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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 01 Jul 2014 (Tuesday) 22:13
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Put behind the eight-ball

 
AlFooteIII
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Jul 01, 2014 22:13 |  #1

OK, this is one of those lovely posts of someone who got in a situation they should know better, yet here they are. Any helpful suggestions are thankfully welcome.

I got roped into shooting a bunch of corporate portraits. The Powers That Be ordered a basic light kit before they got me on board: two AlienBees B800s, 3 PocketWizard Plus IIIs, stands and umbrellas with a backdrop. I did some research and was going to shoot a clamshell set-up. So far so good, but when I unpacked the boxes to do a dry run, the umbrellas are silver reflective, not shoot through. Still managed to get reasonable light with about 1/8th power on top and 1/32nd on the bottom, but it's a bit harsh/contrasty. Given that the client is not going to spend any additional money, is there anything I can do, with what's on hand to improve the quality of the light? Is there a better set-up than clamshell, given my particulars? I'm an experienced shooter, but not so much with strobes.

Thanks,
Al


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mike_d
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Jul 02, 2014 00:30 |  #2

Hang some diffusion fabric in front of the umbrellas.




  
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whoty
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Jul 02, 2014 02:25 |  #3

Why clamshell for corporate shots? I would think something simple like Rembrandt should work. Try this. Get a white foam board. Main light at 45 degree on one side,poster board on the other used for fill. Use that second light as a rim.

I shot this for a real estate agent needing headshots for her business cards. In my example,I opted to use a gridded light onto the background instead of a rim light. Power was at it's lowest setting.


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AlFooteIII
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Jul 02, 2014 05:12 |  #4

Thanks, both!


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Snafoo
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Jul 02, 2014 06:53 |  #5

Ask to buy a couple of shoot- through umbrellas. They're only $25 each.

I agree that clamshell portraits aren't ideal for corporate, but I suppose that may depend on the end purpose, and also on the corporation. Why did you decide on the clamshell look?


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BTNorris
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Jul 02, 2014 12:37 |  #6

Snafoo wrote in post #17006822 (external link)
Ask to buy a couple of shoot- through umbrellas.

+1, but just eat the cost.

Get better/branded ones if you can and want, but if money is really an issue, how about $8 each, amazon prime:

http://www.amazon.com …2&keywords=flas​h+umbrella (external link)


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ksbal
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Jul 02, 2014 13:02 |  #7

Yep, just got done doing a 3 light set-up which you can do with two lights if you use a reflector for fill. Ideal is to have a fourth light on the BG as a spot, but depends on if you want to spring for a small flash that has an optical trigger.

I wouldn't do clambshell - works on the gals, not so great for the guys, and you want a consistent look.

But I guess I'd like to see a clambshell of a 55-65yr old man... that'd be interesting.

By the by.. if you want to have less wrinkles, then the larger you want those umbrellas. I have a couple of 60inch bounce ones like the link below.. they throw wonderful soft light, but you want to watch the spill. Long conference room with a higher than 8 ft ceiling if you can.

http://www.adorama.com​/WEU60WB.html (external link)


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AlFooteIII
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Jul 02, 2014 14:58 |  #8

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

We ended up going with what I described above but did add a speedlight on the background. It worked well -- about 75 - 80 people, give or take. There was only one guy and it looked pretty good on him, too! I certainly learned a lot and hopefully they learned to talk to the photographer before they rent the kit!

Now to the editing....


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AlFooteIII
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Jul 02, 2014 15:00 |  #9

Oh -- PS for the buy the 'brellas, eat the cost, unfortunately, I got to see the gear last night and had to start shooting early this morning. No chance to run to B&H or Adorama, much less Amazon. Like I said -- behind the eight ball!


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Put behind the eight-ball
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