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Thread started 08 Jun 2013 (Saturday) 09:21
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First time with Off-camera flash -- Belly Dancer + Langeray

 
Coppatop85
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Jun 08, 2013 09:21 |  #1

Hello everyone. Feel free to skip this intro if you just want to see the photos!

This was my first shoot ever using off camera lighting, as well as my first "model" shoot. 90% of the work I do forbids flash (music, theater, performing arts), so I really haven't experimented with it too much. I did some preliminary research, and I own a 580 EXII as well as a 430 EXII, and decided to set up the 430 as the key light (ETTL +2 and 2/3) slightly in front of the model and to her right with a diffuser attached. I had the 580EXII on my camera, and use the bounce card it comes with to create the fill light (ETTL +2/3). I also set up a "reflector" which was a foam board I got from an art store to the left and below the model.


A friend of mine had been wanting to do this type of shoot, so I decided to jump in and indulge her. She had never modeled, and I had never shot models, so I just tried to have her pose similarly to the other shots I have seen in this and other sections. She also belly dances, so we took a couple of shots in her garb.


All shots were taken with the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Between 1.6 and 2.0. I was having some difficulty keeping everything in focus at 1.4, not used to that shallow DoF. I did not have my camera on a tripod, so I think that would have helped. For performing arts I usually don't go below 2.0.


One last thing -- I noticed AFTER I had taken all the photos that I had accidentally left a circular polarizer on the lens. I'm not sure if this hurt or helped the photos, but i'm sure it cut down the exposure so that I could use the wider apertures in the daylight.

I also had never done any post-processing on skin, eyes, or skin tone, so I just did my best here. Used seletive blurring on the skin to smooth it out, and dodged/sharpened the eyes to try to get them to pop. Any links to tutorials, or hints would be appreciated. Now for the shots!

1. This is a standard pose I have seen, not sure if we executed it properly. I did not like how her arm looked in the shot, I think it may have worked better if I had her arms out clasped in front of, or behind her.

f/1.6 @ 85 mm, 1/320, ISO 200

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2. Same setup, but I got a little closer. I liked this pose better.

f/2 @ 85 mm, 1/250, ISO 200
IMAGE: http://www.coppatopphotos.com/img/s9/v90/p1728805616-6.jpg


3. We wanted to do a photo of her in motion dancing, so I upped the shutter speed and the power of the flashes for this shot. She really liked this photo.

f/1.6 @ 85 mm, 1/500, ISO 200
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4. This was one of my favorite photos of the session. Up until this point I was having problems getting the angle right on my light stand with the 430EX. My 580 flash was not triggering it every time, so I moved it slightly behind her and pointed the receiver more towards me. I really know nothing about lighting / flash, so I have a question -- does the ST-E2 fix this problem? I believe the 580EX transmits the signals differently. I only wish I had removed the grass strands in front of her.

f/1.8 @ 85 mm, 1/320, ISO 200
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5. This was her favorite photo. Again I was having trouble getting the 430EX to fire, but with a few tries it worked. I had moved the light back to where it was originally, to her right and in front of her.

f/2 @ 85 mm, 1/200, ISO 100
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6. I think this was my best technical photo. I like how the lighting turned out, and I think I did a good job on the editing as well (especially for never having done skin processing before.) If I am wrong, feel free to correct me!

f/1.8 @ 85 mm, 1/200, ISO 100
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7. Is it ok to cut off her feet in this style of photo? Would you guys have framed it differently?

f/1.8 @ 85 mm, 1/200, ISO 100
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8. I spent a lot of time editing this photo. I just wanted to try something new. I like the look of the style, but I'm not sure if it works with this type of shot. What do you think?

f/1.6 @ 85 mm, 1/200, ISO 100
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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9. Here is one in natural light, no flash.

f/2 @ 85 mm, 1/640, ISO 100
http://www.coppatoppho​tos.com/p427586115/e67​a87aab (external link)


I tried to include the best ones, but if you are interested in seeing any more, they can be found here: http://www.coppatoppho​tos.com/p427586115 (external link)

Again, any help, C+C, or tips would be very appreciated. I would like to learn more about this type of work, and lighting as well. I had a lot of fun shooting this, and I think it would be good to expand my repertoire of photos I am confident taking.

5D3, lenses, tripod, and a flash.
Wobsite: www.coppatopphotos.com (external link)

  
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fatmod
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Jun 08, 2013 13:52 |  #2

I think you have done a superb job,great set




  
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mike_311
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Jun 08, 2013 14:35 |  #3

i think your lighting is pretty good. well balanced, not too overpowering.

the point of flash in the daylight is to fill in the shadows, not light the scene. so you may want to dial it back and let ambient do its job for very natural shots.

also close the lens down, you will still get separation at f4 or 5.6 plus she will be entirely in focus.

1. you know the problem, the pose. not flattering at all, but that's not uncommon with an inexperienced model and photog in posing. get her arms away from her body, suck in the belly, arch the back, chest out, shoulders back, etc. accentuate her curves and don't allow the loose parts of the body to press and appear larger.

2. better. lighting still good although id like to see it further form the camera, the catch lights have that snap shot look.

3. weird pose, open up the lens a bit more to get the hand in focus.

4. nice pose, needs a better crop.

5. great pose... if she was looking at the camera, looks awkward again.

6. nice.

7. the flash is getting a bit strong and unnatural.

8. pull the clarity down a bit, women,especially don't need their skin to look rough.


Canon 5d mkii | Canon 17-40/4L | Tamron 24-70/2.8 | Canon 85/1.8 | Canon 135/2L
www.michaelalestraphot​ography.com (external link)
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Coppatop85
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Jun 08, 2013 15:01 |  #4

mike_311 wrote in post #16011950 (external link)
i think your lighting is pretty good. well balanced, not too overpowering.

the point of flash in the daylight is to fill in the shadows, not light the scene. so you may want to dial it back and let ambient do its job for very natural shots.

also close the lens down, you will still get separation at f4 or 5.6 plus she will be entirely in focus.

1. you know the problem, the pose. not flattering at all, but that's not uncommon with an inexperienced model and photog in posing. get her arms away from her body, suck in the belly, arch the back, chest out, shoulders back, etc. accentuate her curves and don't allow the loose parts of the body to press and appear larger.

2. better. lighting still good although id like to see it further form the camera, the catch lights have that snap shot look.

3. weird pose, open up the lens a bit more to get the hand in focus.

4. nice pose, needs a better crop.

5. great pose... if she was looking at the camera, looks awkward again.

6. nice.

7. the flash is getting a bit strong and unnatural.

8. pull the clarity down a bit, women,especially don't need their skin to look rough.


Thanks a bunch! This is the exact type of feedback I was looking for!


5D3, lenses, tripod, and a flash.
Wobsite: www.coppatopphotos.com (external link)

  
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hleidich
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Jun 08, 2013 15:41 |  #5

Mike gave you some good comments on each so I will only comment on the most awkward/"distracting" one to me...on number #2, I would have her raise her back arm rather than the forward one especially with a bare arm...the armpit becomes the focal point rather than her face and I'm not sure that's what you want...with a sleeved shirt it's not as bad...my 2 cents. I like your lighting for a first attempt...I'm just starting as well but I can see the added benefits to making some nice pictures...keep at it.




  
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Coppatop85
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Jun 19, 2013 22:15 |  #6

hleidich wrote in post #16012067 (external link)
Mike gave you some good comments on each so I will only comment on the most awkward/"distracting" one to me...on number #2, I would have her raise her back arm rather than the forward one especially with a bare arm...the armpit becomes the focal point rather than her face and I'm not sure that's what you want...with a sleeved shirt it's not as bad...my 2 cents. I like your lighting for a first attempt...I'm just starting as well but I can see the added benefits to making some nice pictures...keep at it.

I didn't even think of that, but now that you mention it I see what you mean. I will have to pay more attention to the details from now on.


5D3, lenses, tripod, and a flash.
Wobsite: www.coppatopphotos.com (external link)

  
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First time with Off-camera flash -- Belly Dancer + Langeray
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