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Studio Lighting Placement

FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 15 Apr 2005 (Friday) 22:25   
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arhuranna
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Joined Feb 2005
99 posts
Western Kansas
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I purchased 2 AB 800's along with stands and umbrellas and have been starting to get to know them but have questions on the placements. I plan on taking pictures of couples and singles in the near future. Any good rules of thumb on placement of the key and fill lights? How far away from the subject? Also have questions on light metering with the L 358. It seems that I take a reading and set my camera but the histogram is still showing spikes on the left and right, I have been using a 3 to 1 ratio. I am shooting a 300D.

Mitch

Post #1, Apr 15, 2005 22:25:56


20D ~ 300D ~ Tamron 28-75 ~ 18-55 kit ~ EF 50 f/1.8 ~ 550 EX ~ 2-AB 800 ~ Sekonic L-358 ~ 3021 BPRO ~ 488RC2 ~ 1948 Spartan Mansion ~ much to learn
laissez les bon temps rouler

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chris.bailey
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Joined Jul 2003
2,061 posts
Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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Mitch

Try and find a big teddy bear and experiment. I read a ton of books on the subject but nothing gets you the feel for studio lighting like actually doing it. A few thoughts -

I would keep the key light within 20 degrees of camera to start with and then play with the angle of the fill. 3:1 is quite extreme and I would start at 2:1. The closer you can get the lights to the subject, the bigger the source and the softer the light. For head and shoulder shots the lights should be real close. GEt a couple of white foamboard panels to act as reflectors.

Metering is a whole subject by itself and the experts all have different ways of doings it. For a head and shoulder shot I will take four readings.

1) At face level towards main
2) At face level towards fill
1 & 2 set the ratio
3) at face level towards camera. I set that as the exposure level on the camera (some suggest using the main light reading)
4) on background towards camera.
4 gives a feel for how the background will come out. For a white background I want it white so ideally it should be a stop or so above the exposure setting. For a black background Iwant it black so a stop or so below exposure setting is ideal.

For larger shots you will want to take more readings to make sure that you dont have any hot or cold spots, particulalry on the background.

Post #2, Apr 16, 2005 00:16:21




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arhuranna
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Joined Feb 2005
99 posts
Western Kansas
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Thanks for the info,heres another question on the meter? When I take a reading and it gives me a F stop value of say 8, next to it is a small # say 3. Does this mean 8 plus 3/10 of a stop. I have never used a light meter, as you can tell, so forgive me if this is an obvious question.

Post #3, Apr 16, 2005 05:46:42


20D ~ 300D ~ Tamron 28-75 ~ 18-55 kit ~ EF 50 f/1.8 ~ 550 EX ~ 2-AB 800 ~ Sekonic L-358 ~ 3021 BPRO ~ 488RC2 ~ 1948 Spartan Mansion ~ much to learn
laissez les bon temps rouler

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tombryan
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Joined Apr 2005
140 posts
Washington, IL
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arhuranna wrote:
Thanks for the info,heres another question on the meter? When I take a reading and it gives me a F stop value of say 8, next to it is a small # say 3. Does this mean 8 plus 3/10 of a stop. I have never used a light meter, as you can tell, so forgive me if this is an obvious question.

You are exactly correct. It's 8 and 3/10's. With digital 10th's are important.

Post #4, Apr 16, 2005 07:21:57 as a reply to arhuranna's post 1 hour earlier.


Tom Bryan
Bryan Photography
http://www.bryanphoto.​comexternal link

2 Canon 20D w/ battery grips
Tamron Sp 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD (IF)
Canon 24-70 L 2.8 USM
Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L IS
2-Canon 580 EX Speedlites
Omni Bounces and Fong's Org. Lightsphere

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Studio Lighting Placement
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