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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner
Thread started 14 Dec 2016 (Wednesday) 09:33
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first attempts with flash/artificial light

 
copmagnet82
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Dec 14, 2016 09:33 |  #1

I always avoided flash/artificial light photography simply because I hated what I was getting. Took those two last week using artificial light. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks for the feedback.

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In regards to this image, in general, with 2nd curtain sync where the blur is visible, should those images be avoided, or are they acceptable in the world of pro photography?

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Is regards to this image, is the shadow under the chin a huge issue or is it acceptable?

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 50D | Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | Canon Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller , Speedlite 600EX-RT

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Bassat
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Dec 14, 2016 10:19 |  #2

I like them. As for the shadow under the chin, it doesn't bother me. I'm not a pro, so don't go by what I think. I like the blend in the first shot. As for the blur, with a small child and 1/50 shutter, you are going to get motion blur. First or second curtain flash has no impact on that.


Tom

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chauncey
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Dec 14, 2016 12:30 |  #3

When you take an in studio portrait shot, who's the subject...go with a simple background.
At the client's home...they choose the setting.


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bob_r
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by bob_r. 3 edits done in total.
Dec 14, 2016 14:13 |  #4

Were you shooting with your flash set to E-ttl or Manual? Were you shooting in Aperture Priority?

The reason I ask is that your camera setting are pretty unusual.

Your first image is set to 1/2s f/5.6 ISO1000. The flash sync speed of your 5D is 1/200s, but if you want to capture more of the ambient light, you can reduce that speed, but 1/2s IMHO is much too slow when shooting people and especially children. Also, unless you have a very weak flash, there is no need to shoot at ISO1000. Your flash should be able to produce plenty of light to allow you to set your ISO to 100 or 200 at the most.

Your second image was shot at 1/200s f/1.6 ISO1000. The blur is from from your near wide open aperture setting. Rarely is that wide an aperture a good choice for shooting portraits. Your shutter speed is good, but ISO1000 is not.

My suggestion to get you started on the right path is to set your camera to manual - 1/125s (if you want to capture the ambient), f/5.6 to allow adequate DOF for your entire subject, and ISO200 (or ISO100 if you're not worried about flash recycle time or battery life). Set your flash to E-ttl to start but you can switch to manual as you get more experience with your flash. If your flash output seems too bright, adjust the flash output with FEC (flash exposure compensation) until you get it dialed in to suit your taste. Try bouncing your flash off the wall or ceiling if they're neutral colors.

Hope this helps a little.


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copmagnet82
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Dec 14, 2016 15:32 |  #5

bob_r wrote in post #18213135 (external link)
Were you shooting with your flash set to E-ttl or Manual? Were you shooting in Aperture Priority?

The reason I ask is that your camera setting are pretty unusual.

E-TTL for the tripod picture
Manual for the Christmas one
both where shot in Manual mode

bob_r wrote in post #18213135 (external link)
Your first image is set to 1/2s f/5.6 ISO1000. The flash sync speed of your 5D is 1/200s, but if you want to capture more of the ambient light, you can reduce that speed, but 1/2s IMHO is much too slow when shooting people and especially children. Also, unless you have a very weak flash, there is no need to shoot at ISO1000. Your flash should be able to produce plenty of light to allow you to set your ISO to 100 or 200 at the most.

The flash I'm using is 580EX II. For the tripod images, I purposely set the ISO1000 because I wanted to test out how much noise I'm going to have at ISO1000 in a dark environment. Shutter speed was also set to 1/2s because I wanted to have some blur in the image and as much ambient light as possible; normally I wouldn't do it with my son, he's way too active.

bob_r wrote in post #18213135 (external link)
Your second image was shot at 1/200s f/1.6 ISO1000. The blur is from from your near wide open aperture setting. Rarely is that wide an aperture a good choice for shooting portraits. Your shutter speed is good, but ISO1000 is not.

Now, that I look at it, f/1.6 was probably an overkill. I used high ISO because the noise was very low on the picture in the dark, so I figured, why not.

Thank you for the feedback, bob_r.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 50D | Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | Canon Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller , Speedlite 600EX-RT

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bob_r
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Cordova, TN
Dec 14, 2016 15:53 |  #6

copmagnet82 wrote in post #18213199 (external link)
E-TTL for the tripod picture
Manual for the Christmas one
both where shot in Manual mode

The flash I'm using is 580EX II. For the tripod images, I purposely set the ISO1000 because I wanted to test out how much noise I'm going to have at ISO1000 in a dark environment. Shutter speed was also set to 1/2s because I wanted to have some blur in the image and as much ambient light as possible; normally I wouldn't do it with my son, he's way too active.

Now, that I look at it, f/1.6 was probably an overkill. I used high ISO because the noise was very low on the picture in the dark, so I figured, why not.

Thank you for the feedback, bob_r.

It probably would have been helpful to those of us offering help to disclose this info on your initial post.


Canon 7D, 5D, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 200L, 10-22, 17-55, 70-300, 100-400L, 500D, 580EX(2).
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copmagnet82
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Dec 14, 2016 19:52 |  #7

bob_r wrote in post #18213217 (external link)
It probably would have been helpful to those of us offering help to disclose this info on your initial post.

You're right, I probably should've done it, sorry, still pretty new to the forum.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 50D | Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | Canon Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller , Speedlite 600EX-RT

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bob_r
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Cordova, TN
Dec 14, 2016 20:28 |  #8

copmagnet82 wrote in post #18213393 (external link)
You're right, I probably should've done it, sorry, still pretty new to the forum.

No problem. Welcome to the forum.


Canon 7D, 5D, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 200L, 10-22, 17-55, 70-300, 100-400L, 500D, 580EX(2).
Sigma 150 macro, 1.4X, 2X, Quantaray 2X, Kenko closeup tubes, Yongnuo YN685(3), Yongnuo YN-622C-TX. Lots of studio stuff.
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atsilverstein
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Dec 16, 2016 08:29 |  #9

If you're going to test out higher iso because of darker ambient light, then test it when there is dark ambient light. Why throw a monkey wrench in when a lower iso would do fine? The only way to see what the camera will do under certain conditions is to test out those conditions.

From a pro point of view, you have a few things going for you but you need to now focus on details (for #2). You got down to the child's level but slightly too much, resulting in seeing more of his under the chin area - not flattering on anyone. You're getting yellow splashed onto his legs and his face has a blue tint to it - mixed lighting is very difficult to fix in post. You have a hat for a prop but it's cut off and distracting. The top right corner you can see the end of the backdrop. You have a nice expression but he's looking off to the side. Eyes and face are sharp but everything else is blurry - raise the aperture. Weird catch lights in the eyes - edit them or rearrange your lighting. Finally it's all personal taste but I'm liking the more shaping effect I'm getting by having my light source approximately 45 degrees from my camera.


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atsilverstein
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Dec 16, 2016 08:39 |  #10

Here are two images from my last shoot. You can see what my settings were on the exif data.

Regarding your question about whether the shadow under the chin is acceptable in professional photography, TBH anything is acceptable if someone is willing to pay for it. But for higher standards in photography, the hard shadow line like that is not a part of it.

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scobols
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Dec 16, 2016 09:35 |  #11

Why do you call it artificial light? If you took the same photos without the 580, but the lights in the room were on, wouldn't that also be what you are referring to as artificial light? The point I'm trying to make is that calling it artificial gives it a negative connotation. There's nothing wrong with using strobes and you shouldn't feel like your pictures are "faked" because you used them.

Anyway, you've got a good start. Use some cheap umbrellas to soften the light and get your shutter speed up to about 1/60. If the room is too dark, and the ceiling is white, point one 580 at the ceiling to bounce and light the room. Then use another (with a diffuser) to light your subject.

Scott


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Paul.C
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Dec 16, 2016 11:47 |  #12

IMHO - The second pic is way better than the first. Though the 2nd is a tad bit over exposed/bright, but it was a better overall final product. Portraits of people, should always be sharp and not blurry (unless you are showing motion in sports photography as an example). I wouldn't take photos of some at 1/2 second....but that's me. You can drag the shutter a bit (around 1/30 or 1/40) but anything less than that is a bit too much. If you wanted to have the xmas tree lit, I understand the higher ISO but with an external flash - you don't need to go that high in that well lit of a room.

But after the second photo - you are def on the right track :-)


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Amadauss
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Dec 16, 2016 13:33 |  #13

Agree with a lot of the suggestions. That second shot, under the neck is driving me crazy. Would never leave it like that. Easy fix in photoshop.


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nathancarter
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Dec 16, 2016 13:51 |  #14

copmagnet82 wrote in post #18212813 (external link)
Is regards to this image, is the shadow under the chin a huge issue or is it acceptable?

Gonna disagree with most of the consensus here, and say that it depends entirely on the subject matter and the "look" you're going for.

Probably not for babies, kids, family, maternity, anywhere you want a "soft" look. Use a soft light on soft subjects.

For stylized portraiture, art portraits, performers, athletes, salty old sea captains and work-weary metalsmiths, anywhere you need a more edgy/gritty look, then yes absolutely.


I like a hard light. Maybe a third of my portraits are done with a hard light of some sort.


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copmagnet82
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Dec 18, 2016 08:36 |  #15

atsilverstein wrote in post #18214624 (external link)
If you're going to test out higher iso because of darker ambient light, then test it when there is dark ambient light. Why throw a monkey wrench in when a lower iso would do fine? The only way to see what the camera will do under certain conditions is to test out those conditions.

It was actually pretty dark in the room with the Christmas tree. For the second one I just left the ISO setting from the day before, since the picture at ISO1000 looked clean, so I figured why not? Is there any particular benefit of not to using higher ISO on portraits other than low noise?

atsilverstein wrote in post #18214624 (external link)
From a pro point of view, you have a few things going for you but you need to now focus on details (for #2). You got down to the child's level but slightly too much, resulting in seeing more of his under the chin area - not flattering on anyone. You're getting yellow splashed onto his legs and his face has a blue tint to it - mixed lighting is very difficult to fix in post. You have a hat for a prop but it's cut off and distracting. The top right corner you can see the end of the backdrop. You have a nice expression but he's looking off to the side. Eyes and face are sharp but everything else is blurry - raise the aperture. Weird catch lights in the eyes - edit them or rearrange your lighting. Finally it's all personal taste but I'm liking the more shaping effect I'm getting by having my light source approximately 45 degrees from my camera.

Thanks for the tips. I was shooting for eye level, but that didn't work out too well :). Good catch on the light; didn't even realize that until you pointed it out. Also, other than cropping, I don't really use post processing software, so I wouldn't even know how to fix it :). I knew about the top right corner, but I guess I was focusing on getting my rule of thirds perfect and figured that maybe most "regular" people won't notice :). As far as the lighting, as of now I'm limited to the on camera flash bounced of the ceiling, but hopefully there is good stuff under the Christmas tree this year.

Again, thanks for the feedback.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 50D | Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | Canon Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller , Speedlite 600EX-RT

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