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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 02 Jan 2018 (Tuesday) 08:00
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First monolight. Godox. But which one?

 
Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jan 11, 2018 07:10 as a reply to  @ post 18538222 |  #76

The problem with woven cloth is that it is fine as a diffuser but not so much if you want a backlit subject and it also serves as background. What happens is that the cloth becomes a kind of grid that's all too visible. Like so:


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soeren
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Jan 11, 2018 07:23 |  #77

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #18538561 (external link)
The problem with woven cloth is that it is fine as a diffuser but not so much if you want a backlit subject and it also serves as background. What happens is that the cloth becomes a kind of grid that's all too visible. Like so:
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forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

Well you could shoot through the cloth making it pure white.




  
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Post edited 3 months ago by TeamSpeed. (5 edits in all)
     
Jan 11, 2018 07:52 |  #78

Yes, I would shoot through it. However, you won't be able to shoot through it until you get your other light. :(

I would put distance between the object a bit and the background, then make sure my DOF puts the background material into blur. The same effect is used when I shoot portraits with a black curtain, and I don't want the folds in the curtains showing in my portraits. Keeping the folks far from the background means the background is blurred, it receives less light, and I don't have shadows to deal with.

What about picking up another TT600 to tide you over until March/April? 2 TT600s would always be useful even with a monolight. You could shoot through the curtain and also above your objects, which should isolate it nicely from everything around it.

I bought 2 TT350C mini flashes for things like this, and they are quite cool. Very small "baby" flashes that look like the large ones, but have the R2 radio built in and are ETTL. I know they are bit more expensive (not much) over the TT600, but I wanted the TTL capabilities.

I can fit 2 TT350 in the space of the larger flash, these are very nice portable flashes.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Post edited 3 months ago by Levina de Ruijter. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 11, 2018 10:46 |  #79

I am shooting through it. That's just it. I know that for solid things I need a second light or you get silhouettes, but I was shooting glasses and you can do that with just the one light. And that is when I get the grid if I use a sheet.

I saw a tutorial on youtube on how to shoot glass with just one light. The guy put the light right behind the glasses. But he had a softbox plus two diffusers between the light and the glasses. So he shot through it at very close distance. And the result was beautiful. Of course this guy talks about how easy it is and you don't need fancy stuff, but he himself of course used one of those insanely expensive scrims (I think they're called) and other fancy gear... :rolleyes:

Here's an example of the kind of shot I was trying to do. I shot through multiple layers of stuff. Including a 100x150cm translucent screen that's brilliant but too dirty to use really. I cleaned it up as much as I could here but that's not a good way of doing things...


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I will experiment with distance. See what that does. In the above shot I would like the circle of light to not show the rectangle of the flash like that and to be larger. Distance will no doubt do that. It's clear I've a lot to learn here!

I just bought a white shower curtain. Already one of the clamps tore a small hole in it, but that's okay. They're very cheap anyway. I think this will work very nicely indeed!
I also ordered a light stand for the background, one that can go a fair bit lower than what I have now, so I can shoot upwards too.

Cary, I've been thinking about getting a second TT600. I simply love this thing. And I find it more powerful than expected and maybe, just maybe, it will be enough for what I do? And if not, I could buy a monolight at any time, if I feel I still need it. And after all that's been talked about in the thread, I have a much better idea of what it is I want and need then. Who knows, I might even decide to go for a QTII series light then, so I can get down to 1/128!

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Jan 11, 2018 11:17 |  #80

Don't forget about reflectors as well. You can "recycle" some of your lost light by reflecting it back toward the scene.


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soeren
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Jan 11, 2018 11:34 |  #81

Try the showercurtain as background and up the power of your flash till it turns pure white.
With one light it's easier to make the background grey or black. I love black background.




  
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jan 11, 2018 12:09 |  #82

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18538700 (external link)
Don't forget about reflectors as well. You can "recycle" some of your lost light by reflecting it back toward the scene.

I've used DIY reflectors before with natural light and with office lamps but then I could see what I was doing. I find it quite a bit harder to do with flash as I now have to more or less guess where and how to put the reflector. It's more miss than hit at the moment. I can see how a modelling light on a monolight is a very handy tool! Maybe I could use a small torch? I recently bought one for light painting shots.

soeren wrote in post #18538709 (external link)
Try the showercurtain as background and up the power of your flash till it turns pure white.
With one light it's easier to make the background grey or black. I love black background.

Right. But if you turn up the power of the flash more then how do you prevent the whites from getting blown? In my sample shot above the white area in the middle isn't blown. I'm not sure I would want pure white.


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Post edited 3 months ago by TeamSpeed. (5 edits in all)
     
Jan 11, 2018 12:23 |  #83

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #18538728 (external link)
I've used DIY reflectors before with natural light and with office lamps but then I could see what I was doing. I find it quite a bit harder to do with flash as I now have to more or less guess where and how to put the reflector. It's more miss than hit at the moment. I can see how a modelling light on a monolight is a very handy tool! Maybe I could use a small torch? I recently bought one for light painting shots.

Right. But if you turn up the power of the flash more then how do you prevent the whites from getting blown? In my sample shot above the white area in the middle isn't blown. I'm not sure I would want pure white.

I would just put white reflectors on each side of the object and box it in. Background with light (if you are still lighting from the back), then 2 sides with white reflectors...

The same idea exists with the large product softboxes/light tents you can buy for product shoots. You only use 1 or 2 lights, the rest of the box reflects that light around.

https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …wcB&is=REG&m=Y&​sku=442621 (external link)

DIY links

https://digital-photography-school.com …a-inexpensive-light-tent/ (external link)
http://www.boostyourph​otography.com/2014/02/​DIY-light-tent.html (external link)

Using a white posterboard as your background also doubles as a reflector and is smooth. Your lights come from the sides or tops in this kind of design. I always find the materials upon which the items sit to be a hard choice. Use glass for reflections, smooth white, smooth black, carbon fiber sheet...? The choices are many. :(

The silhouette shot above is very cool! Forgot to mention that in my last reply...


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jan 11, 2018 13:51 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #84

Oh yeah, those light tents. I've looked at them ages ago and thought about getting one or making one but I think they're a bit limiting. I do like those smooth slick product shots but I also like drama. However, placing reflectors as you indicate is a very good idea. Hadn't thought of that. I will try that. Thanks.

As to backgrounds, I've used all sorts of things in the past. From the wall to a type of poster board to wallpaper to cloth. I often use a white board as surface. It reflects well but not overly so. Problem is it's getting old and terribly scratched. I bought two plates of something resembling wood. MDF maybe. Anyway, I bought them primed but I need to paint them. I bought black paint and white paint. In the shot above (thanks for the compliment!) I used it as surface but as you can see it's not finished. Although the matte shine on a backlit shot like that works pretty well I think. What I would really like to get is a big shiny black floor tile, but I've not found one yet. The advantage of such a surface is that it can get wet! :-P


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Post edited 3 months ago by TeamSpeed.
     
Jan 11, 2018 14:30 |  #85

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #18538784 (external link)
Oh yeah, those light tents. I've looked at them ages ago and thought about getting one or making one but I think they're a bit limiting. I do like those smooth slick product shots but I also like drama. However, placing reflectors as you indicate is a very good idea. Hadn't thought of that. I will try that. Thanks.

As to backgrounds, I've used all sorts of things in the past. From the wall to a type of poster board to wallpaper to cloth. I often use a white board as surface. It reflects well but not overly so. Problem is it's getting old and terribly scratched. I bought two plates of something resembling wood. MDF maybe. Anyway, I bought them primed but I need to paint them. I bought black paint and white paint. In the shot above (thanks for the compliment!) I used it as surface but as you can see it's not finished. Although the matte shine on a backlit shot like that works pretty well I think. What I would really like to get is a big shiny black floor tile, but I've not found one yet. The advantage of such a surface is that it can get wet! :-P

Something to look at as well: many times flooring stores will have remnants and also spare wood planks and laminates that look like wood. You could pick up enough to create a 2mx2m area from these stores for different surfaces and looks. We are considering buying up such items to create a mobile studio. Just snap a bunch of planks together, put up the backdrop and be able to do full body portraits.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jan 11, 2018 15:09 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #86

I think that's a great idea. When I was in the DIY store today I saw laminate on display where they had put together I don't know how many planks but it measured approx. 60x100 centimetre, and I wondered if you could use something like that as a backdrop or surface. I think it would be great for a mobile studio. Me, I don't do portraits so I could do with something considerably smaller than 2x2 mtr. You know I've been looking at Adorama.tv a bit, especially at Gavin Hoey. I just love him. And I really like the backdrop in his home studio. It's a kind of slate grey and looks rough, plastered, and works really well with whatever it is he photographs.

I have now put the shower curtain on pvc pipes (just used strong tape) and I think it'll work great as a diffuser. Tomorrow I will get two T-connections and then it can stand on its own! :-P


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Jan 16, 2018 04:15 as a reply to  @ Levina de Ruijter's post |  #87

Please note that you will not be able to seriously freeze motion (which you stated you'd be doing) with anything but the top of the line QTII series, and barely with the first generation QT series lights. The TT600 will be able to freeze motion, however you'll be limited in power as you'll still need to dial the power down a bit for the shorter flash duration.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jan 17, 2018 18:41 |  #88

Jark89 wrote in post #18542068 (external link)
Please note that you will not be able to seriously freeze motion (which you stated you'd be doing) with anything but the top of the line QTII series, and barely with the first generation QT series lights. The TT600 will be able to freeze motion, however you'll be limited in power as you'll still need to dial the power down a bit for the shorter flash duration.

Yes, I've been testing some water splashing. I thought 1/32 was not good enough. Zoomed in the droplets clearly began to blur at the edges. But 1/64 was excellent and I couldn't really see a difference with 1/128. I was struggling with aperture and exposure though. I had to shoot at f/6.3 when I would have wanted to stop down to f/11 and preferably a stop more to get larger DOF and also have the benefit of a shorter flash duration. So what do you do? Up the ISO? Add a second flash?


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Jan 17, 2018 20:58 |  #89

Shoot farther back to enlarge your DOF and then crop out the water droplet action. I had to do this when I was working on that project.

For this, I was using 2 AD200 flashes with gels though and was at f20. Later I changed up some things.

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Jan 17, 2018 22:39 |  #90

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #18543385 (external link)
Yes, I've been testing some water splashing. I thought 1/32 was not good enough. Zoomed in the droplets clearly began to blur at the edges. But 1/64 was excellent and I couldn't really see a difference with 1/128. I was struggling with aperture and exposure though. I had to shoot at f/6.3 when I would have wanted to stop down to f/11 and preferably a stop more to get larger DOF and also have the benefit of a shorter flash duration. So what do you do? Up the ISO? Add a second flash?

How far away is your light? What kinds of modifier/diffusion are you shooting through? How fast/big of a splash are you shooting?

When I had the TT600 I did some simple tests; simple back lit shot shooting through 2 layers of diffusion paper with studio strobe type reflector on the flash, I was at f18, ISO 200, and flash power I believe no shorter than 1/32. Doing simple ice cube drops from a foot high into a cup, the splashes were perfectly frozen even at the very edges. I gues you're trying to achieve a much bigger/faster splash though, so don't take my experiment as direct comparison.

In your case, the TT600 is simply not putting out enough light for your needs. Like you said, you can up the ISO some, just take some ambient shots to see ambient light is not affecting anything, shutting the window blinds is a good idea.


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First monolight. Godox. But which one?
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