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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #1
tmoore99
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Default Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

I've got to shoot a businessman at his desk with his monitor in the background. I assume he'll have his company website on screen, or maybe he just wants to look like he's working hard on a spreadsheet. Regardless, "with a computer screen in the background" is one of the requirements on the assignment form.

Can I get a good shot using...
a) shutter speed matching refresh rate
b) slow shutter in the 1/4 - 1/2 second range
c) it's more complicated than that

Your experience would be appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #2
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

What kind of monitor? The old tube ones if shot slower than refresh you'll get a good pic. The LCD ones are a bit more forgiving as latency is much longer. Experiment a little and see what works.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

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Originally Posted by gjl711 View Post
What kind of monitor?
I won't know till I get there, but the event is celebrating a new office opening and there's an emphasis on being tech savvy, so I'm betting on a flat panel LCD.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

I'm guessing that if you shoot at 1/60 you'll be safe.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

If you need to, set up the shot on a tripod to keep the framing consistent - that way you can take separate exposures to get the screen just right and comp it into the final portrait.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

Shut down the monitor and photoshop screencapture of the desired content into it. If you want reflections of surrounding just use layer of the original screen with like 10% opacity and none will see the difference, and it will give natural feeling for the photoshopped content on the display.

Last edited by Cromfel : 11th of March 2009 (Wed) at 15:44.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

I really don't think you have to get so complicated as to photoshop in a screen. Flat screens photograph very nicely as is unless they have a a glossy surface or if they are turned at quite an angle the the plane of the sensor. Shoot 1/60 and make sure that the monitor is relatively pointed at the camera and things should be fine.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

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Shoot 1/60 and make sure that the monitor is relatively pointed at the camera and things should be fine.
Won't that only get one field of scan lines? Try 1/30 too, & see what you get. Film is cheap.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

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Originally Posted by gjl711 View Post
I'm guessing that if you shoot at 1/60 you'll be safe.
Yep .. I'd even go to 1/30th on a tri-pod ..

If you can bounce your lights and match any ambient light there might be ..
that would look cool too ..
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

Piece of cake!

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04...h-tvs-and.html
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cromfel View Post
Shut down the monitor and photoshop screencapture of the desired content into it. If you want reflections of surrounding just use layer of the original screen with like 10% opacity and none will see the difference, and it will give natural feeling for the photoshopped content on the display.
bingo.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #12
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

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Won't that only get one field of scan lines? Try 1/30 too, & see what you get. Film is cheap.
Computer monitors do not interlace, and plat screens have very high latency, even the fancy new ones.
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #13
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

Standard television refreshes alternating lines on the screen 30 times a second. You need a shutter speed at least as slow at 1/15 not to show scan artifacts. Computer monitors usually refresh the entire screen 60-72 times a second. 1/30 should be fine there. LCD's are not a problem at any useful shutter speed, by my experience, because they stay lit between refreshes pretty well. I had my 10D here at the office, and enough battery for one shot and a quick chimp. 1/125 of my laptop screen showed no issue at all.

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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #14
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

This strobist post is titled "dealing with tvs and crts."

ON TOPIC?

Yes, I am repeating myself.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04...h-tvs-and.html
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Old 11th of March 2009 (Wed)   #15
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Default Re: Photographing a protrait with a computer monitor in the background

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This strobist post is titled "dealing with tvs and crts."

ON TOPIC?

Yes, I am repeating myself.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04...h-tvs-and.html
Excellent. Thanks Matt. Although I'll likely be seeing a flat panel LCD, the tips there were dead on for exposure consideration. Low ambient light proved to be very important.
I just did some test shots with my home LCD monitor. At SS 1/125 and slower the screen didn't show any indication of flicker. However, I had to get much slower for it to be sufficiently bright; essentially exposing for the monitor alone as a self illuminating subject (which doesn't benefit from flash) and letting the bounce flash compensate nicely for everything else.
Spinning the wheels of exposure, my test led me to 1/15 (as slow as I want to get with a human subject that needs to be sharp), f5.6 (biggest I can get and still have some DOF), and ISO 200 to fine tune the monitor exposure. How does that sound?
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Last edited by tmoore99 : 11th of March 2009 (Wed) at 23:26.
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