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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Lighting Lessons -- anyone care to teach me?
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04/21/2017 02:33:35 PM · #1
Originally posted by damjanev:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by damjanev:

I believe that this is the trick you are looking for.
The Secret to Take Stunning Portraits is a Strip Softbox


Thanks for the link! I'm finding that I'm using the strip box for everything -- but they had some interesting ideas about angling that I hadn't thought of. I'd angled it before, but never angled out before. I'll have to do some serious experimenting.


Angles and grids.


Thats very effective lighting thanks
04/20/2017 06:07:11 PM · #2
How to Shoot Great Portraits in Tiny Spaces (brief article and 9-minute video)
02/21/2017 06:10:22 AM · #3
Not only the post but also all of the replies helped a lot to understand the effect of lighting as well as how to use it effectively during taking any shot.
02/08/2017 01:45:34 AM · #4
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by damjanev:

I believe that this is the trick you are looking for.
The Secret to Take Stunning Portraits is a Strip Softbox


Thanks for the link! I'm finding that I'm using the strip box for everything -- but they had some interesting ideas about angling that I hadn't thought of. I'd angled it before, but never angled out before. I'll have to do some serious experimenting.


Angles and grids.
02/07/2017 10:55:46 PM · #5
I remember a series of books on lighting written by a chap called Mortenson back in the late 50s 60s I found them excellent and he made things easy, he was an american photographer. try used book shops they may be a help .
02/07/2017 08:23:23 PM · #6
Originally posted by damjanev:

I believe that this is the trick you are looking for.
The Secret to Take Stunning Portraits is a Strip Softbox


Thanks for the link! I'm finding that I'm using the strip box for everything -- but they had some interesting ideas about angling that I hadn't thought of. I'd angled it before, but never angled out before. I'll have to do some serious experimenting.
02/07/2017 08:21:49 AM · #7
I believe that this is the trick you are looking for.
The Secret to Take Stunning Portraits is a Strip Softbox
01/29/2017 05:10:38 PM · #8
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by giantmike:

Lack of space doesn't have to be a roadblock. You just need something that will cut your light output. A neutral density gel will do it.

Or if you are shooting through something (like a softbox), you could add layers of printer paper to block some of the light (if you don't have any, buy some gaffers tape to affix the paper).

In fact, this can be better than moving away.

If you are trying to get the light to "fall off" faster from one side of the model to the other I think the inverse-square law dictates that the light be closer to the subject, with the intensity reduced to make a correct exposure on the near side.


Yes -- I've tried that.

But that must be my problem. I'm moving it in closer in order to have it fall off faster, but because of that, I'm getting a softer light with softer shadows.

That's why the hotshoe flash gave me more contrast, because I had it close in -- but it was a smaller source!

So I really can't have an abrupt fall off and still a high contrasty subject if I have a large light source!


I think your solution is right here, as you said, the speedlite gave more contrast because it was a smaller source. It also gave more contrast because speedlite's produce a more focused light source. Using a bowl reflector or beauty dish, possibly with a grid will probably give you a similar light to what you were getting with the smaller speedlite.
01/29/2017 03:26:26 PM · #9
Two words and two names: Luminosity Masks with Tony Kuyper and Sean Bagwell.

It's changed the way I look at not just the lighting I managed to capture, but how I enhance it in post. Tony produces a Photoshop panel that makes implementing this stuff so easy, and Sean has mastered the technique and has a series of videos that go into great detail on how to make it work for you. Takes some time to get the hang of thinking that way, but once you do your post processing will explode. Great stuff.
01/29/2017 09:27:10 AM · #10
Originally posted by MichaelC:

This guy does great lighting tuts in a small home studio for Adorama.


I've seen some of his stuff, and I agree! I really like him. I just noticed he had a home studio series. His studio is huge compared to mine, but I'm going to start that one. Thanks!
01/29/2017 08:45:32 AM · #11
This guy does great lighting tuts in a small home studio for Adorama.
01/28/2017 12:18:09 PM · #12
Oh, and I have the right type of light meter. Still don't use it very effectively, but at least I'm using it now (I'd just do a hit and miss before :)

And yup, I'm using the aperture to then change the power of the light. I tried opening it up, simply because I kept getting too much light on the background, so I wanted a shallower depth of field. I need to angle the lights more since I don't have the room to trust the inverse square law. I can't get it to fall off fast enough in the small space. (that's also why I was trying to decrease the power of the light.)

But teach us, Alex!
01/28/2017 12:15:09 PM · #13
Ok -- I'm really behind on this thread and I need to catch up. General, thanks for the links! I'll take a look. Tangy: Didn't know you could grid a beauty dish!! I have one -- I'll look into a grid.

Alex, HECK YEAH!! That's the lighting I want!! Looking at your lighting guide, how far away were the lights and what types of modifiers? softbox with one layer of diffussion? Double? Gridded? I really really want that dramatic look, and I don't seem to be getting it. Also, what size soft box? I'm thinking I have way too big of a softbox for a very small area.

Just realized that my bedroom is significantly larger than my dining room. I'm hoping Jeff won't mind if we sleep in the middle of the dining room and turn the bedroom into a studio. :)
01/28/2017 02:14:24 AM · #14
Hmmm, sounds like you're using the wrong modifiers. Do you have a beauty dish with a grid? I swear by that thing.
01/27/2017 02:14:24 PM · #15
It doesn't answer directly to your but maybe someone could find it useful. For one of my Yellow Ribbons I opened this thread about the lighting of that image.

As for the contrast, the hardest the light, the more contrast you have in your image (in any case the right settings in camera can add contrast before the editing too).
01/27/2017 01:56:44 PM · #16
This article[ seems even more relevant to your situation ...
01/22/2017 01:35:40 PM · #17
Here is an article which may bear on your situation (I haven't watched the linked video) ...
01/18/2017 05:00:18 AM · #18
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by giantmike:

Lack of space doesn't have to be a roadblock. You just need something that will cut your light output. A neutral density gel will do it.

Or if you are shooting through something (like a softbox), you could add layers of printer paper to block some of the light (if you don't have any, buy some gaffers tape to affix the paper).

In fact, this can be better than moving away.

If you are trying to get the light to "fall off" faster from one side of the model to the other I think the inverse-square law dictates that the light be closer to the subject, with the intensity reduced to make a correct exposure on the near side.


Yes -- I've tried that.

But that must be my problem. I'm moving it in closer in order to have it fall off faster, but because of that, I'm getting a softer light with softer shadows.

That's why the hotshoe flash gave me more contrast, because I had it close in -- but it was a smaller source!

So I really can't have an abrupt fall off and still a high contrasty subject if I have a large light source!


Have you tried using gridded softlight modifiers? The grid on a softbox is intended to restrict the spill of light to the side and making the falloff faster, but still soft.

01/17/2017 04:59:34 PM · #19
The image detail says an aperture of f4.5
To lower the power of the light you could increase the aperture accordingly.
DOF with lighting is very different (in the shot shown) as only what you light will show the DOF anyway
This will let you control the light power more and increase sharpness throughout the image

Message edited by author 2017-01-17 18:22:39.
01/17/2017 04:58:40 PM · #20
You may already know this, but the light meter you need to be using is an "incident light meter" like LumiPro (which is what we used to use) that has a hemispherical white dome and measures the light falling ON the subject; you hold it where you want to measure the light. So you can turn the main light(s) on and set & measure that, then turn them off and set the fill lights so they fill to whatever percentage of the mainb lights you desire, then shoot with both sets on and exposed for the main lights. That's how we shot with both strobe and non-strobe back in the day; we had a strobe meter that did the same thing, measured the intensity of light falling on the subject, and we'd dial in the balance we wanted. Of course, I'm a dinosaur. Everybody's electronic these days. But it worked great for Yousuf Karsh :-)

ALBERT-EINSTEIN-1948-by-YOUSUF-KARSH-BHC1111.jpg
01/17/2017 04:57:11 PM · #21
Personally I think all you need is a nice large (north facing) window or softbox. The snooted lighting from behind makes his ear look grotesque. The hair light just puts a hot spot on his bald head. I would ditch the snoot and reposition your hair light to work as a rim light if its only purpose is to separate him from the background. Less is more. The contrast seems fine. (Not lighting related but it would be good to see a little more of his face.)
01/17/2017 04:56:26 PM · #22
Did you use a black backdrop in your image? I seem to be able to see background items

01/17/2017 04:50:15 PM · #23
It might help if you post a picture of your space and the lighting equipment you're using, and/or a roughly-to-scale diagram.
01/17/2017 04:41:24 PM · #24
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by giantmike:

Lack of space doesn't have to be a roadblock. You just need something that will cut your light output. A neutral density gel will do it.

Or if you are shooting through something (like a softbox), you could add layers of printer paper to block some of the light (if you don't have any, buy some gaffers tape to affix the paper).

In fact, this can be better than moving away.

If you are trying to get the light to "fall off" faster from one side of the model to the other I think the inverse-square law dictates that the light be closer to the subject, with the intensity reduced to make a correct exposure on the near side.


Yes -- I've tried that.

But that must be my problem. I'm moving it in closer in order to have it fall off faster, but because of that, I'm getting a softer light with softer shadows.

That's why the hotshoe flash gave me more contrast, because I had it close in -- but it was a smaller source!

So I really can't have an abrupt fall off and still a high contrasty subject if I have a large light source!
01/17/2017 04:37:35 PM · #25
Originally posted by giantmike:

Lack of space doesn't have to be a roadblock. You just need something that will cut your light output. A neutral density gel will do it.

Or if you are shooting through something (like a softbox), you could add layers of printer paper to block some of the light (if you don't have any, buy some gaffers tape to affix the paper).

In fact, this can be better than moving away.

If you are trying to get the light to "fall off" faster from one side of the model to the other I think the inverse-square law dictates that the light be closer to the subject, with the intensity reduced to make a correct exposure on the near side.
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