Helpful Posts: 0
22nd May 2012, 02:47 AM
Another shot of my daughter same day and lights as the previous post.
Canon 550D 50mm f1.8 @ f1.8 1/160 sec ISO 100
Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd May 2012 at 11:23 AM.
Reason: added link to previous post
22nd May 2012, 11:52 AM
Re: Clarissa again
Gosh I am going to sound harsh but here it goes, the first thing a portrait needs is to be sharp on the eyes and this very soft on the eyes, but if look a little lower at the tee shirt that's OK, almost if the focus point was to low, how do set your focus? I tend to use the center spot only and focus the eye then recompose the shot, keeping my finger half pressed on the shutter, or I may even move the focus point (the red dots). She looks a little red faced this may have be right at the time but it does her no favors in this picture.
The Focus will more than likely be down the fact that are at f1.8 meaning you really need to make sure the nearest eye is pin sharp, as the other will be going out at f1.8.
Hope that wasn't to painful
22nd May 2012, 10:23 PM
Re: Clarissa again
I don't know about the 550D but, my 40D and even my old 30D can manage pretty good image quality when shot at ISO 320. If your 550D works O.K. at that ISO, which I suspect it does, I might suggest that you shoot at that ISO and be able to stop down a bit to about f/2.8 or even f/3.5. This will provide a bit more DOF and will even put you closer to a bit better image quality than f/1.8...
23rd May 2012, 12:01 AM
Re: Clarissa again
I would have to agree with both of the previous posts. I've never used a 550D, however every camera that I have had the opportunity to use, has provided enough quality for a portrait at an higher ISO. I also can't see the need for you to be shooting at f/1.8. F/3-4 would probable work better for this shot. I sharpened up the shot a little for you, but making the in-camera adjustments noted above will provide better quality than trying to sharpen after the fact.
I also added a little vig in there, but that's just personal preference.
23rd May 2012, 01:41 AM
Re: Clarissa again
Paul, Richard and Shawn
Thank you for your comments. I'm not going to learn if there is no positive feedback no matter how harsh you may seem to think it is.
I had realized that I needed to use a smaller aperature which meant using a higher ISO.
The camera was on a tripod which is possibly not a good idea all the time.
The red in her skin, well I was too lazy to remove it.
No one has commented on my use of my 'builders lights', so maybe these aren't that bad and I can use them until I decide what type of light I need or can afford.
This is what I'm interested in -
I've been looking for months trying to decide which to buy and this seems to be the best deal
For a reflector I'm using some "Alfoil"
23rd May 2012, 10:57 AM
Re: Clarissa again
Originally Posted by stephencamptonjones
I did note the 'double point' reflection in Clarissa's eyes and assume that (for now) you are using something like this?
(that's just the first site I found with a picture of what I imagine you have)
Some may feel it doesn't give the accepted style catchlight of softbox, brolly or window.
As long as there is one dominant light source type and all other significant sources have the same colour temperature and you accurately white balance, in theory it won't matter.
However, if they are the 300w tugsten halogen type, they will get very hot and possibly make the studio to warm to work in comfortably, quite apart from being a burn risk to anyone touching them.
Any photographically bright enough continuous light source will be quite bright for the model and cause discomfort, pupil contraction, if not squinting.
I have no experience of the 'studio head' flashes with modelling lights (these lights are bright enough to see the ratio of different flash powers set, but not so bright as to cause the other problems I mentioned above).
The white balance you have used isn't too bad, although, as has been mentioned, the redness in her face should be toned down - and may be caused by some of the issues I stated.
Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd May 2012 at 11:03 AM.
23rd May 2012, 03:05 PM
Re: Clarissa again
Regarding your question about the use of Halogen worklights for portraiture. They are not really great solutions to portrait lighting because of the heat and the brightness; both of which can make the subject uncomfortable. They can be dangerous and should probably not be used with modifiers such as a softbox or an umbrella.
There are several portrait lighting setups which will not force you to sell a kidney to buy.
I am going to offer a few portrait lighting suggestions, from the least expensive to more expensive. Unfortunately, I don't have a good handle on the photo equipment prices in OZ except by searching eBay Australia...
I suggest that you attempt to use a combination of window light and a white reflector (either cardboard, a folding auto windshield shade or an actual photo reflector which can be had fairly reasonably: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/43-5-in-1...item3a60b66a1f). That would be the absolute least expensive way to light a portrait and if you can either use a bare wall or fabricate a background from a blanket or other such material the results can be quite nice.
Actually a decent white background for a head and shoulders portrait can be made from am old slide projector screen. They should be available at rummage sales or garage sales for a very low price. If the screen is an older flat matte version, you can use it plain for a white BG. However some screens are beaded or have other surfaces which may reflect light in a wierd way. Throw a piece of fleece material or some other fabric over it to give a colored BG. I have purchased several fleece throws in discount stores which I use as backgrounds for my puppy pictures. That same fleece throw could make a nice BG if thrown over a scren and fastened with a pair of clips.
Next in the price would be a hotshoe flash on a bracket and using a diffuser reflector. This could be quite expensive if you select a top-line hotshoe flash offered by Nikon, Canon or another manufacturer. However, there are here in the USA, lots of older used flashes which can be used effectively and which are dirt cheap. One model which comes to mind is the Vivitar 285, however you need to ensure that the sync voltage of what ever flash you are using is low enough that it will not hurt your camera's electronics or use a Wein voltage protector which makes the flash less economical to purchase since the Wein cost about $50 USD or so here in the USA. It would be a shame to destroy a camera in order to try to save a few dollars on your flash.
I suggest that any photographer would be well served by having a hotshoe flash compatible with his camera in his kit. If I were going to purchase a hotshoe flash for my Canon cameras, I would (because of the price) either look at a used Canon 430EX or a Metz AF 50 unit: http://www.adorama.com/MZ50314N.html...FYgERQodGHWwlg
There are also Chinese manufactured hotshoe flashes like the Yongnau but, I know nothing about these...
IMO, a hotshoe flash is a great investment for any photographer. Used either on-camera or on a flash bracket and modified with a diffuser reflector, you can get some very nice lighting. Here are two portraits lit by a single hotshoe flash on a Stroboframe bracket (which can be had used at a reasonable price).
I triggered the flash with an off camera sync cord. I bounced the light off the ceiling and modified it with a Joe Demb Flash Difuser Pro. See my other portraits from a link from www.dembflashproducts.com. The link is at the right of the home page and reads "Smugmug Examples From Escondido Photographer Richard Crowe".
A hotshoe flash on camera bounced and modified with a diffuser reflector can also produce results like this...
You can actually fabricate a difuser reflector like this one: http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/.
Or you can purchase a Chinese made diffuser/reflector at a dirt cheap price like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/220980576819...84.m1423.l2649
This is about the least expensive studio-type strobe with stand and umbrella that I can find on eBay Australlia. You could use one of these and supplement it with a reflector.
This unit has the advantage of having a modeling light so you have "what you see is what you get" shooting. I would not necessarily recommend this for 8 hours per day and 5 days a week use. But for occasional hobby portraiture it should suffice.
Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd May 2012 at 03:54 PM.
23rd May 2012, 05:52 PM
Re: Clarissa again
I'm not a great fan of using "hot lights" or any other continuous lights for portraits. The obvious effect is the very small pupils that you see in your image. This is not something we tend to see in modern portraits, but if you look at studio shots done in the 1950's you will see this too. The halogens are not going to be too comfortable for your subject. I don't particularly think a lot of the lights you are looking at; they are really video lights not portrait lights, and even there the colour temperature from the CF lights is something you will be spending a lot of time battling.
The two lights side-by-side are a bit of a no-no as well. We live in a world where we have a single sun, which means our mind is trained to see a single shadow as normal. If you look at your image, there are two shadows, and that looks a bit strange. The same comment goes for twin catchlights; as well, your light source is quite small and these tiny catchlights don't look quite right either. Running them through a diffuser will help, but you are still going to end up with a lot of light spill, which is not really going to do much for the portrait as the lighting. The other issue is that we are used to seeing lighting from the sky with the shadow cast below the nose, rather than across the face. Positioning your key light higher up will help here.
The soft focus on the nearest eye has already been covered. I suspect using the 50mm lens is not helpful either. It's a bit short for this type of shot and I usually shoot no shorter than about 70mm on a crop frame camera when I am doing a head shot; usually closer to 100mm or even 130mm.
A bit more separation of the hair from the background on the top left part of the image is required too. A hair light would be ideal for this shot.
I tend to shoot all of my portraits with two light sources; the key light can be a window, but I will almost always use a white reflector (a piece of white core-plast or foam core just outside of the image) works well. I'm just guessing here but if you put your lights hgih and behind the model and used a white reflector aiming back at her might give you a better overall look.
If you have an off-camera flash, you should consider using it. I put together my own reflector for a fairly reasonable amount of money using a flash, a holder, lightstand and umbrella. I set my off camera flash as a slave fired by my camera's built-in flash.
Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 23rd May 2012 at 06:30 PM.
Reason: Hmm Confusing right and left again...