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Thread: Portrait Practise:

  1. #1

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    Portrait Practise:

    My model was behaving and I could take my time with this shot.

    Single bounced on camera flash (Nikon SB80) set to Auto - non TTL on Nikon D200.

    85mm, 1/60sec, F7.1, ISO100, WB Manual 5300K, Exposure compensation +1.67, Shot in aperture priority.

    I used a white painters canvas to bounce the flash from the right (dolls left side).

    No PP done - this is SOOC - only resized.

    Any C&C will be most welcome.

    Thanks for viewing.


    Portrait Practise:

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Funny. Nice exposure though!

  3. #3
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    It's getting there Andre! No hard shadows behind the subject and some interesting ones on the face. I would probably adjust things a bit to tone the shadows above and below the lips, but this is getting into being on the picky side. I still suggest you look at getting the flash off the camera and use a modifier on it. That will take you to the next level.

  4. #4
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    If it were mine, Andre, I would want to lighten the "moustache" and also eliminate the distracting curve on the right:

    Portrait Practise:

    Philip

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Thanks John: that is all I want is nice exposure.

    Thank you Manfred. I am learning. The next level will come when the time is right. Getting the lighting right with single on camera flash is an obsession at the moment. Come hell or high water, I have to get it right.

    Thanks Philip. My objective is to get the exposure and lighting right without any PP.

    I really do appreciate the comments. Thank you guys.

  6. #6
    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Sorry, Andre.

    In that case, I would try moving the camera position to the right a bit to eliminate that curve from the background, and set up a sheet of white card (e.g. A4) to reflect a bit more of the bounced flash light over the top lip.

    All the best with your future experiments.

    Philip

  7. #7
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Andre, I find these subjects far more patient than living, breathing ones. They are great for experimentation!

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    My model was behaving and I could take my time with this shot.

    Single bounced on camera flash (Nikon SB80) set to Auto - non TTL on Nikon D200.

    85mm, 1/60sec, F7.1, ISO100, WB Manual 5300K, Exposure compensation +1.67, Shot in aperture priority.

    I used a white painters canvas to bounce the flash from the right (dolls left side).

    No PP done - this is SOOC - only resized.

    Any C&C will be most welcome.

    Thanks for viewing.


    Portrait Practise:
    Hi Andre,

    May I request info about the lights bounce placement.

    Were your lights facing the canvass (which was facing the doll).
    Sorry, new to flash. Need your expertise.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Short soft lighting. Soft due to the bounce and it doesn’t appear that any hard light reached the subject directly from the flash. Unless that catch light in her right eye is saying different. I think your lighting looks nice.

    Good separation. And as Manfred mentioned a large part of that is because of no hard shadow from the subject to the background. To add to that thought Andre, if you had another bounce card/reflector to position close behind the subject on camera left you could maybe even reflect some rim light to further separate the subject (hat and shoulder). A double bounce as it were!

    If the shadow on the upper lip bothers you, just try raising your bounce upwards a bit and see if that makes any difference.

    I think (and hindsight is 20-20!) that I might have liked maybe a quarter or half stop more light on the subject. But that is easily done in post if I decided it was what I wanted in the end. It is close enough that I would use it for sure. Have you tried the old white towel trick to set your exposure?

    Really, all and all, the lighting looks good to me Andre! Nice work. I’d call this one a success if I were you!
    Last edited by Loose Canon; 10th July 2013 at 02:28 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    It's great when your model is behaving. My maniquin is patient but refuses to do different poses.

  11. #11

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    All the best with your future experiments.
    Thanks Philip

    Watch this space

  12. #12

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Andre, I find these subjects far more patient than living, breathing ones. They are great for experimentation!
    That is why I use them Richard. They are so willing.

  13. #13

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    It's great when your model is behaving. My maniquin is patient but refuses to do different poses.
    Yep, keep on using her.

  14. #14

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    To all of you a great many thank you’s.

    First of all I have to thank Manfred again. Manfred your simple comment made that dark spot in my brain, that revolves around photography, spin. OFF CAMERA FLASH! Moving to the next level, you say. Manfred this morning I discovered how to use the SB80 OFF CAMERA with my D200.
    EUREKA I FOUND IT! The next level will start kicking in now. Am I grateful for that simple comment. I wish to express gratitude for the inspiration I find in simple comments like that.

    Terry: coming from you that my image is any good is a great compliment. THANK YOU!

    Victor: Calling me an expert, please do not do that. I am but a novice in flash photography as much and even more than you are. I only discovered my flash recently. I had no idea as to how to use it effectively. It is not fully compatible with my D200 and I was about to spend some money on buying a Sigma flash. Then Manfred inspired me to “DISCOVER” my SB80DX.
    Victor I am so glad you picked up the link to Neil Van Niekerk’s site, I posted in another thread. Terry posted a link to a thread of his on using bounce flash. Combining what Terry has posted and what I have learned from Neil Van Niekerk I simply keep on experimenting.

    The shot of that doll was done with a single on camera flash bounced from a white board placed to the left of the doll. I used that little white thingy on the flash to keep as much direct light away from the doll as possible. Reading Neil’s tutorials you will see why you need to keep direct flash away from your subject.

    Last night I went one step further. A black piece of cardboard fitted to my flash to avoid any direct flash to reach my subject. I experimented with two surfaces to bounce the flash. My normal painters canvass and a neutral grey reflective melamine board. All I am doing is to place the different boards in different positions to see how the flash is reflected. I just keep on experimenting until I find a setup that works for me.

    One thing I have discovered is you need to know how to use WB in Kelvin settings. It helps me a lot to get the WB right – to my liking. WB “jumps” around, depending on strength of flash and how close the flash is to the surface to be bounced from. Getting exposure right I play around with camera settings – A LOT. I love camera settings. Play with ISO to get the exposure to your liking.

    Victor, first of all, read what Neil has to say about flash. Follow his advice and do lots of experimenting. No one can give you a set rule as far as setting up your “studio” is concerned. You need to find the best way yourself. Suggestions like Terry’s to adjust a reflective board to get a different effect is extremely helpful but also very much common sense once you understand how the light will travel. You need to determine for yourself how far your board has to be from your subject, how to hold the camera, and what angle of “attack” is best for what you would like the outcome to be.

    To help you I will capture an image of my little setup and post it here. I am a very bad teacher but a very good learner. I have a talent for “Monkey see Monkey do”. That is all you need to do. Learn from others and try your own “tricks”.

    More experimenting:

    Two reflective surfaces, one white and the other grey. Single on camera flash. Black channelled cardboard (fitted to flash with rubber band) to keep all direct flash away from my subject.
    Nikon D200, SB80DX flash (on camera), 135mm, 1/60sec, F5.6, ISO250, EV 0, White balance Manual K, Aperture priority, Matrix.

    NO PP.

    I must say – I am pretty pleased with this one:

    Portrait Practise:

  15. #15
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post

    I must say – I am pretty pleased with this one:

    Portrait Practise:
    And so you should be.

    Andre, how large are these dolls ?

  16. #16
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    I’d say you are coming to terms with what you are hoping to achieve quite nicely Andre!

    I can certainly see why you are happy with this one. Very nice, beautiful classic short-side lighting.

    I would also say that it is quite possible that you are a better teacher than you give yourself credit for.

    “Off-camera flash is ‘way better’, ‘the only way to go’, ‘the next level’, and so on and so forth yada blah”. I wouldn’t disagree with that statement. But what you have done here is a form of off-camera flash. Sure, the flash is mounted on the camera but the light is hitting the subject from an off-camera position via the bounce. Just the same (almost) as if there were a light over there in place of the bounce card.

    The concepts are the same but it’s a lot more challenging to do it from an on-board position. And unless you are doing all of your shooting with a load of studio equipment (either in a studio or on location) I find the on-camera flash mount to be more important. For me, it is more of a “real world” scenario since I don’t typically drag around much (if any) studio equipment. I will almost always have a flash, 5in1 reflector, and small light flag in the kit. I also keep a gray card handy because your WB will vary in accordance with the color of your bounce surface.

    Andre I think you have shown that there is no need to be afraid of putting a flash on your camera and using it. It’s just a matter of how you use it.

  17. #17

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    And so you should be.

    Andre, how large are these dolls ?

    Thank you Grahame,
    This doll is about 500mm tall, the other one about 300mm.

  18. #18

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    Re: Portrait Practise:

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Canon View Post
    I’d say you are coming to terms with what you are hoping to achieve quite nicely Andre!

    I can certainly see why you are happy with this one. Very nice, beautiful classic short-side lighting.

    Andre I think you have shown that there is no need to be afraid of putting a flash on your camera and using it. It’s just a matter of how you use it.


    Thank you very much Terry. All due to the encouragement from you people.
    I did try that “off camera “ thing and this is an attempt after discovering I still need to bounce the flash/es.


    Portrait Practise:

    Single flash is as you say “a more real world” situation. That is the reason I am so eager to master shooting single on camera flash. I will keep practising!

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