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Archive 2013 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella
  
 
canon.eos30d
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


Hi,

I am new to the Canon Speedlite and I have a question to ask for your help.
How do I avoid the hot spot on the face (especially the nose tip) when I use the Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella as main light?

Thanks a bunch,

Tam



Mar 08, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


David Ziser a very top rated Wedding/Portrait photographer HAFB Westcott make a umbrella for speedlites called the zumbrella. I got mine from David at one of his seminars. I'm thinking of getting another one or two so. They are made with a more translucent fabric which allows more of the light the penetrate plus it is a convertible umbrella. I co have other umbrellas I've two Photoflex convertibles and two shoot thrus. I use a softbox or beauty dish more. I bought a eBay 3 or 4 foot octa box I really like except for setup tear down.my next is going to be a Apollo octa for a couple of reasons the main two are it sets up like an umbrella and the lights mount inside it so I can use more than one Speedlite depending on my mount I have a Tri flash mount for times when I need more than one Speedlite either for recycling times or out put power each additional Speedlite adds a stop of power.


Mar 09, 2013 at 08:45 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


canon.eos30d wrote:
...How do I avoid the hot spot on the face (especially the nose tip) when I use the Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella as main light?


As with any light, the Inverse Square Law comes into play with respect to fall-off. If the light is very close to the subject, the difference in intensity between the closest part of the subject's face (like the nose) and the furthest part (like the ears) will be greater than if the light is further away.

So, one way to avoid the hot spot you mention is to use a longer lens and shoot from further away. That would apply to on-camera flash.

Another way is to use off-camera flash and move the light further away. Since you mention a shoot-through umbrella I assume that you're using off-camera flash.

Yet another way is to make a reducer that you can add to the umbrella's center to cut down the intensity in the center of the light pattern. One or two layers of diffusion fabric should work well.

The final option is to skip the umbrella all together, and go for a beauty dish; they come with a hot-spot reducer already installed. There are versions specifically designed for flash guns, or you can get flash mounts for regular beauty dishes.

I use a flash-gun model, the 20-inch RPS Studio BeautiDish (note the spelling) which I believe is no longer being made, but Adorama still has some in stock:

http://www.adorama.com/RPSBDK20.html

Here are some pictures of mine:














Mar 09, 2013 at 03:05 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


The RPS Studio BeautiDish comes with two deflectors, an opaque metallic one and a translucent plastic one, allowing a choice of the degree of reduction.

It also comes with a diffusion sock to increase the light spread, similar to a shoot-through umbrella, but not as wide.

Here you can see the translucent deflector and the sock on my 12-inch BeautiDish that I use as a hair light or accent light.














Mar 09, 2013 at 03:19 PM
 

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canon.eos30d
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


Thanks everyone for great tips.
Brian, I really like your setup. I would get one too.

- Tam



Mar 09, 2013 at 09:43 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


Hot shiny spots on skin are "specular" or mirror-like reflections of the light source. Their root cause is skin which is naturally oily or oily due to make-up or skin products. An oily face in natural light will have similar reflections in the same places. They will be noticed more on darker complexions vs. lighter because they contrast more against darker skin.

Specular refections are seen when the angle of the light and surface it hits reflects the image of the source into the camera along the lens axis. Angle of reflection = Angle of Incidence. They occur on the rounded areas of the face because on a curved surface there is usually some part of the curve that matches the angle to the light.

Below is a comparison of two kids shot minutes apart: the boy with speedlights with 8" DIY diffusers and the girl with studio lights.







Note the harsher specular refections on the nose and forehead of the girl. The kids were house guests who had been out in the sun sightseeing all day I just grabbed for some "snap" shots. The boy had washed his face when arriving (thus less oil and specular reflections) but the girl wearing make-up didn't.

So a larger modifier will not eliminate the problem if the subject's skin is slick and mirror-like, it will just make the reflections from the source larger. The better solution it to get rid of the shine on the face. In make-up sections at stores like Target you will find a product called "Clean and Clear Strips". They are small mylar sheets covered with Kaolin (fine clay) which acts like a blotter to absorb oil, even though make-up.

Specular hot spots which can't be eliminated at the source (making the skin less oily and shiny) or with lighting strategy (larger more even modifiers) can be eliminated in post production by use of the clone tool in "darken" mode sampled from a nearby area of skin without any reflections.



Mar 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM
canon.eos30d
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Need Help with Canon Speedlite and shoot-thru umbrella


cgardner wrote:
Hot shiny spots on skin are "specular" or mirror-like reflections of the light source. Their root cause is skin which is naturally oily or oily due to make-up or skin products. An oily face in natural light will have similar reflections in the same places. They will be noticed more on darker complexions vs. lighter because they contrast more against darker skin.

Specular refections are seen when the angle of the light and surface it hits reflects the image of the source into the camera along the lens axis. Angle of reflection = Angle of Incidence. They occur on the rounded
...Show more

Wow, thank you very much. This is such a wonderful information to learn. I really appreciate your time and great tips.

- Tam



Mar 11, 2013 at 03:03 AM





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