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Group photo with umbrella
  
 
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Group photo with umbrella




You can see the whole setup in the photo so no need to explain. 50mm, f8 ISO 200. Some of the faces are lit well but some are not. So my main question is what would a better light positioning be?



Apr 11, 2017 at 11:53 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Group photo with umbrella


You need some basic lighting instruction. Don't really know where to start, but basically you need to move your light source back further so it's not so harsh on the subjects closer to it and not enough on the back row. It looks like your umbrella is pretty large, so don't know why it appears to be so harsh, if it has a removable cover, you could remove it and shoot through it for softer light. Do you have it angled down to the floor or is it pointed at the people?


Apr 12, 2017 at 12:40 AM
fplstudio
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Group photo with umbrella


You have too quick light fall off, subjects in the first raw are overexposed. You need to move your light back and closer to the camera axis. The choise of the background doesn't help.


Apr 12, 2017 at 01:06 AM
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Group photo with umbrella


It's a 64" PLM. Can the harshness be because of the Steaklight? (This was discussed in detail in another thread.) It was pointed to the front row and almost feathered to the back row.
Isn't that the further the light is from the subect the smaller it gets and so the harsher contrast?



Apr 12, 2017 at 01:06 AM
tonyespofoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Group photo with umbrella


First, you need to back your light source away from the group so that the difference in distance of the back row vs the front row isn't so great. Next, you need a fill light. The fill light should be close to the lens axis, either directly above the camera (usually behind the camera as well),or next to the lens on the opposite side of thw lens as the main light. The lighting ratio should be 1:3, or something close to that. That means that the main light is twice as bright as the fill light. Lastly, move the main light closer to the camera. The lighting won't be quite so dramatic, but will generally be pleasing to all the subjects. The shadows in your photo are very hard edged for such a large light source and not being able to actually see your lighting, I can't explain that, but it looks as if your flash was pointed at the subjects instead of into the umbrella. More diffusion, either in the form of shoot-through umbrella or an umbrella cover(turning your umbrella into a softbox) would give much better results. Lastly, feathering your main light source towards the person furthest to the left of the camera generally will smooth out the exposure and the lighting.


Apr 12, 2017 at 01:30 AM
tonyespofoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Group photo with umbrella


I couldn't figure out what you meant by Steaklight. I'm guessing that you meant Streaklight. If so, then I will guess that you did not use the reflector and instead lit your subjects with a bare flash tube. Your umbrella played virtually no part in this. Your results would have been much improved if you had used the flash reflector and pointed it into the umbrella.


Apr 12, 2017 at 01:49 AM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Group photo with umbrella


pixlepeeper wrote:
It's a 64" PLM. Can the harshness be because of the Steaklight? (This was discussed in detail in another thread.) It was pointed to the front row and almost feathered to the back row.
Isn't that the further the light is from the subect the smaller it gets and so the harsher contrast?


They're talking about light falloff as a result of the inverse-square law; when the light is close, the front row will be considerably brighter than the back row. Moving the light further back would reduce the falloff, and therefore more evenly illuminate the front & back rows.

Unlike a shoot-thru umbrella, the PLM produces fairly directional light. The PLM can definitely work for groups, but it needs to be closer to the camera axis in order to more evenly illuminate the entire group. As previously stated, the background in this image would be a PITA.

With respect to using a PLM for a group shot, you want to move light in/out until the interior surface of the PLM is entirely illuminated. If the light is moved too far inside, only part of the interior surface will be illuminated. This would essentially make a 64" PLM behave like a smaller PLM. Hope that makes sense.



Apr 12, 2017 at 01:51 AM
 

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pixlepeeper
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Group photo with umbrella


tonyespofoto wrote:
I couldn't figure out what you meant by Steaklight. I'm guessing that you meant Streaklight. If so, then I will guess that you did not use the reflector and instead lit your subjects with a bare flash tube. Your umbrella played virtually no part in this. Your results would have been much improved if you had used the flash reflector and pointed it into the umbrella.


Ah I feel so stupid now!



Apr 12, 2017 at 12:16 PM
sidd
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Group photo with umbrella


All of the comments above are valid.
Also, looking at the shadow of the umrella, looks like your flash was mounted way deep inside the umrella - that way it might not have used the entire area of the umbrella to reflect light. So, essentially, even you had a big umbrella, only a small center portion was used to reflect light back - hence making the modified seem much smaller.

In a nutshell:
- Move the umbrella way back from the group so that the light distribution is even across the people in the group.
- Use the reflector that comes with the flash, and mount the flash towards the end of the umbrella shaft - take a few test shots of the umbrella to make sure most of the umbrella is illuminated.
- Add a on-axis fill light of some sort.



Apr 12, 2017 at 09:02 PM
tonyespofoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Group photo with umbrella


just a few comments here. Portait photography and group photography are a matter of taste, so these comments represent my opinion and taste, so please take them with a grain of salt. They are certainly not gospel. If I have only one light source and need to light a group, then the best position for that light source is above and directly behind the camera. This will make all shadows fall below and behind the subjects. If the light is too high, you will 'beard' the subjects, that is the shadows falling beneath the chins will appear like beards, which is generally considered unattractive for female subjects. If there is a reflector of some sort available, such as a light colored wall close to the group, the light can be moved off the lens axis. The reflector will act like a fill light. If you have 2 lights available, one light can be the main light, off the lens axis, but not too far off, and the fill light can be either above and directly behind the camera or on the opposite side of the lens from the main light and as close to the lens as possible. The main light should be twice as bright as the fill light, otherwise known as a 1:3 lighting ratio. These arrangements will work regardless of whether the light source(s) is small or large, but large is better, much better. These comments imply that you are trying to produce a good quality saleable image, not that you are trying for some special effect. Lastly, look for a simple background that is not distracting, usually, the plainer the better. Try to avoid things that reflect, like windows or glass covered artwork. One important advantage of large studio-type light sources is that most of them have modeling lights, so you can evaluate your lighting before actually taking the photo. For someone beginning to learn lighting, I think this is an important advantage.


Apr 13, 2017 at 02:00 PM
kaplah
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Group photo with umbrella


pixlepeeper wrote:

http://retzart.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/group.jpg
Some of the faces are lit well but some are not. So my main question is what would a better light positioning be?


1) practice at home, not on a group expecting a good image, which is what this looks like
2) slow your shutter speed to bring in more ambient. The ratio is too high to me - you have lost significant detail in the shadows, especially on camera left.
3) the generic positioning for a single light source on a group shot is centred above your camera, high enough to get shadows off of the second row.

You can search as well as I can, but here's a start: https://strobist.blogspot.ca/2007/05/on-assignment-two-speedlight-group-shot.html

And, as others have mentions, you need a reflector:
https://www.adorama.com/fpbdhusl.html






Apr 13, 2017 at 07:43 PM
Oscarsmadness
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Group photo with umbrella


If you must use the umbrella, I'd set up a shoot umbrella the way that the others have already described. Otherwise, I'd be more content to bounce off ceiling, walls, or a big piece or two of white foamcore.

Worst travesty is your light and umbrella setup is visible via reflection off the background... that's almost worse than the bad setup itself.



Apr 17, 2017 at 06:32 PM
Oscarsmadness
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Group photo with umbrella


Good news is, you now know how to get a beauty dish look when all you have is an umbrella. Because that's what you're getting in this photo.


Apr 17, 2017 at 06:36 PM







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