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Hair light and back light question.

FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 24 Sep 2009 (Thursday) 09:20   
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mike62
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I just got my Flashpoint monolight and I am practicing with it. I am going to try and do a little studio shoot.

I know I don't have to have any other lights just the one light and maybe some type of reflector. However, I was reading in some of the lighting literature with the monolight that said you could put the hair light high and above the model. Can I get by with any type of Home Depot type clamp light just to give it a little highlight or would it not make it pop enough?

Same with the backlight. If I am shooting 6-8 feet from the backdrop or wall can I use some type of continuious light to illuminate the backdrop or even a flash on reduced power?

I know I don't have to have these at this point but wondered if they would enhance the shot or if the make do lighting would be more of a hinderance to deal with.

Thanks.

Post #1, Sep 24, 2009 09:20:42


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gonzogolf
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You really dont want to do that for several reasons. 1) color balance. If you set your white balance for flash it will see the light from your flash as white, any continuous light source you add will be a different color. The work lights would show a warm yellow/orange color. Not what you want on a hair light or background light. You cant custom white balance you way out because you have two colors mixing. 2) power inequity. If your flash has any power to it at all, you would need seriously bright continuous lights to keep up. Like the 500 watt worklights, these get hot, are uncomfortable to work around and are kind of hard to control as you cant really throw a softbox or an umbrella on these beasts unless you get video light accessories. My suggestion would be get your hands on a cheap flash of some sort and a wireless trigger or work with one light and a reflector. Check this thread for single light inspiration

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=412392

Post #2, Sep 24, 2009 09:34:43




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RPCrowe
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Prophotolife Video Library

This is a library of short, free, instructional videos on all phases of photography.

http://www.prophotolif​e.com/video-library/external link

#13 "beautiful studio portraits with just one light" might just be what you are looking for.

However, look at the rest of these great videos. There seems to be information for photographers of all levels of experience and skill.

Post #3, Sep 24, 2009 09:52:49


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mike62
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gonzogolf wrote in post #8701155external link
My suggestion would be get your hands on a cheap flash of some sort and a wireless trigger or work with one light and a reflector. Check this thread for single light inspiration

I have my main flash and also an old Sunpak not being utilized. My wireless trigger came with two receivers so with one plugged into my monolight I have one spare.

How would you recommend using the one receiver/flash in addition to my monolight?

Post #4, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:42


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gonzogolf
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I'd use it as either a kicker/rim light or as background light as needed. Its not going to be as powerful as your monolight, so you have to consider it a fill/accent light. Just place it either behind the subject, or behind and to the side, aimed back toward the camera to get rim light. If you want to light the background, get it as high as possible (or bounce it) so your shadows point down if you have anything in the background thats likely to cast shadows. You dont want conflicting shadows from the two lights.

Post #5, Sep 24, 2009 10:38:01




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johnj2803
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RPCrowe wrote in post #8701233external link
This is a library of short, free, instructional videos on all phases of photography.

http://www.prophotolif​e.com/video-library/external link

#13 "beautiful studio portraits with just one light" might just be what you are looking for.

However, look at the rest of these great videos. There seems to be information for photographers of all levels of experience and skill.

i've seen the 13th episode and its really something for a single light portrait set up!

Post #6, Sep 24, 2009 10:42:36


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mike62
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gonzogolf wrote in post #8701506external link
I'd use it as either a kicker/rim light or as background light as needed. Its not going to be as powerful as your monolight, so you have to consider it a fill/accent light. Just place it either behind the subject, or behind and to the side, aimed back toward the camera to get rim light. You dont want conflicting shadows from the two lights.

I know I will learn this as I shoot but to keep from looking like a total flop with the model let me ask....since I don't have a reflector for fill would one of the flashes best be used as you suggest if I understand for fill....say to the side of the model or at a 45 degree opposite of the monolight then? Should it be at a signficantly reduced power to avoid creating the conflicting shadows you mention?

Post #7, Sep 24, 2009 11:38:07


Canon XSI: Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma 10-20mm, Tamron 18-270, Sunpak PZ42X e-ttl flash.

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gonzogolf
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mike62 wrote in post #8701771external link
I know I will learn this as I shoot but to keep from looking like a total flop with the model let me ask....since I don't have a reflector for fill would one of the flashes best be used as you suggest if I understand for fill....say to the side of the model or at a 45 degree opposite of the monolight then? Should it be at a signficantly reduced power to avoid creating the conflicting shadows you mention?

If you have an office supply store or auto parts store nearby you have a reflector. Just grab a piece of white foamcore board or one of those silver window sunshades, both work nicely as a reflector. You can use your second light as fill, but I would suggest that you find someone to practice on before you grab yourself a model, because 1 light = 1 shadow, 2 lights = 2 shadows, thats why if you are going to have two lights in front you generally want one in the back. What sort of modifiers are you using with the monolight?

Post #8, Sep 24, 2009 12:51:34




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mike62
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gonzogolf wrote in post #8702195external link
If you have an office supply store or auto parts store nearby you have a reflector. Just grab a piece of white foamcore board or one of those silver window sunshades, both work nicely as a reflector. You can use your second light as fill, but I would suggest that you find someone to practice on before you grab yourself a model, because 1 light = 1 shadow, 2 lights = 2 shadows, thats why if you are going to have two lights in front you generally want one in the back. What sort of modifiers are you using with the monolight?

I am shooting into a 42 inch white umbrella. I don't have to have it in front or even use it for that fact but I did have it available. I could use it as a kicker I suppose.

I know I can start with the monolight and add lighting as I get more comfortable I just thought perhaps placement of the flash might help with fill if I knew where I wanted to place it.

Post #9, Sep 24, 2009 15:15:38


Canon XSI: Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma 10-20mm, Tamron 18-270, Sunpak PZ42X e-ttl flash.

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gonzogolf
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If it were me, I'd start with the monolight w/ umbrella as close as I could get to the subject just out of the frame and close to the line between the camera and the subject. This will soften the shadows some, you can further soften them with the reflector and then use your other flash as rim lighting to separate the subject from the background.

Thats how this was lit. Looking back the rim was a little strong here. I backed it off for the other shots in the set, but I'm posting this because it shows the obvious light location.

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Post #10, Sep 24, 2009 15:27:30




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queenbee288
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I did this with two lights and a reflector. One light shoot through umbrella, one on background(white sheet) and a reflector.

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Post #11, Sep 24, 2009 15:50:06


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HoosierJoe
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queenbee288 wrote in post #8703214external link
I did this with two lights and a reflector. One light shoot through umbrella, one on background(white sheet) and a reflector.

Fantastic. Sent you a pm on your lighting set up.

Post #12, Oct 15, 2009 08:08:44


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queenbee288
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Thank you! I answered your PM. The key to this soft light I think was that it is just head and shoulders so I had the umbrella very close and light powered down. That is the key to soft light with a modifier. I was so close there was barely room for the camera between the reflector and umbrella. You can't see the reflector in the eyes because I cloned it out.

And by the way..this was my first go with strobes.

Post #13, Oct 15, 2009 10:28:28


Char
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