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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 03 Jun 2013 (Monday) 10:17
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8th grade dance with speedlights?

 
rivas8409
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Jun 03, 2013 10:17 |  #1

Ok, so as much as I love my wife she can sometimes set me up for some stress. Our oldest daughter is graduting from 8th grade and my wife volunteered to help set up. Well apparently while she was setting up this weekend she ended up volunteering me to take photos (kind of like Prom pictures) at the schools 8th grade graduation dance immediately following the ceremony...which I found out about yesterday.- the taking photos part. My issues are:
1) It's going to be dark so I need to light the photos.
2) All I've got are 2 speedlights (a Canon 540EZ and YN-560II) that I use manually.
3) The dance is tomorrow night so the immedate idea of buying an AB800 (or 2), which I want anyway, isn't going to happen in time.

So my question, will I be able to light these photos with just my 2 little speedlights and not blow them up or watch them go up in flames? There's about 80 8th graders graduating, and I'm assuming that I'm not going to have much space to do this in...I'll find out this afternoon when I go take a look. Oh, and they want 4x6's printed on the spot- go figure. I'm guessing that I'll probably end up taking about 300 shots taking into account reshoots for closed eyes and such- my poor speedlights are in for a long night.

Any ideas how I'd light these? 1 main, and 1 fill about 2 stops lower?


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gonzogolf
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Jun 03, 2013 10:31 |  #2

What do you have in the way of modifiers? What are you going to use as a background? I'm assuming we are talking about posed photos here so it can be done. Deciding on the background is pretty key here. If you are using a dark background then one option is to used the brighter of the two lights in a shoot through umbrella right above the camera that will provide you a fairly large area of reasonably flat light for a couple of kids. THen the second light can be deployed for background separation.

Your idea of key and fill is good if you dont need background separation, but it fails if the kids hair disappears into the background.




  
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rivas8409
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Jun 03, 2013 11:13 |  #3

Well from what my wife told me they lined the background area with black paper and strung white christmas lights all up and down the wall to give a "starry look" and then strung up some purple tinsel over that. I haven't seen it with my own eyes, but it sound like a pretty decent backdrop to give a sort of night sky look. I'm going to have to put something down on the floor too to cover up the cafeteria tile though. They went with a carnival theme so they have 2 cardboard carousel horses that they want to incoorporate into the background as well. And yes, posed photos. Friends, individuals, etc. etc...hopefully with enough room to keep them at least about 4 feet away from the background.

I've got 2 shoot through setups (stands and umbrellas, 1-30 inch and 1-40 inch) as well as a round 42 inch 5-in-1 reflector. No stand for that one though.

I hadn't thought about putting 1flash above the camera. About 7 feet high aimed down slightly? With the tinsel on the background I'd imagine that the using the 2nd light on the background would possibly cause some ugly reflections....I might have to try it just to see though.


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gonzogolf
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Jun 03, 2013 11:20 |  #4

Put the separation light(bare) in the back, but pointed at the back of the subjects to give you a rim light.




  
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gonzogolf
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Jun 03, 2013 11:28 |  #5

Here is an example of how you can change the look of a scene by changing the background light. The key and fill are the same, in the first shot I had a rim light pointed at the back of his head from behind. In the second shot it was turned around to light the drop. Both give separation and would work, where if I didnt have a light his gray hair would have blended into the drop.


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protege
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Jun 03, 2013 11:47 |  #6

Sorry but I'm a bit confused. Are you shooting a dance performance or are you shooting posed portraits in one location (same as gonzogolf above)?




  
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gonzogolf
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Jun 03, 2013 11:48 |  #7

protege wrote in post #15995074 (external link)
Sorry but I'm a bit confused. Are you shooting a dance performance or are you shooting posed portraits in one location (same as gonzogolf above)?

He said posed.




  
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protege
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Jun 03, 2013 11:56 |  #8

rivas8409 wrote in post #15994952 (external link)
And yes, posed photos. Friends, individuals, etc. etc...hopefully with enough room to keep them at least about 4 feet away from the background.

I've got 2 shoot through setups (stands and umbrellas, 1-30 inch and 1-40 inch) as well as a round 42 inch 5-in-1 reflector. No stand for that one though.

I hadn't thought about putting 1flash above the camera. About 7 feet high aimed down slightly? With the tinsel on the background I'd imagine that the using the 2nd light on the background would possibly cause some ugly reflections....I might have to try it just to see though.

Sorry, I just read this part now. You're fine with your setup. 560II as the main light with 540 as either a secondary fill, rim light, or background light. If you're using the second light for either rim or background, then I'd probably do it without any modifiers. Main light I'd probably use the 30" umbrella. Try to see if you can get away with 1/4 power on both lights to avoid overheat problems.




  
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rivas8409
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Jun 03, 2013 12:12 |  #9

Thanks for the examples gonzo! I really like the rim light and I think that would work well with the "starry sky" look. How high up did you set that rim light? I'm guessing around his shoulder height? And about 2 stops brighter than the key light? Do you think a setup like that would work for full body shots too?


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gonzogolf
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Jun 03, 2013 12:31 |  #10

rivas8409 wrote in post #15995178 (external link)
Thanks for the examples gonzo! I really like the rim light and I think that would work well with the "starry sky" look. How high up did you set that rim light? I'm guessing around his shoulder height? And about 2 stops brighter than the key light? Do you think a setup like that would work for full body shots too?

In that case it was just on a stand a foot or so right behind his head. Actually it was a bit low on this example as his neck hair is a bit bright. I would probably put it up high and to the side and aim it right at the back/top of the subjects heads. You want to hit a bit more of the top of the head than I did in this shot for a couple of reasons. I could tweak it all I wanted for a headshot. You want a setup that allows for some flexibility. You cant really have a stand in the middle of the set right behind them without worrying about them stepping on it or having it show.




  
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Jun 03, 2013 12:58 |  #11

gonzogolf wrote in post #15995250 (external link)
In that case it was just on a stand a foot or so right behind his head. Actually it was a bit low on this example as his neck hair is a bit bright. I would probably put it up high and to the side and aim it right at the back/top of the subjects heads. You want to hit a bit more of the top of the head than I did in this shot for a couple of reasons. I could tweak it all I wanted for a headshot. You want a setup that allows for some flexibility. You cant really have a stand in the middle of the set right behind them without worrying about them stepping on it or having it show.

Correct me if I'm wrong gonzo, but in you second example image, it appears like you've added a background light; not a separation/rim light. I thought a rim light was supposed to hit the back and/or side/s of the subject, outlining them, hence the term: "rim/separation" light.


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Jun 03, 2013 13:34 |  #12

Aressem wrote in post #15995334 (external link)
Correct me if I'm wrong gonzo, but in you second example image, it appears like you've added a background light; not a separation/rim light. I thought a rim light was supposed to hit the back and/or side/s of the subject, outlining them, hence the term: "rim/separation" light.

No you are correct. If you read it closely I was saying that you can use a separation light two ways, one as a rim light example 1, or as a background light in example two. The difference was simply changing the direction of the light.




  
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Jun 03, 2013 13:42 |  #13

gonzogolf wrote in post #15995449 (external link)
No you are correct. If you read it closely I was saying that you can use a separation light two ways, one as a rim light example 1, or as a background light in example two. The difference was simply changing the direction of the light.

Whoops. My bad. Sorry for that. :p


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rivas8409
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Jun 03, 2013 14:14 |  #14

So this is what I'm invisioning in my head. Obvously it's not to scale.


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rivas8409
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Jun 03, 2013 14:23 |  #15

Or maybe this....


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8th grade dance with speedlights?
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