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Thread: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

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    speedneeder's Avatar
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    C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    OK, I have tried a few portraits now, and have been longing to have a 'rim' light, but I only have one off cam flash, so that makes my options limited. So I put up a $8 shop light (60w incandescent) and shot a few pics with my shoot through umbrella. The different color light was annoying! Then I remembered I got a bunch of gels with my 'strobist' kit and I slapped a 1/2 CTO on my flash, and bang - ALMOST balanced color! I apologize for the boring background, but it was quick and easy to work with and my model is not feeling good tonight - props to her for helping me out even though she's not feelng good! What do you think?

    C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Future attemps will involve a full CTO gel and a reflector...

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Great model. Very generous too. Hope she is feeling better soon.
    Looks good. Full gel might be an improvement to my untrained eye.
    Would like to see the full gel next to this one and compare.
    Pretty darn good head shot I'd say.
    For the newbie flash shooters, how did you go about getting the exposure and flash power combo to this point? What was your method?

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    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Thanks Hans. This is by far my best attempt at indoor lighting.
    As far as the setup - everything is completely in manual - flash and camera. For the flash setting I usually start with it set at 1/32, which is also where it ended up in this pic. I take a test picture, and adjust my aperture to get it close on the LCD. If I want a larger or smaller aperture, I adjust either the iso or the flash power to compensate for the change in aperture, depending on the situation. then depending on how I want the ambient light, I adjust the shutter speed. I ended up at 200 iso and 1/100 shutter for this one I think. I dunno if that makes sense or not, but it works for me. I don't have a light meter nor do I plan to get one any time soon.
    I like your idea about doing the same shot with different gels to illustrate the difference. I'll make sure to try that out during my next 'shoot'.
    Using the manual flash has definitely forced me to use my camera completely differently than I have in the past, and I'm really having fun doing it.

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Thanks Brian, I am chomping at the bit to get into the manual strobist thing myslef when budget allows. Patience patience patience

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    darn budgets!

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Another untrained-eye critique, but I think she looks great. To me the photo looks well lit all around in a "warm" sort of way (and I don't mean WB) I mean because shes a young girl, I think any moody or dramatic lighting scheme would be inappropriate.

    You're doing a fantastic job and I would guess that an equally important skill to have in portrait photography is the abilty to get subjects/models to relax and look natural, and that she does even when she's not feeling 100%.

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Debbie, thank you for the encouragement! I'm feeling some pressure to get this right, as my wife has 'volunteered' me to take some portraits at my daughter's next birthday party, only a week away! I will do some more experimenting this weekend with my other $8 shop light and different gels. I think my daughter's eyes look great in this photo, very accurate color, I just need to find a way for her to open them up a little wider for photos

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    my wife has 'volunteered' me to take some portraits at my daughter's next birthday party
    GULP!

    I don't see the eye opening problem, but you could ask her to relax and close her eyes then say "open" and take the shot. Works for groups to get everyone's eyes open at the same time too.

    BTW, good luck

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Good shot! I just got a flash for christmas and, I too am learning. I think that the setting you had for the camera and flash work really well. I can what you're talking about the color. The light on the left of the photo is a little warmer than the right. I don't know anything about gels, but I'm pretty sure they could make this shot perfect.

    I might suggest laying her right arm in different position, because it looks like it's leaving the photo.

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Good tip Hans.

    Shane, the imbalance of color is exactly what I was talking about. I used a half CTO gel on the flash and a tungsten shop light for a hair light. I agree that with a different gel I can get the color balance right. Good tip on the arm. Thanks for your input.

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Hans, I tried basically the exact same lighting setup with 1/2 CTO asd full CTO gels with an available subject - sorry he isn't nearly as good looking as the original one!

    1/2 CTO
    C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Full CTO
    C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    The bald head of the subject ruins things a little bit, but you get the idea.

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Hi Brian,

    I'm not seeing any rim lighting here, just hair light - is that what you're meaning?

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Thanks for that, Brian.
    I tend to lean toward the warmer light. I'm hoping someone will comment on how the key light should relate to the secondary light lighting the subject (as opposed to the background) in terms of colour temp. I.e. should we be aiming for the both lights to be pretty much the same temp, unless we are intending a little contrast (eg. with a blue light on the background).

    sorry he isn't nearly as good looking as the original one!
    You can say that again!

    I'm not seeing any rim lighting here, just hair light
    Colin, I am thinking the rim light is one that lights the subject from pretty much behind and falls around the subject's outline (sillouette) creating a highlight, while a hair light just highlights from the rear and on the different side to the key light providing some separation to from the background. Is that what you are talking about?

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Brian,

    I'm not seeing any rim lighting here, just hair light - is that what you're meaning?
    Yes Colin. Sorry for confusing terms.

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    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Hans, I agree with your thoughts about 'what is the light for?' in that after looking at these pictures, I was wondering if a yellow light for hair was a bad thing. I would have to aim it better or use some sort of gobo though to avoid the color cast on the clothes potentially - look at my right shoulder in the pics and you will see what is mean.

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    Re: C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

    Hi Brian,

    I usually use rim lighting / kicker lights to seperate the foreground from the background, with the classic application being someone wearing a black shirt being photographed against a black background.

    Here's a rim lighting example from a shot I took the other day (I used the models' head to block the sun whilst I got the background exposure sorted) - just look at the light "creeping around" the sides of her head.

    C&C Portrait Please - AGAIN!~

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