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Old 20th of December 2004 (Mon)   #1
cnc911
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Default Beginners Help

Hello everyone. Please go easy on me.

I put the 'B' in the word beginner. I just brought (a couple of months ago) the Digital Rebel. I know nothing on photography, but have been doing research and I am in the process of learning and grasping aperture. I have the Manual of Photography by John Hedgecoe and this very helpful along with various websites. Well along with that a friend convinced me (a it was easy to do that) to buy a simple studio setup up. This is what I purchased from B&H.... Impact Tungsten 3 Floodlight Miniboom Kit - consists of: 2 12" Floodlights, 1 5" Floodlight, Umbrellas, Bulbs, Light Stands, Boom Arm, Case - 1250 Total Watts. Oh and I brought a roll of paper that I tape to the wall as my backdrop.

Now I know that I will learn from trial and error, because I have a nine month old, I don't have time to take a class. Question is, I have the light kit, how do I set it up as far as distance angle etc. For example I want to take photos of my nine month old on the floor, do I lower the lights (as low as they could go) or do I leave them high. Do I use the umbrella with the closed side facing the subject to give a 'softbox effect' or the other way. I know my questions are endless but I told you I am absolute beginner....who is eager to learn

Thanks everyone.
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Old 20th of December 2004 (Mon)   #2
cnc911
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Default Re: Beginners Help

Oh just to add. I don't want to do anything fancy just maybe at the most some family shots. Nothing to submit to a magazine
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Old 20th of December 2004 (Mon)   #3
ppuga
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Default Re: Beginners Help

I would try to, get some shots in a different ways, as you said. The light up, the light down, near the object and far away, with soft box, and without, etc. That way you can be learning and looking the difference between the shots, then you can judge.

But be sure, a lot of pros here can help you! I'm novice as well.
Good luck!
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Old 20th of December 2004 (Mon)   #4
snibbetsj
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Default Re: Beginners Help

Continuous lighting is hot, so you don't what to subject your infant to too much. What you need to do is go to Wal-mart (or K-Mart or Toy's 'r Us or somehere) and find an inanimate subject such as a life-size doll. Use this doll to determine the proper exposure for the photo you're going take (use the cameras' meter and use partial metering, it's in your manual, you should take these on the M setting. Take a few shot and move/adjust you lights as necessary. Do this a LOT. Learn what looks good to you. Use the small light to light the background. Use one light as the main light and the other as the fill with about half the intensity of the main light. Place the main at about 45 deg to your left and the fill about 45 deg to your right. Adjust as necessary. Remember that with 3 lights, it's going to get hot fast on your baby.

Use the "dummy" as practice and take several (hundred) shots until you feel you have a decent idea what you're doing. THEN bring out the young'un and Mom and she'll feel the money was WELL-SPENT

Get the book "Digital Photography for Dummies". There's lots of good info in there.

edit:
Get a grey card at your local photo store or from B&H, use it to set your exposure. Get a white balance card (generally on the back of a grey card) and use it to set a custom white balance. The procedure is in your manual. You CAN do this later in post-processing but it's much better to take a few minutes and do it up front.
end edit.

Happy shooting.
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Last edited by snibbetsj : 20th of December 2004 (Mon) at 23:08.
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Old 21st of December 2004 (Tue)   #5
robertwgross
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Default Re: Beginners Help

Let me extend from Jeff's comments.

Instead of a doll, use a kid-sized stuffed animal. Something with some texture. Not white or black, but something in the ballpark of flesh color. I used a pale tan stuffed bear one time, and that worked good. The color is helpful for getting exposure right. The texture is good for getting focus right. The size is good for getting depth of field right.

---Bob Gross---
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Old 21st of December 2004 (Tue)   #6
cnc911
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Default Re: Beginners Help

Thanks everyone. I am going to try this setup and I will update. Thanks again for your help.
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