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Thread: Portrait advice.

  1. #1

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    Eon

    Portrait advice.

    Hi All,

    This pic/post ties in with my post in General Photography Discussion entitled "Fill flash in manual mode".

    The model was standing under a frosted glass ceiling. The back wall about 15 feet away was light grey. In manual mode, I over exposed slightly at a I think F2.8 to "whiten" the background.

    What do you guys think... I think I should have used fill flash? I have been doing a lot of ambient light shooting where possible and sometimes find fill can wash things out a bit.

    Other comments welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

    picture-2dfbf.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Re: Portrait advice.

    Hi Eon,

    Looks OK - just a touch flat, but that's just a simple PP issue.

    If you're going to add +EC to whiten the background - this will also raise the exposure of the foreground for the ambient light portion - and of course the fill flash adds light to the foreground as well, so it's possible to get an over exposure in theory. In practice however, one often wants the foreground subject 1 to 1.5 stops higher to make them "pop", so it often works out OK anyway. White backgrounds are a bit different though - unless the natural lighting is brighter on the backgroud - usually - you'll have trouble getting the background totally white. In the studio I use two seperate background lights (which is mandatory).

  3. #3

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    Re: Portrait advice.

    Colin,

    It's great to get another angle on things and yes your right. I knew something was amiss on this but it does look flat. I think in my quest to achieve a slightly high key background, I've overlooked the main subject.

    PP for me is fairly limited as I only have view NX2, but I am trying to get as much as I can right in camera.

    In my album there are two shots which I think you should find better. They were shot with fill but without me trying to overcook the background.

    "White backgrounds are a bit different though - unless the natural lighting is brighter on the backgroud - usually - you'll have trouble getting the background totally white. In the studio I use two seperate background lights (which is mandatory). "

    The above comment was real interesting- there's some good info here for me to think and read up about

    Thank you.

    PS... Purely as a matter of interest what sort of wattage lamps do you use?

  4. #4

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    Re: Portrait advice.

    Hi Eon,

    I use 5x Elinchrom 1200W/S heads, and also have 4x 580EX II portable flashes - plus reflectors, snoots, grids, barn doors, softboxes, boom arms, gels, beauty dishes, and more

    What we're talking about above touches on a common problem with white backgrounds - often folks will only have 1 or two flashes and they try to illuminate the background with the same flash that they're illuminating the subject with, and it just can't be done (properly, anyway), as the light falls of with the distance.

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait advice.

    PS: Study this shot in detail to see how my studio is setup for background lighting ...

    (Click for much bigger view)

    Portrait advice.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 26th May 2011 at 12:31 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Portrait advice.

    Colin,

    Wow... amazing studio. Thanks for that shot.

    At present, I have just my camera, two lenses and a tripod.....As a matter of interest, I have a couple of small halogen lights, each with a 500 watt bulb in. I know it's primitive but if I stretch a white sheet over a wooden frame and place in front of these lamps would that work for a sort of diffused lighting, or would the light be too harsh?

    Thanks

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