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Thread: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

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    A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Hi all,

    I spent a bit of time playing with my new v-boards today (1.2 x 2.4m polystyrene sheets, painted black one side, and white the other -- used for reflecting or sinking light).

    These were all shot using just 1 light for key, and the v-board for fill (plus a couple of lights to nuke the background for the 2 shots with white backgrounds).

    C & C Welcome (although I've only given them a quick going-over in PP, so please be gentle with me!)

    A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    A Top Model ... In the Studio!

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Seriously, Colin, your daughter should have an agent. What a naturally pretty, photogenic young lady. I particularly enjoy looking at #3 for the light, skin colour and pose. It's so young lady/sophisticated. I had to smile while looking at #2:The wind machine seems to have been a bit much for her young eyes

    As always, your photos are a treat.

    Myra

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Thanks Myra,

    She must get her looks from her mother! Yeah - biggest problem with the fan was that the air was pretty cool, so she wasn't too keen on sitting there for too many shots. The 3rd shot was the "planned shot" whereas the 1st shot came from when I was setting up the lighting one light at a time (ie background strobes disabled) (so what you see is what a white background looks like with very little light reaching it) - but I kinda liked it so decided to run with it.

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Very nice Colin. I like them all but the soft light of the first one with dark background is my favorite. The eyes are nice and sharp with great catchlights...except for when the fan was on and she squinted. Was your main light about 45 degrees from your daughter? How close was your main light and bounce fill to your daughter's face?

    Chuck

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNelson View Post
    Very nice Colin. I like them all but the soft light of the first one with dark background is my favorite. The eyes are nice and sharp with great catchlights...except for when the fan was on and she squinted. Was your main light about 45 degrees from your daughter? How close was your main light and bounce fill to your daughter's face?

    Chuck
    Thanks Chuck,

    Yes - about 45 degrees, but it still required a few test shots to fine tune it; I'm really looking for a couple of things ... (1) that the light is far enough around so that the eye to camera right gets lit, and (2) that it's rotated far enough clockwise so that the light hitting the ear to camera left (not shown here) receives less light (so the light primarily lights the face, not the entire head). I'm using a 24 x 30" softbox, and the rule is supposed to be that you put them as close as you can so that the light wraps, but in all honesty, the softboxes are so darn big (and those are my SMALLEST ones!) I just can't get any direction out of them if I don't back them off a bit - so in this case it's back maybe 4 feet. Technically I should have raised the light source a little, but I'm finding that if I leave it at such a height so as the models face is pretty much in the middle then it also does a good job of throwing some light under the chin, and I can be lazy and not have to use a reflector

    The v-board was also about 45 degrees, although it's placement is a bit of a compromise; since I'd only just painted one side of them black, I haven't joined them with gaffer tape yet so at this stage it's really just 1/2 a v-board (no "V" yet!). I had it a little closer than the key light (perhaps about 3 feet away), and just resting against an unused lightstand. In reality it puts the light "in the ball park" which can be fine-tuned simply by using the blacks and fill light sliders in ACR.

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Thanks Colin. Your light placement looks great. Nice posing as well, I particularly like the last - over the shoulder - pose. Posing is yet another critical element in portrait photography. I find myself getting more interested in portraits and lighting. My equipment is limited but I should be able to make do. Now to find someone to practice on. I love this....no end to the learning.

    Chuck

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Thanks for sharing Colin!
    They look amazing

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNelson View Post
    Thanks Colin. Your light placement looks great. Nice posing as well, I particularly like the last - over the shoulder - pose. Posing is yet another critical element in portrait photography. I find myself getting more interested in portraits and lighting. My equipment is limited but I should be able to make do. Now to find someone to practice on. I love this....no end to the learning.

    Chuck
    Hi Chuck,

    No worries. That pose is a modified 2/3 view with short loop lighting. It's good fun

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Thanks for sharing Colin!
    They look amazing
    Thanks Kay

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Great shots, Colin. If you want to check your studio, try a different model. I don't think there is any lighting set up that does not look good on this model She looks like Jenna, one of George Bush's daughters!

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Great shots, Colin. If you want to check your studio, try a different model. I don't think there is any lighting set up that does not look good on this model
    Thanks Ali, but I don't know ... this one doesn't really work too well for her!

    She looks like Jenna, one of George Bush's daughters!
    I didn't know that. I suspect that Jenna doesn't get spoilt as much though!

    A Top Model ... In the Studio!

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Hi Colin,

    A good series and as they're not PP'd, I won't comment on the nit-picky detail this time

    Main reason for this post was noticing the "Karaoke Queen" motif on the t-shirt in the last one - if there is an element of fact there, perhaps some shots with a microphone as a prop are called for. I also recall you saying somewhere that you already use music to 'break the ice' of the occasion.

    Just a thought,

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Colin,

    A good series and as they're not PP'd, I won't comment on the nit-picky detail this time

    Main reason for this post was noticing the "Karaoke Queen" motif on the t-shirt in the last one - if there is an element of fact there, perhaps some shots with a microphone as a prop are called for. I also recall you saying somewhere that you already use music to 'break the ice' of the occasion.

    Just a thought,
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the thoughts. Funnily enough, she DOES enjoy kareoke (or the playstation II varient), and has been pestering me all weekend to buy her a new microphone - which I probably will ...

    ... right after she pays for the replacement headphones (she smashed the old pair on the floor in a "hissy fit" (that originally cost me $500 ))

    Kids eh, don't ya love em!

    On a more upbeat note, I agree entirely - I'm a big fan of props. They easily take an image into a whole new dimension ...

    A Top Model ... In the Studio!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ... right after she pays for the replacement headphones (she smashed the old pair on the floor in a "hissy fit" (that originally cost me $500 ))

    Kids eh, don't ya love em!
    I'm sure she will - right after you give her that raise in pocket money $500 (a week )


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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Hi Colin,

    I was checking the EXIF data on your pictures and noticed that the you used the lowes ISO and a pretty small aperture and I understand the rationale for those (obvious ) BUT, I was thinking about your shutter speed. I know this is also standard to use a low shutterspeed in the studio (not always, but with a tripod and a motionless subject, 1/125s which is actually lower than the inverse of 135mm focal length is fine and the result shows that). Now here is my question:

    Why not a little bit higher? I thought the reason may be that letting the sensor sort of soak in light might be better than increasing the strobe output and exposing for a shorter time.

    Now, I know in the studio you guys use the strobes and the shutter speed at that small aperture does not really matter and the sensor will be exposed for that brief ~1/2000s but my question is more general. Is the relationship between the two linear or there is an optimum exposure that should be used?

    Thanks!

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Hi Ali,

    It really all comes down to a couple of things ...

    1. In the studio the speed has to be high enough so ambient light doesn't affect the exposure, and

    2. And it has to be under X-Sync speed or (at best) only part of the sensor gets exposed.

    In reality I can go a little higher (up to about 1/160th) with studio strobes (higher with 580EXes, which have better timing up to 1/300th (on 1D3 camera) and then switch to HSS mode), but I usually just dial in 1/125th and forget about it. "Soaking" etc doesn't come into it (it's not like soaking a T-shirt in bleach) - sensor doesn't care It takes a bit of getting ones head around, but even if I could shoot at a higher shutterspeed I still wouldn't have to increase the strobe output until I got above 1/2000th (using a theoretical camera with no X-Speed resprictions and perfect syncronisation); in the studio - at regular shutterspeeds - most of the time no exposure is occuring when the shutter is open ... so as long as their is sufficient time for it to occur (ie just 1/2000th of a second) then the rest doesn't matter, and flash intensity doesn't need to be changed with changes in shutterspeed.

    Does that answer the question?

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    I like #3 best (intriguing pose, great light on her face, plus with this angle her face looks more attractive), although I don't know why I don't like the white background - the neutral greyish background in #1 looks better to me. Plus, something slightly darker than the white would maybe better contrast with her clothes, and make the eyes make bigger impact? I dunno, I'm no expert, but I would give it a try. Can I borrow your daughter for a session or two?

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by agaace View Post
    I like #3 best (intriguing pose, great light on her face, plus with this angle her face looks more attractive), although I don't know why I don't like the white background - the neutral greyish background in #1 looks better to me. Plus, something slightly darker than the white would maybe better contrast with her clothes, and make the eyes make bigger impact? I dunno, I'm no expert, but I would give it a try. Can I borrow your daughter for a session or two?
    Thanks Agata,

    It was primarily just a studio test to workout what it took to nuke a background properly (actually the same white cloth used in all 3 shots - just that there's no illumination on it on the first) (actually, if nothing else, it probably gives a good indication of how light falls off - many photographers struggle to get pure white backgrounds, and this is why ... the ONLY way to do it properly is to light them seperately).

    You're welcome to borrow her -- the standing joke would of course be "but only if you promise not to bring her back" ... but I really love her dearly! (She has the "kate moss" look, and the "Naomi Campbell" temperament!

  19. #19
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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Does that answer the question?
    Yes, it does, thanks!

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    Re: A Top Model ... In the Studio!

    Hi Colin,

    Picking up on Agata's view of the background, I tend to agree, to me it's looking well blown and possibly leaking over adjacent pixel's details (hair, etc.).

    In your terminology, forget the 'nuke' and try something a little less powerful, perhaps a conventional 'grand slam' instead?

    Cheers,

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