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Archive 2013 · First time using my strobes and background.
  
 
Mgotcher
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · First time using my strobes and background.


I am just getting into using a studio setup. The 580ex II and the AB1600 is need for me but I have been using the 430ex II on and off camera for quiet some time. Also, this is my first time using my new background set. It was so much fun. I used some of my kids (5 of 8 mof my kids) and my mother-in-law as guinea pigs. They were great. I sure learned more about lighting and angles of view. I ended up using the ladder because i did not put the background stands high enough or wide enough. I also did a few self portraits. C&C is always welcome.

Equipment used is Gary Fong diffusers (and the Powersnoot with grid) on both Canon flashes, Silver umbrella on the AB1600, EF 50mm 1.4 and EF 16-35 2.8L II and 5D mark III. The 580ex II is on the left as fill light and the 430ex II is behind the subjects for background lighting.





The setup

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    16mm    f/7.1    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/8.0    1/200s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    31mm    f/10.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    29mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    27mm    f/10.0    1/200s    50 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 22, 2013 at 05:16 AM
Mgotcher
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · First time using my strobes and background.


Oops. 7 of my 8 kids are in the picture. Sorry, miss counted.


Jan 22, 2013 at 05:42 AM
novicesnapper
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · First time using my strobes and background.


Great session. I laughed when I saw all the kids and their expressions, nice lol. One thing you might need is a steamer, to help take the wrinkles out of the background. It doesn't have to be expensive. I picked one up awhile back for $30 bucks, free shipping UPS right to my door. Works great. Keep up the good work!


Jan 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Mgotcher
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · First time using my strobes and background.


novicesnapper wrote:
Great session. I laughed when I saw all the kids and their expressions, nice lol. One thing you might need is a steamer, to help take the wrinkles out of the background. It doesn't have to be expensive. I picked one up awhile back for $30 bucks, free shipping UPS right to my door. Works great. Keep up the good work!

Thank you for your encouragement and for the advice. I will get a steamer.



Jan 22, 2013 at 02:34 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · First time using my strobes and background.



8 kids, huh? Maybe you're Lisa Holloway's brother?

You're off to a great start. Like snapper said, pick up a steamer and take care of those folds. Then, you need to get some clamps and strap the background tightly against the stands so you don't have those long, lazy curling wrinkles from the material hanging loosely.

Get the lights up closer to your subjects, particularly when you're shooting a single subject. When you have a group like that, then you need a wider spread of light. Really like the fun shots you got, but the solo shot of your daughter, the main light is a bit hotter than I normally like it, creating the harsh contrast. I love the shot of your wife, as well as your self-portrait. First time out, and you've got some keepers! Nice job!



Jan 22, 2013 at 03:46 PM
fgransee
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · First time using my strobes and background.


I would suggest to shoot these photos with a larger aperture (e.g. f/4) and move the group or individuals as far away from the background as possible. Looks like you gave priority to the shutter speed. If you'd have white sheets I would use them to cover up the structures on the left and right so you can use them for diffuse reflections. Maybe you could install hooks on the ceiling so you can quickly hang them up then needed - or come up with a curtain structure that you can zip in from the back of the garage.


Jan 22, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Mgotcher
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · First time using my strobes and background.


friscoron wrote:
8 kids, huh? Maybe you're Lisa Holloway's brother?

You're off to a great start. Like snapper said, pick up a steamer and take care of those folds. Then, you need to get some clamps and strap the background tightly against the stands so you don't have those long, lazy curling wrinkles from the material hanging loosely.

Get the lights up closer to your subjects, particularly when you're shooting a single subject. When you have a group like that, then you need a wider spread of light. Really like the fun shots you got, but the solo shot of your daughter,
...Show more

Thank you so much for the advice. Your help is greatly appreciated. I do have one of those cheap steamers and more clamps so I will use them. I did not think about steaming the background.




Jan 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Mgotcher
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · First time using my strobes and background.


fgransee wrote:
I would suggest to shoot these photos with a larger aperture (e.g. f/4) and move the group or individuals as far away from the background as possible. Looks like you gave priority to the shutter speed. If you'd have white sheets I would use them to cover up the structures on the left and right so you can use them for diffuse reflections. Maybe you could install hooks on the ceiling so you can quickly hang them up then needed - or come up with a curtain structure that you can zip in from the back of the garage.


Do you use a large aperture and move the subject(s) away from the background for isolation or to get more exposure or both?
The hooks to hang up white sheets on the sides are a great ideas. Thank you so much.



Jan 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM
jomazo
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · First time using my strobes and background.


8 kids, huh? Maybe you're Lisa Holloway's brother?


Ha! lol



Jan 23, 2013 at 01:27 PM
 



fgransee
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · First time using my strobes and background.


Mgotcher wrote:
Do you use a large aperture and move the subject(s) away from the background for isolation or to get more exposure or both?
The hooks to hang up white sheets on the sides are a great ideas. Thank you so much.


No, I just suggested that so you can obtain a DOF that blurs the background enough that one does not notice the texture or wrinkles in the material you use. In general it is desirable (more or less) to separate the background from the subjects, I think.



Jan 23, 2013 at 02:32 PM
ESC in KC
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · First time using my strobes and background.


I think if you have semi-serious intentions of shooting on solid backgrounds getting seamless paper is the way to go. About $50 for a 9' wide roll and it can be used over and over again without ironing.

A decent kit - stands with crossbars and one paper roll can be had for less than $175 and the resulting look is so much better. No transition from floor to backdrop if you have the room to arch it a bit.

With a black paper, you can add color tones with gels. With a white paper, you can have a huge range of dark to all white, and can get nice brightness gradients if you grid your lights. Separating the subjects from the backdrop is pretty easy.

I also like seamless paper over cloth also because in group shots, if stop down to try and blur the background you can lose critical focus on members of the group.

Here is a sample of my basement setup. The position of the key and fill lights changes:






And here are some sample shots from all black and all white backgrounds:

Black seamless with blue gel on the flash:






White seamless with grid on flash to create gradient, low power:






White seamless high power (multiple strobes):






Hope this is helpful as you think about how to get your studio optimized.



Jan 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM
pokemanyz
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · First time using my strobes and background.


Thanks for sharing that ESC in KC. Nice setup and works great too.


Jan 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM
danlona
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · First time using my strobes and background.


ESC what is that on the floor is it acrylic?

Danny



Jan 24, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · First time using my strobes and background.


White tile board from Home Depot will give you this reflection.


Jan 24, 2013 at 12:33 AM
ESC in KC
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · First time using my strobes and background.


Steve Wylie wrote:
White tile board from Home Depot will give you this reflection.


Yep - what he said is correct. It was about $11 if I remember correctly, and I cut it into a few pieces to manage it more easily.



Jan 24, 2013 at 12:37 AM
danlona
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · First time using my strobes and background.


Thanks

Danny



Jan 24, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Mgotcher
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · First time using my strobes and background.


ESC in KC wrote:
I think if you have semi-serious intentions of shooting on solid backgrounds getting seamless paper is the way to go. About $50 for a 9' wide roll and it can be used over and over again without ironing.

A decent kit - stands with crossbars and one paper roll can be had for less than $175 and the resulting look is so much better. No transition from floor to backdrop if you have the room to arch it a bit.

With a black paper, you can add color tones with gels. With a white paper, you can have
...Show more
Wow! That really helps. Thank you so much.



Jan 24, 2013 at 03:45 AM





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