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Portrait lighting question ...

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Anonymous
July 24, 2005 11:55:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Thanks everyone for your comments on my first portrait attempt.

Since then I popped into my local hardware store and picked up a couple of
tripods with twin 500 watt halogens mounted on each - so 2000 watts of light
in total.

Trying them out I sat the kids on the couch (at "11 O'Clock and 1 O'Clock
positions") and setup the lights at "4 O'Clock and 8 O'Clock positions"
(about 2.5m away from my subjects)

I kept my trusty 420EX switched on for "fill in" purposes.

I was a little surprised that inspite of 2000W of light beamed upon my
subjects, and camera set at F5.6, 1/15th sec was still required for correct
exposure - I was anticipating needing something much faster, so that was my
first surprise.

2nd surprise is that each set of lights is projecting a shadow behind their
heads onto the wall - can anyone give me a few pointers as to what to do
about it?

I fired off a few bursts to the point where my 420EX couldn't cycle fast
enough which gave me the unintended opportunity to compare the lighting with
and without the fill in flash - to my surprise the shots without the fill in
flash were considerably darker, and of course had more shadow - so to
eliminate the shadow it's occured to me that the fill in flash needs to be
strong enough to obliterate the shadow of the halogens, but not sure if I'm
on the right track or not. Other possibilities I've thought of are getting
some kind of diffuser for the lights - or positioning them more in front of
the subjects - or try for the complete opposite and try to bounce it off
some reflective walls.

Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 11:55:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cockpit Colin wrote:
> Thanks everyone for your comments on my first portrait attempt.
>
> Since then I popped into my local hardware store and picked up a couple of
> tripods with twin 500 watt halogens mounted on each - so 2000 watts of light
> in total.
>
> Trying them out I sat the kids on the couch (at "11 O'Clock and 1 O'Clock
> positions") and setup the lights at "4 O'Clock and 8 O'Clock positions"
> (about 2.5m away from my subjects)
>
> I kept my trusty 420EX switched on for "fill in" purposes.
>
> I was a little surprised that inspite of 2000W of light beamed upon my
> subjects, and camera set at F5.6, 1/15th sec was still required for correct
> exposure - I was anticipating needing something much faster, so that was my
> first surprise.
>
> 2nd surprise is that each set of lights is projecting a shadow behind their
> heads onto the wall - can anyone give me a few pointers as to what to do
> about it?
>
> I fired off a few bursts to the point where my 420EX couldn't cycle fast
> enough which gave me the unintended opportunity to compare the lighting with
> and without the fill in flash - to my surprise the shots without the fill in
> flash were considerably darker, and of course had more shadow - so to
> eliminate the shadow it's occured to me that the fill in flash needs to be
> strong enough to obliterate the shadow of the halogens, but not sure if I'm
> on the right track or not. Other possibilities I've thought of are getting
> some kind of diffuser for the lights - or positioning them more in front of
> the subjects - or try for the complete opposite and try to bounce it off
> some reflective walls.
>
> Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?

As a start, how are your lights positioned?

For one thing, it sounds like the light is scattering and possibly hot
spotting, too. 2000 watts should be enough, especially if there's other
room lighting. Diffusion is nice as it reduces glare in the photo, but
it also reduces light transmission.

Bursts? Is this a camera or a machine gun?

If you've ever checked out a pro portrait set-up, you'll note there's a
low level light behind the subject that is pointed at the backdrop. It
is closer to the shadows, thus not as strong as the main lights.

Try: http://www.dvformat.com/2002/10_oct/tutorials/lighting1...
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 11:55:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cockpit Colin wrote:
> Thanks everyone for your comments on my first portrait attempt.
>
> Since then I popped into my local hardware store and picked up a couple of
> tripods with twin 500 watt halogens mounted on each - so 2000 watts of light
> in total.
>
> Trying them out I sat the kids on the couch (at "11 O'Clock and 1 O'Clock
> positions") and setup the lights at "4 O'Clock and 8 O'Clock positions"
> (about 2.5m away from my subjects)
>
> I kept my trusty 420EX switched on for "fill in" purposes.
>
> I was a little surprised that inspite of 2000W of light beamed upon my
> subjects, and camera set at F5.6, 1/15th sec was still required for correct
> exposure - I was anticipating needing something much faster, so that was my
> first surprise.
>
> 2nd surprise is that each set of lights is projecting a shadow behind their
> heads onto the wall - can anyone give me a few pointers as to what to do
> about it?
>
> I fired off a few bursts to the point where my 420EX couldn't cycle fast
> enough which gave me the unintended opportunity to compare the lighting with
> and without the fill in flash - to my surprise the shots without the fill in
> flash were considerably darker, and of course had more shadow - so to
> eliminate the shadow it's occured to me that the fill in flash needs to be
> strong enough to obliterate the shadow of the halogens, but not sure if I'm
> on the right track or not. Other possibilities I've thought of are getting
> some kind of diffuser for the lights - or positioning them more in front of
> the subjects - or try for the complete opposite and try to bounce it off
> some reflective walls.
>
> Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?
>
>
>

Who ever told you to buy work lights for portraits?
The colour is off for starters and not easily corrected unless you buy
globes with specific Kelvin rating. Your flash is 5500 Kelvin but the
work lights will most definitely not be within a compatible range.
You'll get shadows of different colours if you try to fill flash with
the work lights.

I guess it's too late now but simple flash mounted "soft box" with a
slave flash behind the subject would do much better.


--
Douglas,
Zero care factor for negative responses
from anonymous posters.
Related resources
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 11:55:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cockpit Colin wrote:
> "Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:1122193396.135704.77480@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
> > As a start, how are your lights positioned?
>
> Other than how I described them in my OP, how do you mean?

>From the OP, once I translated the fighter pilot's positioning, they
seem OK as to side-side spacing, but what about height and distance
apart for the lights.
>
> > For one thing, it sounds like the light is scattering and possibly hot
> > spotting, too. 2000 watts should be enough, especially if there's other
> > room lighting. Diffusion is nice as it reduces glare in the photo, but
> > it also reduces light transmission.
>
> I tried a few experiments and I think that a diffuser will make a big
> difference - I think I'll manufacture a bracket to hold something in front
> of the halogens

You will lose an f stop or two, but diffusers are great for portraits.
Lose the flash. You probably don't need it, and it screws up your white
balance--does your camera give a custom white balance setting? I don't
recall if there's an easy way to attach it, but a heat resistant white
shoot-through umbrella works nicely. Make sure it is heat resistant.
Halogens are murderously hot...something else to consider if you're
shooting youngsters.

>
> > Bursts? Is this a camera or a machine gun?
>
> My apologies - what's the correct terminology?

It ain't the terminology, it's the technique. Why fire bursts? Shoot a
pic and check it out. Change the light position or intensity slightly,
and try again.
>
> > If you've ever checked out a pro portrait set-up, you'll note there's a
> > low level light behind the subject that is pointed at the backdrop. It
> > is closer to the shadows, thus not as strong as the main lights.
>
> Great idea - I'll have a think as to how I can impliment one

Put a light behind the subject, preferably a light with a color that
matches the halogens...one of the floor mount 15 buck halogens? Point
it at one edge of the backdrop. Position subject and main lights.
Shoot. Check. Reposition the background light to the center. Shoot
again. Check. Reposition to the right. Shoot again. Check. Then repeat
those settings with slightly different settings of your main lights.

Stop when you're most satisfied with the effect, and MAKE NOTE of all
settings. Actually, make note of all settings that even come close to
providing satisfaction.

There is no need for firing bursts. Shoot two or three pics at each
light setting, at different apertures, a stop high, on the money, a
stop low. See how that works.
July 24, 2005 11:55:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <1122213362.791074.188280@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
charliediy@aol.com says...
> Put a light behind the subject, preferably a light with a color that
> matches the halogens...one of the floor mount 15 buck halogens? Point
> it at one edge of the backdrop. Position subject and main lights.
> Shoot. Check. Reposition the background light to the center. Shoot
> again. Check. Reposition to the right. Shoot again. Check. Then repeat
> those settings with slightly different settings of your main lights.
>
> Stop when you're most satisfied with the effect, and MAKE NOTE of all
> settings. Actually, make note of all settings that even come close to
> providing satisfaction.
>
> There is no need for firing bursts. Shoot two or three pics at each
> light setting, at different apertures, a stop high, on the money, a
> stop low. See how that works.
>
>
>

I use halogens (2000 or 4000 watts total from 4 lamps depending on what I
need) but I only light the background with it.


The halogens are behind, and to the left and right of the subject, aimed
(through blue filters) at the background. They are only on for 30 seconds to
a minute, then they are off, so the heat wont build up in the area.

With up to 4000 watts lighting the background, a right and left side 200 watt
second slaves firing through white umbrellas, and the main flash near the
camera, I dont have too much problem with shadows, only with heat if I
neglect to step on the footswitch that controls the halogens.

Total cost for this lighting setup is under $200 (the 200 watt second slaves
were about $60 each with the umbrellas)

Now this arangement will throw off the color balance of the background, but
if the main flash is aimed properly the subject will be properly lit.

The only time this has been a problem was when shooting infront of "The
Flag".. The ole' Red White and Blue was "magenta, light bkue, and dark blue"
but that was fixed by not using the halogens.

If you dont use an easily recognizable background (I like soft pastel solid
colors) it doesnt matter if they have a color cast, as long as the subject
doesnt.



I have used Halogen as the ONLY light for a shoot, because I got talked into
some indoor shooting when I didn't plan on it.. Shooting raw helped, but I
didn't like the results (the customer was happy, I wasnt).


--
Larry Lynch
Mystic, Ct.
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 1:37:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1122193396.135704.77480@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> As a start, how are your lights positioned?

Other than how I described them in my OP, how do you mean?

> For one thing, it sounds like the light is scattering and possibly hot
> spotting, too. 2000 watts should be enough, especially if there's other
> room lighting. Diffusion is nice as it reduces glare in the photo, but
> it also reduces light transmission.

I tried a few experiments and I think that a diffuser will make a big
difference - I think I'll manufacture a bracket to hold something in front
of the halogens

> Bursts? Is this a camera or a machine gun?

My apologies - what's the correct terminology?

> If you've ever checked out a pro portrait set-up, you'll note there's a
> low level light behind the subject that is pointed at the backdrop. It
> is closer to the shadows, thus not as strong as the main lights.

Great idea - I'll have a think as to how I can impliment one
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 2:51:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

> Who ever told you to buy work lights for portraits?

I think it was my bank manager.

> The colour is off for starters and not easily corrected unless you buy
> globes with specific Kelvin rating. Your flash is 5500 Kelvin but the work
> lights will most definitely not be within a compatible range. You'll get
> shadows of different colours if you try to fill flash with the work
> lights.

I'm sure it's not something a professional photographer would use, but from
the experiments I've done so far they're working just great.

> I guess it's too late now but simple flash mounted "soft box" with a slave
> flash behind the subject would do much better.

I'll probably invest in something like a 580EX and some slaves in the next
few months.
July 25, 2005 3:46:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <HPHEe.3043$PL5.301209@news.xtra.co.nz>, spam@nospam.com says...
>
>Thanks everyone for your comments on my first portrait attempt.
>
>Since then I popped into my local hardware store and picked up a couple of
>tripods with twin 500 watt halogens mounted on each - so 2000 watts of light
>in total.
>
>Trying them out I sat the kids on the couch (at "11 O'Clock and 1 O'Clock
>positions") and setup the lights at "4 O'Clock and 8 O'Clock positions"
>(about 2.5m away from my subjects)
>
>I kept my trusty 420EX switched on for "fill in" purposes.
>
>I was a little surprised that inspite of 2000W of light beamed upon my
>subjects, and camera set at F5.6, 1/15th sec was still required for correct
>exposure - I was anticipating needing something much faster, so that was my
>first surprise.
>
>2nd surprise is that each set of lights is projecting a shadow behind their
>heads onto the wall - can anyone give me a few pointers as to what to do
>about it?
>
>I fired off a few bursts to the point where my 420EX couldn't cycle fast
>enough which gave me the unintended opportunity to compare the lighting with
>and without the fill in flash - to my surprise the shots without the fill in
>flash were considerably darker, and of course had more shadow - so to
>eliminate the shadow it's occured to me that the fill in flash needs to be
>strong enough to obliterate the shadow of the halogens, but not sure if I'm
>on the right track or not. Other possibilities I've thought of are getting
>some kind of diffuser for the lights - or positioning them more in front of
>the subjects - or try for the complete opposite and try to bounce it off
>some reflective walls.
>
>Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?

As has been stated by others, you'll need to set the WB for the work lights.
Pick up a Kodak (or similar) grey card and balance it. Use this card for
setting your exposure also, and I'd suggest shooting in M (manual) mode, once
you've established the proper exposure. Loose the on-camera strobe. One
problem that you face with it is that the camera's exposure system thinks it
will provide most of the light, and, as you found out, if it doesn't recycle
fast enough, you get underexposure.

Your wattage should give you more than enough light to expose at much higher
shutter speed. I've done some shots with diffused 420W single-insturment souce
and a white fill card at 1/125, f/5.6 with ISO 200. You have plenty of light.

As for the shadows, build a frame and get some Herculene or other drafting
media to mount on the frame. Keep it out from the light for two reasons: the
farther from the source, the softer it will be, and heat. They are not called
"hot lights" for nothing. Raise the lights, so any shadows fall below the
subjects, and use a white fill card from below, to fill eye sockets, below the
jawline, etc.

Lowell also makes diffusion material holders that clamp onto their lamps and
hold the media out from it. Unfortunately, you may have to kluge up an
attachment, but then Lowell also offers lightstand toppers, that allow much of
the Lowell hardware mount when the proper attachments don't exist - caveat,
Lowell hardware is expensive, but should be available at a larger photo store,
or a cine supply house.

One good thing about hot lights is that you can shoot as fast as your camera
can work. The bad things are: they are HOT LIGHTS, draw a bunch of power, and
will not freeze moving subjects.

Also, for more pleasing portraiture, vary the distance of the two lights from
your subject(s), so that you get modeling in the relief of the faces. Rely on
the inverse-square law for the ratio of your lighting - it'll be close enough.

Hunt
July 25, 2005 3:48:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cockpit Colin wrote:

>>Who ever told you to buy work lights for portraits?
>
>
> I think it was my bank manager.
>
>
>>The colour is off for starters and not easily corrected unless you buy
>>globes with specific Kelvin rating. Your flash is 5500 Kelvin but the work
>>lights will most definitely not be within a compatible range. You'll get
>>shadows of different colours if you try to fill flash with the work
>>lights.
>
>
> I'm sure it's not something a professional photographer would use, but from
> the experiments I've done so far they're working just great.
>
A professional has very expensive studio lights bought in the days when
they were essential - because you can't simply adjust the white balace
of film, and you need bright lighting shooting film, especially with
large format. Digital is far more forgiving.
Even if cheap halogens were perfect (which they aren't for a few
reasons) pro studio photographers still aren't going to use them because
their customers would laugh at them when when they saw them.
>
>>I guess it's too late now but simple flash mounted "soft box" with a slave
>>flash behind the subject would do much better.
>
>
> I'll probably invest in something like a 580EX and some slaves in the next
> few months.
>
>
>
Halogens as a sole source of lighting are fine. Shoot raw.
Using then _with_ flash is not okay - you will _never_ get the colour
balance right. Different parts of the subject will be illuminated to
differing degrees with different coloured light - and if you correct the
balance to get one part right, the rest will look wrong.
Correct colour in the raw image "by eye", or take an exposure with a
grey card in the same lighting, and apply the white balance to the other
shots with that setting.
Really watch colour balance if the subject has a coloured background.
It will throw your in-camera auto colour balance way out.
Use (at least) one light to illuminate the wall behind the subject to
eliminate shadow.
Use only one undiffused light to show a highlight in the eyes.
Use other lights (if needed) diffused / reflected.
This was taken with a few 50 watt halogens.
http://www.geocities.com/angels2000photos/nina.jpg
I am staggered that you got 2000 watts of lighting!
Yes, you could get another slave flash or two or more, and spend a
thousand bucks seeking perfection, when for $20 you should be able to
get a pretty acceptable result.
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 12:43:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

frederick wrote:

> Use only one undiffused light to show a highlight in the eyes.
> Use other lights (if needed) diffused / reflected.
> This was taken with a few 50 watt halogens.
> http://www.geocities.com/angels2000photos/nina.jpg
> I am staggered that you got 2000 watts of lighting!
> Yes, you could get another slave flash or two or more, and spend a
> thousand bucks seeking perfection, when for $20 you should be able to
> get a pretty acceptable result.

Personally I'm not into high contrast portraits although the high key of
that example is on the extreme edge of contrast with the wall blown out
from the back light... It still produces a pleasant result. If you point
the light towards the back of the subject, you'll get a halo effect so
this example is probably the best way to use an over powerful back light
you can't adjust.

You can obtain very flat, low contrast lighting from work lights by
pointing them up to a white ceiling or bouncing the light from anything
white. Instead of diffusing the light, just scatter it. If you have one
in closer than the other and use kitchen silver foil to direct the light
to the subject, you'll get the subtle shadows which make a portrait a
portrait.
--
Douglas,
Zero care factor for negative responses
from anonymous posters.
July 25, 2005 3:01:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Pixby wrote:
> frederick wrote:
>
>> Use only one undiffused light to show a highlight in the eyes.
>> Use other lights (if needed) diffused / reflected.
>> This was taken with a few 50 watt halogens.
>> http://www.geocities.com/angels2000photos/nina.jpg
>> I am staggered that you got 2000 watts of lighting!
>> Yes, you could get another slave flash or two or more, and spend a
>> thousand bucks seeking perfection, when for $20 you should be able to
>> get a pretty acceptable result.
>
>
> Personally I'm not into high contrast portraits although the high key of
> that example is on the extreme edge of contrast with the wall blown out
> from the back light... It still produces a pleasant result. If you point
> the light towards the back of the subject, you'll get a halo effect so
> this example is probably the best way to use an over powerful back light
> you can't adjust.
>
> You can obtain very flat, low contrast lighting from work lights by
> pointing them up to a white ceiling or bouncing the light from anything
> white. Instead of diffusing the light, just scatter it. If you have one
> in closer than the other and use kitchen silver foil to direct the light
> to the subject, you'll get the subtle shadows which make a portrait a
> portrait.

That was shot with the intention of printing B&W.
http://www.geocities.com/angels2000photos/ninabw.jpg
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 6:53:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

frederick wrote:
> Pixby wrote:
>
>> frederick wrote:
>>

>
>
> That was shot with the intention of printing B&W.
> http://www.geocities.com/angels2000photos/ninabw.jpg
>
>
I wasn't being critical of your picture Fredrick.

--
Douglas,
Zero care factor for negative responses
from anonymous posters.
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 7:07:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cockpit Colin wrote:
> Thanks everyone for your comments on my first portrait attempt.
>
> Since then I popped into my local hardware store and picked up a couple of
> tripods with twin 500 watt halogens mounted on each - so 2000 watts of light
> in total.
>
> Trying them out I sat the kids on the couch (at "11 O'Clock and 1 O'Clock
> positions") and setup the lights at "4 O'Clock and 8 O'Clock positions"
> (about 2.5m away from my subjects)
>
> I kept my trusty 420EX switched on for "fill in" purposes.
>
> I was a little surprised that inspite of 2000W of light beamed upon my
> subjects, and camera set at F5.6, 1/15th sec was still required for correct
> exposure - I was anticipating needing something much faster, so that was my
> first surprise.
>
> 2nd surprise is that each set of lights is projecting a shadow behind their
> heads onto the wall - can anyone give me a few pointers as to what to do
> about it?
>
> I fired off a few bursts to the point where my 420EX couldn't cycle fast
> enough which gave me the unintended opportunity to compare the lighting with
> and without the fill in flash - to my surprise the shots without the fill in
> flash were considerably darker, and of course had more shadow - so to
> eliminate the shadow it's occured to me that the fill in flash needs to be
> strong enough to obliterate the shadow of the halogens, but not sure if I'm
> on the right track or not. Other possibilities I've thought of are getting
> some kind of diffuser for the lights - or positioning them more in front of
> the subjects - or try for the complete opposite and try to bounce it off
> some reflective walls.
>
> Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?
>
>
>
A cheap and dirty but very effective studio flash with modeling light
can be made from a large stainless steel salad bowl and some aluminum
strap, a pop riveter and an old bed lamp with an aluminum shade and a
throw away tripod.

Figure the details out for yourself but basically you cut a hole in the
middle of the salad bowl and use the aluminum shade off the bed lamp,
cut and bent to sit on the outside of the bowl. Fasten it in place with
pop rivets. That's th modeling light part.

Use the aluminum strap to make an affair which holds either a dedicated
slave or normal flash so it points into the bowl. If it's a slave,
excite it with a small, difused filler flash of maybe GN 8. Or use a
remote cable to fire it from the camera. Setup a small slave unit on a
another cheap "automatic" flash and position it behind your subject's
head or facing a wall if that's your call.

No problem with off colour lights. All the (3 of them)$10 flash guns
will fire out any stray light and a few shots later, you'll see why
there is no substitute for high powered light sources.

--
Douglas,
Zero care factor for negative responses
from anonymous posters.
July 25, 2005 9:35:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Pixby wrote:
> frederick wrote:
>
>> Pixby wrote:
>>
>>> frederick wrote:
>>>
>
>>
>>
>> That was shot with the intention of printing B&W.
>> http://www.geocities.com/angels2000photos/ninabw.jpg
>>
>>
> I wasn't being critical of your picture Fredrick.
>
heh, that's okay - you can be if you want...
I realise that despite my advice to the OP that colour balance is easy
to get right by adjusting a raw file, the example I posted is less than
perfect...
Anonymous
July 26, 2005 4:23:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Rox-off wrote:
> On Sun, 24 Jul 2005 19:55:17 +1200, Cockpit Colin wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> > Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?
>
> No, you're on the wrong track completely. You can't do studio work without
> studio lights or portable flash heads.
>
Snip

You're kidding, I hope?

What he's doing is less comfortable than flash, but hot lights of one
kind or another have been in studio use for a long, long time. Right
now, I think I'd as soon shoot myself as use my hotlights--it's about
98 out--but they do still work. I sometimes mix them with studio flash
to achieve the results I want or need.
Anonymous
July 26, 2005 7:00:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Sun, 24 Jul 2005 19:55:17 +1200, Cockpit Colin wrote:

<snip>

> Am I on the right track here? What am I doing wrong?

No, you're on the wrong track completely. You can't do studio work without
studio lights or portable flash heads.

The cheapest option for you to follow if you are looking for professional
results is to get yourself a couple of Vivitar 283 flashguns and some
optical slaves for 'em.

You can buy Stoffen diffusers for them or make your own softboxes /
reflectors using polystyrene boards, white nylon raincoats cut up into
squares and tin foil.

There's not much difference in the materials used to make a proper
softbox, in fact I was quite amazed at just how simple a Bowens softbox I
once had was in construction. The most intricate part of it was the
bayonet fitting holding it onto the strobe itself. The rest was just the
type of material you would find in any haberdashery.
Anonymous
July 27, 2005 12:13:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

>so for me it's not an issue to have sheets over stands and
>DeWalt coloured work light stands instead of the cool
> looking pro gear

Go for it, CC! Don't be put off by the doubters. It is perfectly
possible (just hot and difficult!) to use worklighting for this, and
you now have enough tips to get you on the right track..

Diffusion is the key, and those sheets (thin worn out white cotton are
best, or ripstop nylon if you want to go upmarket) are one way.
Bouncing them off a white (or close to-) wall should work OK as well.
Another good diffusion material is drafting film (as used by architects
and designers, often available in wide rolls from larger
stationery/office suppliers). Just keep the 'diffusers' far enough
away from your hot lights to avoid needing the fire brigade..

And, yes, lose the flash. Unless you want to further experiment with
using yellow gels or cellophane on the flash to try to balance the
color to the halogens.. (not recommended, but it can be done!) - if you
go down this path, I would also suggest manual flash settings to get
more precise control over the results, and maybe another diffuser for
it too!).


Just one final suggestion - when setting up, you may want to shoot/view
in B&W mode (if available/convenient) to avoid distraction - I find
that it lets me concentrate strictly on the lighting effects/shadows.
However, once you are happy with your setup, even if you *want* B&W
images always shoot the *real* stuff in colour, so you can use channel
mixing later...
Anonymous
July 28, 2005 1:43:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

:) 

Thanks for the positive pick-me-up!

I bought a set of new white sheets tonight (hey - nothing but the best in my
"studio") - bent them over double, and setup the halogens behind them. I was
a bit concerned that even with them doubled over I could still see each
halogen bulb, but they seemed to work OK - although I did put the background
about 1 metre behind the subject with a variable-intensity backlight which
probably helped.

When I tried the indirect lighting approach (by blasting the halogens off my
cream coloured lounge walls) I got very even and soft lighting on the face
of my subject - the problem was, there just wasn't enough of it to make the
face "come alive" - I thought of changing the exposure, but thought
diffusers were a better path to experiment down.

I shot a few bursts tonight, and for the first time I've got the results I
can work with in photoshop. I'm still shooting at ISO 1600 so that I can
fire a burst of shots with the kids laughing and not get any blurring due to
movement, but the funny thing is I've got the camera set to 55mm about 1.5
metres away from the subject - with the background another metre away - and
yet the face and the background are still in perfect focus @ F5.6 - so
hopefully when I get a decent lens I'll be able to open up a couple of stops
and drop the ISO down a couple and get a bit less grain.

Thanks for the "drafting paper" tip - I've got several architect clients, so
I'll be sure to pay them a visit "real soon".

Cheers,

CC
!