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Author Topic: Let There Be Light!  (Read 19010 times)

Marshal.F

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Let There Be Light!
« on: November 07, 2010, 02:46:00 PM »
Post your portraits that used off camera lighting. One light, ten lights, all is welcome!


LP120 in a beauty dish high camera right.


LP120 in a 43" shoot-through camera left
Sunpak 442 camera right behind model


LP120 in a beauty dish camera left and a bare bulb sunpak 442 in a 43" shoot-through camera right.


LP120 in a 43" shoot-through camera right.





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Let There Be Light!
« on: November 07, 2010, 02:46:00 PM »

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2010, 09:31:00 PM »


3Stop ND filter to cut down ambient and open up aperture.
580EXII in a beauty dish, camera left.
Evening Sun for backlight.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 12:37:12 AM by JRSJ »

Haydn1971

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 03:28:50 AM »
Some really good photographs, in particular the girl with the toy guitar and the chap with his back to the wall.  Comments on how the photos were done are useful too, how much editing was done afterwards and what exactly ?

The girl reminds me of a young Drew Barrymore and the chap a young Dexter Morgan.  I often shy away from flash as I only have an on board unit...  its just another thing on my list of photographic experiments ;)
Regards, Haydn

:: View my photostream on Flickr, Canon EOS 6D, EOS M ,  16-35mm II, 24-70mm II, 70-300mm L, 135mm f2.0 L, 22mm f2.0, Lensbaby, EOS M adaptor, Cosina CT1G film SLR & 50mm f2.0 lens

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 01:00:05 AM »
Hey Haydn,

The girls name is Francesca, shes a local musician and a really good friend of mine. She needed promo shots for her first album -- so I decided to help her out. If you'd like, you can check out her music at http://www.myspace.com/francescabelcourt

Technicals for the shot were:

24-70 2.8L
5D Classic
ISO 100 50mm f3.5 1/200s
3Stop Lee ND Filter
580EX II in DIY Beauty Dish high camera left.

Speedlight in a beauty dish for the keylight @ 1/4 power (to bring up the subject, as the ND filter brought down the whole exposure 3 f-stops.) The reason for the ND filter was to get a shallower DOF without blowing out data. Butterflies in her hair were fake ones from the dollar store.

Post considerations?

I usually spot and split-tone my images just to warm them up (or to give it a cross processed/vintage feel that everyone loves these days.) All this was done within Lightroom 3. I then export for print dimensions, do minor editing in photoshop, and sharpen/size for web. The ultimate goal is to stay out of photoshop as much as possible. (If I can help it. :D)

Hopefully that inspires you to getyour flash off-camera. It really allows for a new level of creativity. If you have any other questions I'll try my best to answer them. Also,  if you haven't already, you should check out http://www.strobist.com for all your off-camera lighting tips.

JRSJ
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 01:48:56 AM by JRSJ »

Haydn1971

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 04:01:19 PM »
Thanks for the extra info, much appreciated.
Regards, Haydn

:: View my photostream on Flickr, Canon EOS 6D, EOS M ,  16-35mm II, 24-70mm II, 70-300mm L, 135mm f2.0 L, 22mm f2.0, Lensbaby, EOS M adaptor, Cosina CT1G film SLR & 50mm f2.0 lens

duccao

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 07:17:12 PM »
I shot these today. What do you guys think?

mar3 by duccao, on Flickr


mar2 by duccao, on Flickr

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 03:10:10 AM »
Hey Duccao,

Thanks for sharing your pictures, glad to see more people participating  ;D.

Your first shot is really strong. Using the green cloth as a framing element helps with the overall composition. The retouching on her skin is pretty strong, and looks a little rubbery. Maybe next time try to keep more texture in the skin?
I love it regardless -- and I find it stronger than your second photo.

In the second one, I find that her feet are lost in the shadows too much, and that there is not enough separation between her hair and the background. I don't know what kind of lighting setup you had -- but a shoot-thru umbrella camera left (just outside of the frame) with an gridded speedlite (camera right) to rim light might help her pop more.

Regardless, you have an eye for it, and the image is about 50% there, once you dial it in down it will sing! Thats just my opinion on it though, hopefully you can take something constructive from it.

JRSJ

ps. Does she really have an dermal piercing on her middle finger? Thats awesome.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 03:13:23 AM by JRSJ »

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 03:10:10 AM »

duccao

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010, 02:10:57 PM »
OMG yes! That's actually the exact kind of critique I've been looking to get. Thanks!

Edit: On the second one, I shot it through a 32x24 softbox camera left. And yeah, she has one of those weird in-your-finger rings. Better pic: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=462173&l=665eee8270&id=1696697347
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 02:15:15 PM by duccao »

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 09:16:10 PM »
A shot from a recent test shoot with a friend.



180mm - 1/160s - f8

Canon 5D Classic
70-200mm 2.8L IS USM
580EXII (Beauty Dish / Camera Right)
580EXII (Strip Light / Camera Left)
Radio Popper jrX triggers

revup67

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 09:34:12 PM »
Hello JRSJ - it appears you truly have a knack for portraits especially the female musician posted earlier - really excellent planning and thought process here especially with the flash use outdoors and bounce object.  One question I have is that (from what I've read) zoom lenses typically don't have the strengths such as sharpness, low distortion, lower pincushioning, etc. that prime lenses do.  I noticed you are shooting with some fine zooms but is there a particular reason you don't utilize the prime lenses?  The Canon 100m 2.8 L macro IS USM has some outstanding results in the tests I've reviewed as well as the 50mm prime 1.4 or 1.2 with excellent bokeh results.  Just curious to your thoughts.

PS - I acquired two ND filters the 3 stop and 9 stop (tough to use the latter however) for the same reasons you've implied - to shoot with a wider aperture vs. meaning smaller (F16 or smaller).  I think a lot of folks over look the "sweet spots" on lenses and these ND's give you that control in bright daylight.  Good stuff!
Thanks
Rev
Canon EOS 5D MK3 + EOS 7D » Canon50mm 1.4 » Canon 100mm IS USM L Macro » Canon 24-105 L USM IS » Canon 70-300 IS USM L» Canon MP-E65 » Canon 8-15mm Fisheye »Canon 16-35 Mkii USM L » Canon 200mm 2.8 L USM II » Canon 400mm 5.6 L » Canon 580EXII & MT 24EX Flash

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2011, 06:57:26 PM »
Hey there Rev,

Thanks for the compliment and happy new year as well. To answer your question about why I prefer zoom lenses over prime lenses is easy enough. I shoot weddings, so the less I have to carry around the better. My current wedding kit consists of this:

5D Classic w/ 24-70 2.8L USM & 580EX II.
7D w/ 70-200 2.8L IS USM & 580EX II.
With enough CF cards /NiMH batteries to choke a horse.
All attached to my person via Black Rapid Double Strap.

Its kind of goofy, but its the easiest way to carry everything I need with me. One could argue that my focal lengths don't meet up (because of the 1.6 crop on my 70-200, I'm missing out between 70-112mm). Personally, the longer reach more than makes up for it, and I've never really found that I miss 85mm (as the 24-70 @ 70mm w/ its short minium focusing distance looks similar to 85mm.)

If I was a commercial photographer I could see the justification of having a set of L Primes covering key focal lengths, but the versatility of zooms far outweigh the benefits of sharpness, lower distortion / pincushioning etc. (Most, if not all of those can be remedied to some extent with good post processing.) The only thing I miss are the wider apertures of prime lenses. This has forced me to get over the "Anything Over ISO 400 Is Garbage" stigma. Noise can be controlled, and seldom does it ruin images I've sized for web or 8X10 prints.

All this being said, I still have the first lens I bought, the 50mm 1.8, as a light walk around lens. I had the 50 1.4, but sold it when I bought the 24-70. (I could get into the 1.8 vs 1.4 discussion, but as far as I'm concerned both lenses are awesome.)

Hopefully that answers your question Rev.

Cheers!

PS. ND's are amazing, try stacking them on top of a good circular polarizer to get 4.5 or 10.5 stops of ND for super slow happy times. (Especially on a stormy day at the beach.)

PPS. No posts are complete without another image.  :)


My sister always makes a good test subject.


5D Classic
70-200 2.8L IS USM
ISO 400
200mm
f4.5
1/160s

580EX II in a DIY strip light camera left, behind the subject.
580EX II in a beauty dish high camera right.

Power level was controlled via radio popper cubes, so I couldn't tell you the exact output (Not too high, as the ISO was raised for shorter recycle times.) Lights were positioned so that they could fall off onto the background to make it a nice dark grey.


revup67

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2011, 03:06:28 AM »
Thanks for taking the time for the explanation.  We all have our rhymes and reasons don't we? Your's being less stuff to carry around.  I had one guy start bashing me because I bought the 1.4 for its lightweight attributes and razor sharp resolution at around 2.8-3.x vs. other lenses where you have to get up in the higher F stops to hit their sweet spots.  I mean it really irked his nerves enough to comment like I was nuts. 

You are lucky to have such good patients / subjects to work with you.  My wife is fairly patient but like most people does not like to be photographed.  Once in awhile I photograph band mates and then alter in photoshop such as this one inserted here shot with the 50mm @ 1.4 - was going for the bokeh effect on this one plus I shamefully didn't have a flash at that moment.

I checked out the strobist link you had listed to improve my flash photography - its pretty good so thanks for that.  As an indoor photographer, are you using Custom White Balance?  I have found the WhiBal card to make a huge difference on indoor light.  It is dead on accurate vs AWB or the presets on the Canon 7D.  I can post a few test shots if its of interest.
Thanks
Rev
Canon EOS 5D MK3 + EOS 7D » Canon50mm 1.4 » Canon 100mm IS USM L Macro » Canon 24-105 L USM IS » Canon 70-300 IS USM L» Canon MP-E65 » Canon 8-15mm Fisheye »Canon 16-35 Mkii USM L » Canon 200mm 2.8 L USM II » Canon 400mm 5.6 L » Canon 580EXII & MT 24EX Flash

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2011, 04:39:59 AM »
Working fast and "light" has definitely pushed my wedding photography, and has helped curbed the stress from shooting such an important day. To be fair though, my girlfriend and I "second shoot" for one another. The only problem is that she shoots Nikon ;). Joking aside, my only fear right now is that my gear will eventually fail one day, but thats what CPS and insurance is for, right?

On topic now, I agree with you on the sweet spots of certain lenses. I bought the 2.8's for low-light, and the ability to get the shot in a pinch. However, during a "studio" shoot,  they're used between f3.5-8. (Depending on the subject.) The sharpness at these f-stops, even on an L Zoom are enough to make fingers hurt.

Moving onto your case, that individual was off base to be irked by someones f-stop decision. To each their own I guess, just keep up the good work and let it speak for itself. (Besides, just because you can shoot 1.4, doesn't mean you have to all the time, right?)

JRSJ

PS. When it comes to White Balancing I try to remember to shoot my Xrite Color Checker Passport. It has a MacBeth Color Chart, Creative Color Profile and a White Balance Card. Usually in the end I tweak the colors for my clients. It's always good to have a nice neutral base to work from though.



« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 04:42:05 AM by JRSJ »

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2011, 04:39:59 AM »

revup67

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2011, 12:29:19 AM »
Not clear on your statement of :  second shooting.  I think your acronym CPS is for Canon Professional Service?  Just guessing here.  I've heard of it and should probably join as I think I meet the mi.n requirements.

Calling on a pro here (i.e you) but I am interested in getting some lightweight/starter portrait gear for simple friend family shoots nothing completely pro but half way decent.  Do you have a recommended list you might suggest ? I do have the 580 EX II and MT 24EX flash for starters and two nice tripods but that's it.  I am missing the umbrella, stand and probably a few other items.  I have not finished reading the strobist URL yet (only a few pages) but it seems some of those items mentioned may be a bit out of date ?  Your thoughts - TIA
Thanks
Rev
Canon EOS 5D MK3 + EOS 7D » Canon50mm 1.4 » Canon 100mm IS USM L Macro » Canon 24-105 L USM IS » Canon 70-300 IS USM L» Canon MP-E65 » Canon 8-15mm Fisheye »Canon 16-35 Mkii USM L » Canon 200mm 2.8 L USM II » Canon 400mm 5.6 L » Canon 580EXII & MT 24EX Flash

JRSJ

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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 04:07:12 PM »
"Second shooting" is a common method that wedding photographers employ to make sure nothing is missed on a wedding day. It involves the principal photographer hiring an assistant to photograph with them. Basically two photographers at one wedding.

Lightweight/Starter portrait gear? A good starting point would be:

Lightstand
Umbrella Bracket
Shoot Thru/Reflective Umbrella

You can use your 7D wireless commander to trigger your 580EXII,  but I would consider investing into a wireless trigger system. Once you're comfortable with one light, you can move into two light setups. Most of the Strobist 101 seems out of date, but its very much a good starting point for reading. Speaking of reading, if you want to learn more about light and off camera flash I recommend:

Light: Science and Magic
The HotShoe Diaries

Sorry for the hasty reply -- I'll try to elaborate more if you have anymore questions.

JRSJ



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Re: Let There Be Light!
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 04:07:12 PM »