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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 06 Mar 2013 (Wednesday) 07:54
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Need help with studio lighting

 
anomie
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Mar 06, 2013 07:54 |  #1

I need some help with studio lighting. I am taking photographs of a friend's sculpture - various pieces of work. Anything from carved plastic, wood, stone and molded clay. I have been having issues with lighting the photographs just right.

I am using a Canon 30D with EF 100mm macro lens for the smaller stuff and my EF-S 17-55mm for the regular size stuff. Generally I've been shooting at ISO 125, f/7.1-9.0 @ 30 or 50. I am borrowing a lighting kit from where I work. It is really for video lighting but until I can afford some strobes, this is what I have to work with. I am using Lowel Omni lights, 1000 watts total. The pictures come out a bit underexposed and I have to raise the exposure in camera raw and do some tweaking with curves and levels to get them just right. I'd like to eliminate as much post-processing work as possible. Raising the ISO helps but adds noise. We are creating poster size prints of some of the photographs - 20x30 and 24x36 and I need images to be sharp and in focus without added noise.

I may be updating to a 6D soon, perhaps this will help improve my technique.

Here is my 'studio' setup. I am using black velveteen fabric that I purchased at a local fabric store. I am using plain old white bedding sheets to help soften the lights. I would appreciate any help with improving my technique. Much obliged!

http://flic.kr/p/e13UK​r (external link)


Canon EOS 6D, 70D
Zooms: EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, EF-S 17-55 f/2.8, EF 24-105 f/4.0 L & EF 70-200 f/4 IS L
Primes: EF 50 f/1.4, EF 85 f/1.8, EF 100 f/2.8 macro, EF 135 f/2.0 L
Other: Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL, Canon 430EX

  
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Bumgardnern
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Mar 06, 2013 08:16 |  #2

If the photos are too dark and you have a fixed amount of light you have three options.
1. Increase exposure time
2. Open up the aperture
3. Increase the iso.

Since you don't want to user a higher ISO you are left with the first two options. If you need to have f8 because of the dof required for the photo your only option is to increase your exposure time.




  
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dmward
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Mar 06, 2013 09:29 |  #3

Just slow the shutter till you get proper exposure on the subject.
Best to use a color checker for setting exposure if you want to do little or no post processing.

Set the mirror to lock up and use a shutter release.

The heavy white drape is eating quite a bit of the light output.
For something like you're describing, I'd be inclined to use the one light as a kicker and the umbrella light for the main. Then use a card as a reflector to fill the shadows.

Here is a link to a gallery of oragami, It was shot with two speedlites but essentially the same setup you are using. www.dmwfotos.com/folio​s/oragami (external link)


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

  
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anomie
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Mar 06, 2013 12:58 |  #4

Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try throwing my 430ex flash off camera. That is the one thing I haven't experimented with.


Canon EOS 6D, 70D
Zooms: EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, EF-S 17-55 f/2.8, EF 24-105 f/4.0 L & EF 70-200 f/4 IS L
Primes: EF 50 f/1.4, EF 85 f/1.8, EF 100 f/2.8 macro, EF 135 f/2.0 L
Other: Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL, Canon 430EX

  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Mar 06, 2013 13:23 as a reply to  @ anomie's post |  #5

do you have some gels?

otherwise you're going to end up with color temperature differences.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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gonzogolf
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Mar 06, 2013 13:25 |  #6

anomie wrote in post #15683955 (external link)
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try throwing my 430ex flash off camera. That is the one thing I haven't experimented with.

Dont mix the flash with the video lights. Its not worth your hassle, even gelled its a pain. Try using a tripod to get adequate exposures with your video lights.




  
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scotiez
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Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
     
Mar 07, 2013 05:03 |  #7

I sometimes shoot with a continuous light source. I find i need an aperture of 2.8 or 4, You might get away with 5.6 but i doubt it. ISO set to 400, anything lower then that you need a really slow shutter speed. I set my shutter speed at 125.
If you can use your speedlite off camera inless you have a way to defuse the light you will get harsh shadows, You will also have to turn the power down on the flash to around 1/4 or lower. You can easily defuse the light on the flash by taping a plain white piece of paper to the front, you will still need to turn down the power tho. Then you could have a smaller aperture if you want, ISO of 100, I'd propably still stay around 125 for shutter speed.
I have been playing around with lighting alot lately myself and this is what i find seems to work for me. I am by no means an expert but thought this might help.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 60D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 430EX II, Yongnuo YN-560 II, Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger
www.scottgrassel.com (external link)

  
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drvnbysound
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Mar 07, 2013 08:19 |  #8

What about moving the lights closer?


I use manual exposure settings on the copy machine
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scotiez
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Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
     
Mar 07, 2013 12:19 |  #9

yup the lights should be as close as you can get to the subject without being in the photo


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 60D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 430EX II, Yongnuo YN-560 II, Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger
www.scottgrassel.com (external link)

  
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anomie
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Location: Providence, RI USA
     
Mar 07, 2013 12:23 |  #10

scotiez wrote in post #15687900 (external link)
yup the lights should be as close as you can get to the subject without being in the photo

I'm going to try this. They are probably 2-3 feet away.


Canon EOS 6D, 70D
Zooms: EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, EF-S 17-55 f/2.8, EF 24-105 f/4.0 L & EF 70-200 f/4 IS L
Primes: EF 50 f/1.4, EF 85 f/1.8, EF 100 f/2.8 macro, EF 135 f/2.0 L
Other: Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL, Canon 430EX

  
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Need help with studio lighting
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