. There's pressure involved as you don't want to bore the person, you may feel bad about having them sit for hours as you make tedious adjustments.

Aside from using a mannequin, do some fine art shots using your lighting. Shoot an apple, an orange, or whatever else. Obviously, the lighting may be different than shooting the portrait of a person, but you'll have
...Show more

excellent response......



Dec 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Robert Carr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Dummies? Mannequins?


it would be better than using 3-4 foot size teddy bears that I have used in the past. Something is better than nothing...


Dec 08, 2012 at 07:19 PM





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