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Archive 2013 · Need help with shadows !!!!
  
 
MS PHOTO
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Need help with shadows !!!!


I am have problems with shadows with my set-up using 2 strobes,
Here is my set-up

2-White Lighting 1600 shot through umbrella's about 15ft from drop , lights are 7ft high on both side of drop aimed,
please help with this problem.
Thanks for the advise, I need a simple setup to be able to do both single player & a small group of 10-12 players in 2 rows, What would be the best way for this setup, I have 3 light available.Maybe show the setup
Paul






Edited on Jan 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM · View previous versions



Jan 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Need help with shadows !!!!


There are two problems that I see: crossed shadows on your subject (see her neck), and two shadows on the background.

The cure for the first is to use one key light on your subject, and a weaker fill only if needed. Remember the adage that "there is only one sun."

The cure for the second is to light the background such that the subject isn't casting a shadow on it. Generally, placing two lights out of frame but at or behind the subject line works for this, but if you only have two lights, and need one for the key light, you can place the BG light above the subject and aim it down onto the BG. (Less desireable, IMO, is to have one BG light to one side, but it can work if you don't have a boom or scaffold for the BG light.) The further the subject is from the BG the further away your light can be, allowing a shallower angle that will yield less fall-off from top to bottom or side to side on the BG.

For closeups, you can put a single BG light directly behind the subject, but that won't work for full-body shots becasue you'll be able to see the light and/or the cables, so the BG light(s) must be out of frame.

The point is, though, that you need to light the subject and the BG seperately if you aren't using a black BG.

(Not a lighting issue, but while I'm here... Is that the full image, or just a crop from it? I ask, because you have a lot of empty space above her, but her feet are chopped off. Jsut somethig to watch for.)



Jan 10, 2013 at 10:59 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Need help with shadows !!!!


The ideal solution to the shadow on the background problem is to eliminate it from view. That requires having enough space for the shadow to fall down on the floor rather than behind where it completes for attention with the subject.

Echoing Brian's advice crossed key and fill isn't a good strategy for portraits because each light cancels out most of the modeling off the other. In the places the two shadows cross you'll also typically see very dark voids in the lighting pattern because little light reached them and they are under-filled. But it your case there appears to be so much uncontrolled "spill fill" bouncing off the ceiling and walls from your umbrellas that's not a problem.

Another way to hide the shadows and get more flattering modeling on the face is to keep the lights centered which will cast any shadows directly behind, mostly out of sight. Rather than cross your key and fill on opposite sides stack them vertically, putting key over the camera where it will hit the eye line at a 45 angle (to get it past the brow and not shade the eyes) and the fill also centered about chin level. See the nostrils in your shot? If you stand on a stool and get the camera higher about 6" above the eye line it will see the top of the nostrils, not the bottom (which is more flattering) and your chin level fill will be just under the lens. Here's an example of what I'm describing:

I mount both lights on one stand. The key on the stud on top and the fill using a Super Clamp and extension arm. Hairlight is on the boom. I have a background light (hidden behind the mat board on the floor). I added reflectors on the sides slightly behind the subject just out of camera view which caught both the key and fill and created soft side accents.

http://super.nova.org/XP/Centered%20Strategy/Centered_Setup.jpg
http://super.nova.org/XP/Centered%20Strategy/MM_Butterfly.jpg

If you keep key and fill about the same strength the overlap off the downward key over the level flat fill creates modeling similar to what is seen in indirect skylight with a 2:1 reflected ratio:

H:S
1:1 Even flat fill
1:0 Downward modeling key vector overlaps fill (same incident strength)
===
2:1 Reflected ratio with slightly lighter than average shadows, which flatters kids and women.

Because key and fill come from the same general direction and are similar incident strength they don't create any noticeable shadows on the background as evidenced in this sequence of action shots with similar lighting:

http://super.nova.org/XP/MM/MM_2299S.jpg


It's a simple but effective and flattering way to light full face views of individuals, couples and groups because it allows freedom of movement without creating any distracting shadows.

When setting the lights you first select the f/stop for the DOF you want. Then adjust fill until you see detail in the darkest clothing like the black shoes and the overlapping key until the brightest non-specular white clothing is just at or slightly below clipping in the playback warning. If you shoot RAW the highlights may look a bit underexposed, but keep in mind that when you make JPGs at the end of the RAW capture workflow you'll usually lose some highlight detail and may wind up clipping one or more channels causing a loss of detail, especially in the red channel of skin highlights.




Jan 11, 2013 at 12:44 AM
MS PHOTO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Need help with shadows !!!!


Thanks for the advise, I need a simple setup to be able to do both single player & a small group of 10-12 players in 2 rows, What would be the best way for this setup, I have 3 light available.Maybe show the setup
Paul



Jan 11, 2013 at 01:35 AM
equestrianguy
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Need help with shadows !!!!


Start with this.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/478589-REG/Lastolite_LL_LB8867_HiLite_Chromakey_Background.html

It will eliminate the need to ever light a background again. Also way more practical than old school backdrops.

It will then let you use your current 3 lights as you would need in order to get the proper fill flash.



Jan 16, 2013 at 04:26 PM
 

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hugowolf
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Need help with shadows !!!!


equestrianguy wrote:
Start with this.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/478589-REG/Lastolite_LL_LB8867_HiLite_Chromakey_Background.html

It will eliminate the need to ever light a background again. Also way more practical than old school backdrops.

It will then let you use your current 3 lights as you would need in order to get the proper fill flash.

Interesting, how would you propose using this with "10-12 players in 2 rows" ?

Brian A



Jan 17, 2013 at 02:07 AM
RDKirk
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Need help with shadows !!!!


Shoot the singles separately from the groups (before or after). You're going to have to move the lights and light them differently.

For the groups, move both lights back and farther apart, separating them enough that they are not casting their light on the same persons, but one light on half the group on the other light on the other half of the group-- "never cross the streams."



Jan 19, 2013 at 07:39 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Need help with shadows !!!!


equestrianguy wrote:
Start with this.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/478589-REG/Lastolite_LL_LB8867_HiLite_Chromakey_Background.html

It will eliminate the need to ever light a background again. Also way more practical than old school backdrops.

It will then let you use your current 3 lights as you would need in order to get the proper fill flash.


I've never seen a green-screen setup that worked well unless it was lit separately from the subject. If you're just getting started, I advise avoiding green screen like the plague.

<Chas>



Jan 19, 2013 at 09:15 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Need help with shadows !!!!


equestrianguy wrote:
Start with this.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/478589-REG/Lastolite_LL_LB8867_HiLite_Chromakey_Background.html


cwebster wrote:
I've never seen a green-screen setup that worked well unless it was lit separately from the subject. If you're just getting started, I advise avoiding green screen like the plague.


If you click the above link, you'll see that it's actually for the Lastolite HiLite Illuminated White Background (6 x 7'), an internally-lit BG. (I don't know why the B&H link calls it a "Chromakey_Background.")



Jan 19, 2013 at 09:57 PM





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