View Full Version : Studio lighting practice
11-06-2011, 10:35 PM
Hey everybody, I thought I'd share a few pics I did in my makeshift studio today. I'm trying to figure out how to use my external flash along with the few constant lights i have to take a better portrait. The constant lights just aren't bright enough for me to use a fast enough shutter speed with a low enough iso. I hate using iso over 200. I had a couple boxes I wrapped like Christmas presents for another idea I was working on, so I used them as props for this too. It tells a story of a boy who hasn't behaved very well all year and isn't getting much for Christmas lol. Anyway here's a few I took, so let me know what you think.
11-06-2011, 10:39 PM
I also took a couple shots to show my setup in case anyone was curious.
11-13-2011, 01:41 AM
so..... anybody got any opinions on these?... please
11-14-2011, 01:40 PM
Jim, I have no experience in studio lighting or studio portraits but I'll give this a shot...You always seem to produce outstanding pictures regardless of the subject so I don't expect anything less in this. I like all of these and I especially enjoyed seeing your makeshift studio as I made one with my granddaughter..Anyways, here goes...I think the lighting on the leftor his right isn't sufficient. The shadows are a little too deep for me on these. Maybe just a bit more fill light. And I like the story line. The only thing I would have done different was to have him look down at the boxes in #4. He seems to be looking down on the floor to the right of them. Other than that, I like them...Good job.. Think I might try this..Thank you for always coming to my rescure when I post on here. I appreciate it..
11-14-2011, 03:32 PM
hey, thanks so much Judy. I think I should have slowed my shutter speed a a tad more when i shot this set or just raised the iso(it was all the way down to 100). I'm using my external flash on an extension cord, and it's tied underneath the umbrella stem on my key light lol. Crude, but it kinda works. It's just not nearly as powerful as even a small studio strobe, so my shutter speed was only 1/15. I'm probably gonna have to give up some quality and raise my iso until I get my studio lights.
11-14-2011, 07:07 PM
Well, I still think they look good. What about just correcting the lighting with Lightroom or Photoshop...
11-14-2011, 07:50 PM
I don't know about photoshop, but I use Elements 7, and there's only so much I can do before the areas I'm adjusting start to really look funny.
Jim, I think they are all wonderful portraits, and thanks for showing us your set up. It looks great.
Judy has made some great comments, and I do agree that a touch more lighting on the left could improve these. Nos. 2 & 4 with the boy turned slightly I feel have better lighting IMO.
My other thought was perhaps more lighting on the backdrop as I feel the "greyish" color does not do much for these shots.
I would probably try different colored backdrops for different shoots.... just a thought.
11-15-2011, 01:52 PM
thanks Kaye. I hope to get some more backdrops over time; I only have black, white, and a pinkish colored sheet. I use the white the most. I can control the shade of grey somewhat by moving my subject and lights closer or further away from the backdrop. I showed the setup shots simply for those out there who have no clue where to start with lighting setups. I figured other students might appreciate it. :)
11-15-2011, 02:33 PM
Jim, I helped a friend tie dye a piece of unbleached muslin in a blue. It made a really nice backdrop and was pretty cheap...
I use a large piece of pastel floral material for a backdrop when I shoot flowers indoors. It sort of gives a more natural bokeh with the right light on it.
11-16-2011, 12:41 AM
Hey Jim. I'm sorry to be late in responding but I have had only limited time with Internet access for the last 10 days. I agree with Judy and Kaye completely about the lighting. I am wondering what your aperture setting is? I also wonder if you try these types of shots in aperture priority What the outcome would be. You did a really good job on these especially with your "inventive" lighting technique. Lol. My only other thought, and this is strictly my opinion but I wonder if using less light to coney a darker mood might be more effective. Anyway keep up the good work.
11-16-2011, 03:27 AM
hey Marianne, no worries. My aperture is usually set anywhere from f/5 to f/8, iso 100 or 200. I never shoot over iso 400 with this camera cuz the digital noise is too bad. When i just use continuous lights, I use ap priority and take a reading of the lit side of the face. I tweak my settings from there as I need to. With this new setup using my external flash, I had to guess and set everything in manual mode. It's trial and error. When I find settings that work well for a setup, I write them down lol. If I want a darker look. I speed up the shutter by a stop or so. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the general idea. When I get my new strobes, I'll have to start the process over again, but it'll be worth it. If you ever see one of my pics and want to know how I did it, just ask or send me a message. I don't mind sharing.
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