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Need macgyver magic and tips for boby scapting

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Thread started 18 Nov 2010 (Thursday) 09:37   
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BlindGuyTakingPictures
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My wife actually agreed to be my subject for a body scape session which totally took me off guard and a bit unprepared.

I have been practicing a bit on myself with just my face and flashlight (setting my camera on 2 second delay) so I can get back into position :lol: and they are not impressive. It is obvious the light needs to be softened a bit and the 1/2 second shutter speed seems ok, but that results in a high ISO.

Based on my camera equipment I am looking for suggestions because this may be my one and only chance. :cool:

For lenses I have 100mm and a 17-55mm. I really like the 100mm but that would only be good for the face unless I am going to stand on the other side of the room for more of the body.

For lightning I have some flashlights and those bright workshop lights. So, I need some recommended MacGyver setups to obtain the proper lighting with these items.

Also, what you finding works best? A fixed 100 ISO and .5, 1, 2 (more or less) shutter speed? I figure the slower shutter speed only opens the door for a blurry picture as it would be hard for the person to remain still.

Post #1, Nov 18, 2010 09:37:54




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Mark1
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You want to get the light as directional as you can. Not sure how you would do that with shop lights. You also want good seperation between the model and background. The classic bodyscape is mainly black and just the edge of the model lit, and the light falling off in various degrees as it goes past the body.

What lens more depends on what you are looking for in the image. DO you like the compression that a longer lens gives? Or do you like the expansive view from a wider lens? How far do you like to be from your subject when shooting? How much/little of the body do you want to show? Are you limited by room size? etc...etc...There never is one lens that is the only choice. There are way to many variables to narrow it down with out being there. I would suggest shooting with whatever you got. Try one then move to another.

I asked the model I just shot last week, if she wanted to do another session of some bodyscapes. She did not know about bodyscapes. So I threw a grid on the beauty dish, and had her step away from the white wall about 2 steps. But the darker the background the better. I had to push the blacks up farther than I like to kill the light background. I shot about 20 frames in about 5 minutes. I shot them from 24mm to 200. What you use depends on what you want to show in the frame... full body, or just a small part. The room was about 12 feet wide at most. It came out fairly well. A success as it was only intended to get her interested in doing a proper session. But nothing I would use. So a small room will work but more room is never a bad thing.

2 from that quick trial. The first is about 40mm. The second is about 180. Basically straight out of the camera with only the black point pushed up. The second one got a split tone to show her what a colored one might look like.

http://ind-img.com/pics/steph/97s​.jpgexternal link

http://ind-img.com/pics/steph/14s​.jpgexternal link

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Post #2, Nov 18, 2010 10:42:44


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BlindGuyTakingPictures
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I did forget to mention a black cloth about 8x6 foot was purchase a while back with the hopes of doing a body scape and used a small stuffed animal :lol: as a test. It didn't turn out well, but after seeing your first picture I have a feeling by making it a b/w picture it may look a lot better.

What camera settings did you use and what was the shutter speed did you find optimum?

BTW, that first picture is outstanding.

Post #3, Nov 18, 2010 11:20:54 as a reply to Mark1's post 38 minutes earlier.




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Mark1
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I was using a strobe so I was at 200 to kill as much ambient as I could. Aperature was f22 to kill as much of the strobe spill as I could. Small room + white walls = LOTS of spill. And she is about 6 feet from a 16 inch beauty dish to compress the fall off as much as possible.

There are no general "optimal" settings. It will be a case by case basis. As your detail is the skin it self, a lighter model may require a different aperture than a darker one as it will reflect more light. It also depends on how bright your lights are. I dont think any work lights will work at f22 without burning the model.

I would ask her if it was ok to do 2 sessions. One to experiment and one to actually produce an image. The first session only needs to be 5 minutes long.And they can be 5 minutes apart. You only need time to check your experiment on the computer.

Start with metering the model in position. Stand next to the light and find the settings that give you the skin tone you want. Then move to the other side of the model and shoot from there. The rim of the model will be close to the exposure you want while the rest of her falls away. Adjust as necessary. But it should not be more than a stop in either direction. Chack them on the computer on a larger screen than the camera has. Once you have a setting you like... Start the second session and concentrate on your compositions.

Post #4, Nov 18, 2010 12:42:36


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Mark1
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Here is one as shot. All the light that is lighting up the wall is being reflected off of her. This is why you want the background as dark as you can get it. If it were black, there would be very little that would need to be done to hide the background. That leaves you with more range to adjust your skin tones with out having to dodge and burn.

This is shot at 125 @ f 22
http://ind-img.com/pics/steph/2.j​pgexternal link

Then with only the black point pushed up to hide everything....

http://ind-img.com/pics/steph/2-2.jpgexternal link

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Post #5, Nov 18, 2010 12:55:38


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BlindGuyTakingPictures
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Mark1 wrote in post #11307317external link
This is shot at 125 @ f 22

I am going to assume you are meaning 1/125 as I haven't caught all the lingo yet. ;)

As a test, I placed a canister on the table, set the camera on manual.
f22, 1/125 and ISO 100. The image was nothing but a dark screen. Changed to f11 and still dark. Took out the spot light and bounced it off the wall...still dark......eventually I kept the room light on AND the spot light on the canister and its almost looking like it has potential.

So, it appears the bright lights are fine due to the fast shutter speed and small aperture.

With the camera in manual mode (essentially using fixed settings) the key of this body scape photograph is going to be with shining these bright lights at the correct angle. Am I catching on or still way off base?:neutral:

Post #6, Nov 18, 2010 18:04:47




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Mark1
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Yes 1/125. It is common to just drop the "1/" as unless it is a long exposure "1/" is the only thing it can be. Much like people no longer say "WWW." at the begining of a web address when talking.

Your on the right track. As you read photo books, and here on the internet you will hear people refer to "rim light" in a normal portrait this is a light just to acent the subjects edge and add some interest to the image. It adds only a little to the "normal" portrait. With body scapes, the entire image is built off of just that rim light. And you are right, the angle is the whole key. Just a few degrees can change the entire look of the image. It can take it from a simple outline to a intricate patchwork of texture. And everything in between. I like the light to just start to skim over the body. But not enough to obviously tell what it is.

The light has to be pretty bright to work at f22 no matter what the shutter is at. But you want it bright. The brighter the light the deeper the shadows will appear. And I like he shadows to fall to nothing, so the light needs to be pretty bright. But all you are looking for is to get the very edge exposed properly. then let the light fall away as it will on its own. It is not to important what f stop you are at. You can make it work with just about any f stop. You just need to be able to set the power of the light acordingly.

Post #7, Nov 18, 2010 19:40:21


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BlindGuyTakingPictures
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In order to do some testing I solicit the help from Iron Giant.
The following images actually look better enlarged and prior to uploading.

I tried 4 different light angles
1 - Below the table facing up.
2 - Same level as the table angled up.
3 - head level of the subject angled down.
4 - high up angled down.

Then the above 4 were tested from 3 areas.
1 - a bit in front of the subject with the light going away from the subject
2 - a bit behind the subject with the light coming toward the camera.
3 - from the left side of the subject just to try something different.

The following 4 shots are from the series taken with the light slightly behind the subject with the light going toward the camera which is what was actually recommended from above.

The last image was a trying to get the light as close as possible. In fact you can see the rays of light from the source in the image. These are unedited other than to resize to place in this thread. Overall, I felt it was a good start and appreciate the above feedback to help me get started.


IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/jimsimages/c04421f0.jpg


IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/jimsimages/bb22f8c0.jpg


IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/jimsimages/0b9a3c56.jpg


IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/jimsimages/3942d9c8.jpg


IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/jimsimages/cc04301f.jpg

Post #8, Nov 22, 2010 21:18:57 as a reply to Mark1's post 4 days earlier.




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BlindGuyTakingPictures
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skyy38 wrote in post #11391125external link
Got any Verilux lamps?

Believe it not, no desk lamps at all. Just standard ceiling fan lights and the shop lights that I have been using for my light box as well.

skyy38 wrote in post #11391125external link
For some more ideas on this subject Google "bodyscapes" in the image department!

Ah, that was helpful. I am not very creative but rather see something and try to replicate it and the google gave me some very good idea.

Post #10, Dec 13, 2010 20:54:19




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