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Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end
  
 
TwoKooL
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p.1 #1 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


No, not the world at Orlando!!!

... but I will have 52 local teams (with an average 16 members per team) at a low level competition this week-end and I want to do team shots like I did last year since I got a considerable amount of sell.

I want to upgrade my lighting setup and I thought of the one posted below.







It consists of 3x Alien Bees 800. Two (2) of them on each camera side and one (1) above camera. Two (2) speed lights in the back to seperate back row from background and finally a large white drape on the floor to reflect the large octobox.

Since I can't test this setup with my family (only 3 people), I thought I'd ask the FM members their opinions.

Here is a shot of last year with only two alien bees 800 at 30 angle. The light was too low and therefore noisy when boosting exposure in LR or PS.







If someone had a similar experience in the past and would like to share, he is more than welcome.

Cheers!
-yan



Apr 25, 2013 at 01:24 AM
John Patrick
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p.1 #2 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


I'd shoot something like this size with one or two AB800s without any exposure issues. f/8, ISO100, shutter around 1/200th or so and adjust strobe power to give you the exposure needed.

24" boxes may give too tight of a pattern; I normally used bounce umbrellas for something like this. I've done 100-person teams (5 rows of 20) with two AB800s.

You need to get the strobes up higher to reduce the shadows (see back row, left).

John



Apr 25, 2013 at 01:38 AM
James Broome
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p.1 #3 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


Wow. That's a pretty bad example. As John mentioned, the light stands are too low. Raise them up to eliminate funky shadows. Second, the falloff is real nasty. First row is exposed pretty well, but the amount of light falling on subsequent rows just decreases too fast. That last row is severely underexposed. Lastly, either get some light on the background or place a kicker behind the groups to provide separation between the subjects and their background. There is absolutely no definition between the back row hair and the background itself.

Solution - move the lights higher and maybe back further. Also provide a light either on the backdrop or as a hair light.



Apr 25, 2013 at 02:59 PM
TwoKooL
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p.1 #4 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


Thank you John for the comment. Would it be preferable to have large umbrellas?

John Patrick wrote:
I'd shoot something like this size with one or two AB800s without any exposure issues. f/8, ISO100, shutter around 1/200th or so and adjust strobe power to give you the exposure needed.

24" boxes may give too tight of a pattern; I normally used bounce umbrellas for something like this. I've done 100-person teams (5 rows of 20) with two AB800s.

You need to get the strobes up higher to reduce the shadows (see back row, left).

John




Apr 25, 2013 at 04:27 PM
P Alesse
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p.1 #5 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


I'm trying to figure out why the two ABs didn't produce more light for you. Even if you shot at like ISO 400, there should have been plenty of light to expose properly, albeit, shadows aside. The black BG sucks up quite a bit of light, but still. This looks like on-camera flash.

Aside of what everyone has suggested, be conscious of blocked heads. Raised lightstands or low lightstands doesn't matter... a blocked head is a blocked head.



Apr 25, 2013 at 04:32 PM
 

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sic0048
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p.1 #6 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


P Alesse wrote:
I'm trying to figure out why the two ABs didn't produce more light for you. Even if you shot at like ISO 400, there should have been plenty of light to expose properly, albeit, shadows aside. The black BG sucks up quite a bit of light, but still. This looks like on-camera flash.

Aside of what everyone has suggested, be conscious of blocked heads. Raised lightstands or low lightstands doesn't matter... a blocked head is a blocked head.


I'm not sure it was a issue of light power. The front couple of rows look well exposed. As already mentioned, it was the light fall off that caused the farther rows to be darker. The way to compensate for this fall off is to move the lights farther away from the subject and the adjust (raise) the power until you get good exposures again. The light will be slightly harder, but more even across the front to back.

Back to the OPs diagram - I think 5' is still too low to place the side ABs. I would get them up higher and then angle them down slightly - trying to match the angle that the different rows of faces creates. This will also help even the light fall off a little.



Apr 25, 2013 at 05:03 PM
TwoKooL
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p.1 #7 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


This is what I will try to do. Last year, I didn't have too much of space for group shots (which is why I had the lights close to the group) and never did that kind of shooting either before. I will move the team further from the background to make sure it's pure black, put kickers behind group to separate them from the back, I will move the light further from the team and raise the power of the lights. I'm not sure how to avoid the blocked faces.

sic0048 wrote:
I'm not sure it was a issue of light power. The front couple of rows look well exposed. As already mentioned, it was the light fall off that caused the farther rows to be darker. The way to compensate for this fall off is to move the lights farther away from the subject and the adjust (raise) the power until you get good exposures again. The light will be slightly harder, but more even across the front to back.




Apr 25, 2013 at 05:12 PM
FotoMikeT
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p.1 #8 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


I shoot a lot of team photos and I use beauty dishes. They are better for this type of work and you will get more light out of them.


Apr 25, 2013 at 05:38 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #9 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


Would a couple of 23-inch beauty dishes provide enough light wide enough for a group like this, as opposed to two 24x60-inch softboxes? Seems like the wider softboxes would provide a wider cast of light.


Apr 26, 2013 at 09:56 PM
david1234
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p.1 #10 · Cheerleading competition this upcoming week-end


Here something i shot last year, was really a run and gun setup, really cold night only had 10 mins to setup and shoot, this is what i got... setup was 2 softboxes camera right and left (ab800 in a 30/60 softbox) and 2 yongnuo speedlites bare as hair light. funny enough this shot my flash on the left did not go off, surprisingly the right threw off a lot of light. If it was today i would have shot it a little different, but it worked well enough for me.

Just practice! id recommend some type of rim or hair light, really helps separate the subjects from the background whether that be black or white backgrounds and of course outside. get your flashes more to the left and right of the subjects, they do not always have to be directly infront of them, below is your diagram, but i made some changes on what i think would probably look better! if you could get one more flash for the rim/hair, does not necessary need a big softbox, but consistency between the two hair lights is always choice. And if you did get another octabox, id use the 2 octas as the main and the softboxes as rim/hair light! cheers!






Apr 27, 2013 at 08:36 AM





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