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Thread: Roller Derby

  1. #1
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Roller Derby

    Hey everyone - I've been practicing a little at the local derby - this time I tried using a couple off board speedlites. Let me know what you think....
    Roller Derby

  2. #2
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    Re: Roller Derby

    I've rotated it a little more - think I like this one better....
    Roller Derby

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    Re: Roller Derby

    I think there are too many subjects and angles for one speedlight to handle. Perhaps another on the inside of the track to the right to pick up some of the strong shadows a stop or two. Also, opening up the aperture would lessen the impact of the background bleachers and stairs. Good panning, those girls move pretty fast.

  4. #4
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    Re: Roller Derby

    There's obviously the uneven lighting across the different subjects as you move further down the line. That would be a tough challenge to master. If you had something to diffuse the speed lights a bit that might help the contrast between the skaters.

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    Re: Roller Derby

    If the speedlight is much further away from the subject then the light fall-off will be greatly reduced. Unfortunately you will need to have a more powerful speedlight. However since you are using 2 then this should not be an issue.

    Did you use TTL flash or set the flash power using manual? Try again with manual at full power and then move the speedlight as far back as you can get away with. A VAL (Voice Activated Lightstand - i.e. a person) will be a great help while you run through some test shots.

    Your flash has a lot of power. You can see this with the shadows cast by the clothes hanging over the partition wall in the background (between skater 3 and 4). Although by the angle of the shadows it looks like the flash was very high in the air or there was actually another light source.

    Alex

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    Re: Roller Derby

    Good advice Alex. I never thought of moving the lights farther away. I was using both of them in manual mode - both at about 1/4 power though. I'll boost both up to full power, and move them away from the action a little. Unfortunately, I cannot put anything on the inside of the track as there are about 6 officials/timekeepers that skate around the inside.

    I don't think diffusing the light would be beneficial - as the stands are fairly far away already. I agree with Alex's points - more light, farther away.

    Also, @ Andrew1 - unfortunately, that's a limitation of the lens - wish I could afford the 2.8, but the 4's all I've got for now! Thanks though.

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    Re: Roller Derby

    With the lights being static, timing the shot is crucial - in this one, I think the strobes have done a better job of spreading evenly over the group. I think moving them farther away and cranking up the power will help cover this as well.
    Roller Derby

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    Re: Roller Derby

    Anyone like this one? Or am I really kidding myself?

    Roller Derby

  9. #9
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    Re: Roller Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Anyone like this one? Or am I really kidding myself?
    I don't dislike it, but there's something in the composition of the figures that doesn't work for me.

    It feels a bit disjointed. Interestingly, as I was reaching this view, I compared your latter images with the first ones in the thread. I prefer them because they are more ordered. There is, I think, a better structure to the image: A better composition.

    Why? I think it's the fact that in those, the people are all facing the same way. In the last two there are people facing in different directions. And that seems to be causing a dissonance/disorder in my little head.
    Last edited by Donald; 2nd March 2012 at 04:45 PM.

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    Re: Roller Derby

    For me, it is the lack of being able to see everyone's skates...I don't feel connected as a viewer to it being "Roller Derby."

  11. #11
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    Re: Roller Derby

    Thanks gentlemen, that's the kind of constructive, honest advice I'm looking for - something that will help me to correct those problems in the future. Thanks again for your time!

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    Re: Roller Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    With the lights being static, timing the shot is crucial - in this one, I think the strobes have done a better job of spreading evenly over the group. I think moving them farther away and cranking up the power will help cover this as well.
    Roller Derby
    Strobes are way too bright...I'd use diffusers with them, even homemade ones would be better than the raw light.

  13. #13
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    Re: Roller Derby

    What do you think about Alex's advice, and actually turn up the power, but move them back as far as possible - to spray light over the action?

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    Re: Roller Derby

    Well, from my experience with lots of stobe light at any distance, there's almost no way to eliminate the harsh back shadow unless the light is diffused properly. I'd invest in a couple of white umbrellas at the least, where the strobes face away from the subject, flash into the umbrellas and the light bounced out diffuses evenly across a larger plane. Diffuser boxes work even better than this but are more expensive.

  15. #15
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    Re: Roller Derby

    I've actually got a handful of umbrellas that I've been too afraid to use! I'll give that a go next time. Thanks Chris, I really appreciate it! I've also got a couple reflectors that I can take the covers off of and shoot through. Thanks again!

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    Re: Roller Derby

    I thnk you'll like the results ...you may still have to crank up the output to compensate for the diffusion, but the light is still going to be infinitely better.

  17. #17
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    Re: Roller Derby

    And you would suggest reflecting the light with the umbrellas, as opposed to shooting through them?

  18. #18

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    Re: Roller Derby

    If they are true reflectors, then reflect..if they are box diffusers, then through.

  19. #19
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    Re: Roller Derby

    Awesome. Thanks Chris!

  20. #20
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    Re: Roller Derby

    Hi Andrew,
    My umbrellas are shoot thru and/or reflectors. I would use them as reflectors in this case. I agree that the farther you move away the more even the light will be across a large area, but at the same time the shadows get harsher the farther away too. I think any hint of softness would be enough for roller derby pics though You will have to experiment a little. I hope I get to see your next set of derby photos.

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