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Old 25th June 2012, 11:33 AM   #1
The_Shadow Thread Starter
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Default Single light setup

So I got a backdrop frame and a couple of light stands - though only 1 of my umbrellas which is a 33" shoot through, I am yet to receive my 33" reflective and I only got my 2nd flash today so I thought I'd ask for some feedback on some shots I did on Sunday as this is the first time I've ever used off camera flash. Any feedback on lighting would be handy I'm planing on expanding my umbrella selection and to try out a few techniques.

I'm also looking for some lens advice as well as all of these were shot with a 50mm F1.7 manual focus lens which on my 1.5x sensor I found a bit limiting. I was thinking of getting either a 50mm F1.4 Sigma or the 30mm F1.4 Sigma as the 50mm seems a bit tight my other option is a 35mm Pentax lens either a DAL or the Limited version which are both F2.8. I have some work at an event in September which will be similar work with a model against a backdrop so I'm planning ahead for that and wanted to have my lighting and glass locked in.

The theme for these was fire, due to the fact that I only had one flash going the stand was placed almost directly in front of the model to ensure the lighting was even, the flash was set to between 1/8 and 1/16 and was around 1.5m from the model.

#1

Coy by Joel Kyle

#2

by Joel Kyle

#3

Free Fire 1 by Joel Kyle

#4

Free Fire 2 by
Joel Kyle

#5

Down The Line by Joel Kyle
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Old 26th June 2012, 8:54 AM   #2
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the position of your light is good. I really like 1 light setups
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Old 26th June 2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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I'd be pretty stoked if I could get shots like that. Especially if it was first try and single light!


Cant say i'm very good at using OCF, but hopefully the following comments will help get it that little bit extra. Comments might seem long, but I think they're pretty minor in shots that were for the majority right IMO. For the most part, I think the light looks good. The falloff and angle seem to work well for the type of shot.
1. In the first shot, her chest seems quite a bit more over exposed than her face. I dont know if this could be fixed by aiming the light differently (more 'glancing') or if you'd just need to add chest makeup
Also, the dress around the breasts seems red saturated.
Perhaps a tiny backfill light around the left side of the corset to separate it? Not sure on this one.
2. Detail on the corset came out well. A little red sat again on top though.
3. Seems a little washed out on her left arm (on the right?) Maybe a little more light on the skirt bit just to give the profile?
5. The DOF just doesnt work for me on this one. Just looks like her legs missed the focus. Perhaps either shoot narrower to keep in all in focus or shoot just a little wider so you know the DOF is deliberate. I think fairly subtle would work well for the shot, just in my eyes, would need just a little more so you know the effect was subtle but deliberate?

General: I dont know how much was the light vs post, but the sharpening on her face and hair may need to be toned down a little to remove a little 'bumpyness'?
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Old 26th June 2012, 1:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
the position of your light is good. I really like 1 light setups
Thanks alot

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlokk View Post
I'd be pretty stoked if I could get shots like that. Especially if it was first try and single light!


Cant say i'm very good at using OCF, but hopefully the following comments will help get it that little bit extra. Comments might seem long, but I think they're pretty minor in shots that were for the majority right IMO. For the most part, I think the light looks good. The falloff and angle seem to work well for the type of shot.
1. In the first shot, her chest seems quite a bit more over exposed than her face. I dont know if this could be fixed by aiming the light differently (more 'glancing') or if you'd just need to add chest makeup
Also, the dress around the breasts seems red saturated.
Perhaps a tiny backfill light around the left side of the corset to separate it? Not sure on this one.
2. Detail on the corset came out well. A little red sat again on top though.
3. Seems a little washed out on her left arm (on the right?) Maybe a little more light on the skirt bit just to give the profile?
5. The DOF just doesnt work for me on this one. Just looks like her legs missed the focus. Perhaps either shoot narrower to keep in all in focus or shoot just a little wider so you know the DOF is deliberate. I think fairly subtle would work well for the shot, just in my eyes, would need just a little more so you know the effect was subtle but deliberate?

General: I dont know how much was the light vs post, but the sharpening on her face and hair may need to be toned down a little to remove a little 'bumpyness'?
Thanks a lot for the feedback, I did push the saturation and vibrancy sliders probably a little bit harder than I needed to, I've just been finding that the colours come out fine in Lightroom but when I export to JPEG the shots are usually too dark and the colours are a little dull so I've been increasing the exposure and playing with the sliders to compensate for that fact.

They've all been sharpened using the default output sharpening setting for web when they were exported to JPEG so maybe I need to check the sharpening settings as well to make sure things aren't over sharpened.

It's only just now after reading your feedback that I've realised that I've figured out how to do what I wanted to do with regards to DOF. I wanted some background separation between the model and the backdrop so that the backdrop details weren't in focus so I was shooting wide open at F1.7, so I ended up only half doing what would have worked out better which would be to stop down to increase the DOF and get all of the model in focus and just have her move further away from the backdrop.

I had her move away from the backdrop but I didn't increase the DOF so I got it half right. So thank you a lot for getting my thought process going, I'll also have a look into what I'm doing with post processing on my colours.
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Last edited by The_Shadow; 26th June 2012 at 1:36 PM.
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Old 26th June 2012, 4:15 PM   #5
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Looking good.

Your single light setup looks terrific.
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Old 27th June 2012, 2:11 AM   #6
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Nice work with one light. FYI you can use a shoot through as a reflective as well. You'll lose a little light compared to a silver reflective but it works fine.
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Old 27th June 2012, 8:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepspring
Looking good.

Your single light setup looks terrific.
Thanks a lot

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Originally Posted by kingbob86 View Post
Nice work with one light. FYI you can use a shoot through as a reflective as well. You'll lose a little light compared to a silver reflective but it works fine.
Thanks! Yeah I'll definitely test out the shoot through now that I have a 2nd flash.
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Old 27th June 2012, 9:18 AM   #8
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Technically its worked, but she doesn't look comfortable at all. I'd be more inclined to work on directing your subject more / getting them relaxed.

Skin always looks better with light going straight into it, having the light glance the skin will show up all the detail; which isn't always a good thing.
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ^catalyst View Post
Technically its worked, but she doesn't look comfortable at all. I'd be more inclined to work on directing your subject more / getting them relaxed.

Skin always looks better with light going straight into it, having the light glance the skin will show up all the detail; which isn't always a good thing.
Thanks a lot for the lighting tip. Interesting that you picked up on her comfort levels, this is the first time my partner has done something like this so she was a little unsure at times. We've talked about it further and discussed what I'll do with direction and helping out with helping her relax in front of the camera which experience will help with to.

Thank you for the feedback.
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Old 27th June 2012, 2:39 PM   #10
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[my 2c]

Problem I have with these shots is that there is next to no separation from the background.
I know this isn’t the easiest thing to do with a single light setup, but it can be done.

One trick would be to use a lighter coloured background. Even using a white background would look dark grey with the positioning of you light here, but at least it wouldn’t be black. As it stands you have black background with a model wearing very dark (black) clothes. Just doesn’t work IMHO.

The other thing to do would be use a reflector. Doesn’t have to be fancy – 9 times out of 10 a ghetto reflector will work just as well as a store bought one. In the past I’ve used everything from store bought 5-in-1 reflectors, to pieces of white foam core. Even a crushed beer carton wrapped in alfoil will do the job. If you want to be really 1337 put a piece of baking paper over the alfoil for that lusty beauty dish effect.
(lol)

Lastly, just changing the position of your lights could offer some separation. Even without any sort of reflector you could achieve something like Butterfly lighting or Rembrandt lighting (google for positioning/floor plans).

[/2c]
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Old 27th June 2012, 4:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch-Angel View Post
[my 2c]

Problem I have with these shots is that there is next to no separation from the background.
I know this isn’t the easiest thing to do with a single light setup, but it can be done.

One trick would be to use a lighter coloured background. Even using a white background would look dark grey with the positioning of you light here, but at least it wouldn’t be black. As it stands you have black background with a model wearing very dark (black) clothes. Just doesn’t work IMHO.

The other thing to do would be use a reflector. Doesn’t have to be fancy – 9 times out of 10 a ghetto reflector will work just as well as a store bought one. In the past I’ve used everything from store bought 5-in-1 reflectors, to pieces of white foam core. Even a crushed beer carton wrapped in alfoil will do the job. If you want to be really 1337 put a piece of baking paper over the alfoil for that lusty beauty dish effect.
(lol)

Lastly, just changing the position of your lights could offer some separation. Even without any sort of reflector you could achieve something like Butterfly lighting or Rembrandt lighting (google for positioning/floor plans).

[/2c]
Thanks a lot for this feedback, this is a large amount of very useful information. The theme for our next shoot is supposed to be winter which I have a white background for so I can test things out with that. I had plans to do some clamshell lighting in the future for whatever took our fancy which it turns out is the same as butterfly lighting and Googling Rembrandt lighting has given me a whole bunch of lighting plans which is also great so thanks for all of these tips
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Last edited by The_Shadow; 27th June 2012 at 4:42 PM.
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