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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 23 Aug 2015 (Sunday) 09:53
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Backyard Practice, Need Inputs

 
Jiggo0109
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Aug 23, 2015 09:53 |  #1

Hi guys, I am looking for answers about ocf at bright sunlight. I have speculations of the solution to my problem but I need confirmations from you. I hope you can help me on this one because I really want to improve on this. I will post some photos on ow I did it and pardon me for the out of focus shots and uninteresting photos. Just the lighting I am concerned of in this thread.

Here is the situation: Took my son out (and he was very impatient of the hot weather outside) at about 2pm Manila time. The sun was about 120 degrees from our heads.

Took this shot at 2.8, 250th at 640 ISO. just to show you harsh the sun is.

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5717/20822876601_77f5ea2b09_z.jpg

Exposed the BG. ND filter 6 stops, 2.8, 250th at 250 iso

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5780/20806336242_cedfd026d9_z.jpg

Fired with 300 watts strobe camera left at about 5ft with the standard bowl at full power. This is where my questions are: Notice I have two sets of shadows, one from the sun and the other from the strobe. How would I get rid of the sun's shadow? Would a 600 watt strobe take care of this?


IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/698/20627764500_4150d2d407_z.jpg

Tried to transfer the strobe behind me but I still have two sets of shadows... Should I consider The angle of the subject this time or is it really the strobe I should upgrade?


IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/717/20789483206_66221be468_z.jpg

Lastly, We changed positions. sun behind him and bumped up my iso to 1000. Filter still on. Should I take the filter off the lens this time? But was successful in getting rid of the sun's shadow in this photo (I think).


IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5820/20628983489_e356c98fe8_z.jpg

Hope you can help me on this. I am planning to purchase a 600 watt strobe and currently I am already equipped with a 6ft parabolic umbrella. Thanks.



  
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tandemhearts
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Aug 23, 2015 10:09 |  #2

Don't use the ND filter and ISO 1000 at the same time. They are doing opposite things.

Beyond that, the "right" answer spends on the look you want.

I'd put the sun behind him, get the exposure set so that the highlights on this shoulders do not blow out. Put umbrella off axis 30 degrees, high and see what I got. In other words, your last shot is pretty close to what I'd do.




  
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clipper_from_oz
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Post edited over 4 years ago by clipper_from_oz. (4 edits in all)
     
Aug 23, 2015 10:15 |  #3

Last image looks way better...Got some sun highlights on hair and front flash filled in ..

Also having sunlight either above or behind is better than front on because sun front on will make people squint........Thats the best way of doing shots in strong direct sunlight

..Also no need for ND ...Just lower ISO

Last shot looks fine


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Jiggo0109
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Aug 23, 2015 10:26 |  #4

Thank you guys, let me guess... So i'll use nds if the bg is still very bright with the aperture I want and already at lowest iso, right? Since the subject would be back lighted by the sun, stronger strobes should come in?




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 23, 2015 10:29 |  #5

put the strobe in a large softbox and keep it on or near camera axis, this will minimize the cross shadow (two shadows) problem.

otherwise, as you discovered, you can keep the sun behind the subject and light with the strobe on, or off, axis. Rather than right behind the subject you might try putting the sun to one side.


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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Aug 23, 2015 10:31 |  #6

Jiggo0109 wrote in post #17679723 (external link)
Thank you guys, let me guess... So i'll use nds if the bg is still very bright with the aperture I want and already at lowest iso, right?

yes.

Jiggo0109 wrote in post #17679723 (external link)
Since the subject would be back lighted by the sun, stronger strobes should come in?

i understand that sometimes you have no choice but to shoot in full sun in the middle of the day, but as you get closer to sunset or sunrise the problem of sun position and brightness becomes increasingly easier to deal with.


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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Jiggo0109
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Jiggo0109. (3 edits in all)
     
Aug 23, 2015 10:52 |  #7

Thanks again... Now it's getting clearer in my mind... Correct me if I'm wrong... In a situation where the sn is behind and the exposure setting of the bg is 2.8, iso 100, nd needed for example. Strobe is needed to light the subject. With this scenario, the power of the strobe will depend on the distance of the subject from the light (strobe). If I need to place my strobe 10ft away from the subject, powerful strobe is needed and if I only need to take a close up head shot, a 300 watt strobe would do because I can place it at nearest point as possible to the subject. Am I getting it right? Powerful strobes for long distance and low strobes for close ups, or better to have them both. :-)

EDIT: If also I wanted a darker background, more power from the light is needed, right?




  
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Aug 23, 2015 11:00 |  #8

I use a single CL-360 (otherwise known as Godox AD360) in a 43 inch octa with only the inner diffuser while lighting subject from 8-10 feet away and have little problem over powering the sun. I generally use HSS to darken the sky and background with a faster shutter speed.

edit: i shoot an hour or so before sunset.


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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PhilF
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Aug 23, 2015 11:07 as a reply to  @ Jiggo0109's post |  #9

if you want darker background you use hypersync or high speed sync


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Aug 23, 2015 11:27 |  #10

Jiggo0109 wrote in post #17679748 (external link)
Thanks again... Now it's getting clearer in my mind... Correct me if I'm wrong... In a situation where the sn is behind and the exposure setting of the bg is 2.8, iso 100, nd needed for example. Strobe is needed to light the subject. With this scenario, the power of the strobe will depend on the distance of the subject from the light (strobe). If I need to place my strobe 10ft away from the subject, powerful strobe is needed and if I only need to take a close up head shot, a 300 watt strobe would do because I can place it at nearest point as possible to the subject. Am I getting it right? Powerful strobes for long distance and low strobes for close ups, or better to have them both. :-)

EDIT: If also I wanted a darker background, more power from the light is needed, right?

If you set a light closer to subject, it is relatively larger in apparent size (compared to farther away), and therefore 'softer' than farther away

If you set a light closer to the subject, falloff due to distance is more rapid than if light is farther away

  • Light at 2' falls off by -1EV with only 0.8' more distance
  • Light at 8' hardly falls off (just over -0.25EV) at all with only 0.8' more distance


Doubling flash power only give you +1EV brighter light

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Aug 23, 2015 12:43 |  #11

PhilF wrote in post #17679763 (external link)
if you want darker background you use hypersync or high speed sync

Obviously there are two schools of thought here

Use a faster shutter speed and HSS/hypersync
or
Use a ND filter and stay at sync speed

Just as obvious is that one could use some combination of the two, but most would agree that doing so just complicates things.

Both options result in less light reaching the sensor, preference in choosing one or the other is largely related to one's current equipment. Neither is the wrong or right unless the situation (equipment imitations, subject movement, etc) call for one over the other.


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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Aug 23, 2015 14:53 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #12

In addition about using ND filters, if color is crucial to you, it's not advisable to use it


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Aug 24, 2015 01:55 |  #13

clipper_from_oz wrote in post #17679710 (external link)
Last image looks way better...Got some sun highlights on hair and front flash filled in ..

Also having sunlight either above or behind is better than front on because sun front on will make people squint........Thats the best way of doing shots in strong direct sunlight

..Also no need for ND ...Just lower ISO

Last shot looks fine


I forgot to mention that there is one other way to avoid these problems.....and that is be like some landscape photographers out there including myself that make it a rule never to shoot outdoors between 10.00 am and 2.00pm when there is harsh direct sunlight light unless is absolutely critical :) ..Just remember when wedding groups are hoping for a nice sunny day on the day of the wedding the wedding photographer is hoping for exactly the opposite :)

The other thing to be cognisant of is over use of fill flash outdoors which if used with a heavy hand results in shots look terrible unnatural....basically give it a false look ...Just go and have a look at some of the glamour shots posted up that are done outside a studio at places like beaches etc etc and many of them dont look natural because of this heavy handed use of a strobe. Ofcourse many ad agencies shoot outdoor ads successfully with a natural look however most of them have very very sophisticated lighting with a lot of after PP work included to get the shot looking right. .......My personal opinion is strobe doesnt add much value on anything outdoors except some nice subtle fill flash to smooth things out when shadows get bad.........exactly like you used in your last pic. That looks 100% natural and if outdoor people shots are what you mainly do then stay with that effect you acheived in the last image and you cant go wrong

Clipper


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Jiggo0109
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Aug 24, 2015 05:03 |  #14

Thank you guys... Really helped me a lot... So here is my recap...

1. Shoot during golden hours.
2. Use hss to preserve colors.
3. No need for stronger strobes to make a decent lighting against the sun, but powerful strobes are beneficial, if dialed down to match a
full powered 300 watt strobe, when recycling time is in concern.
4. Use the sun as fill or rim light of the subject.

If there is something I missed, please feel free to add a note. :-)

Thanks.




  
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Aug 24, 2015 06:33 |  #15

Jiggo0109 wrote in post #17680742 (external link)
Thank you guys... Really helped me a lot... So here is my recap...

1. Shoot during golden hours.
2. Use hss to preserve colors.
3. No need for stronger strobes to make a decent lighting against the sun, but powerful strobes are beneficial, if dialed down to match a
full powered 300 watt strobe, when recycling time is in concern.
4. Use the sun as fill or rim light of the subject.

If there is something I missed, please feel free to add a note. :-)

Thanks.

1. Nonsense, learn to shoot in full sun, just like the last image.
2. Hss does not preserve colors
3. More power gives you more modifier and flash to subject options, but for now I'd learn to use an unmodifed speedlight as fill in full sun to get a natural look. Learning this will make shooting in other lighting situations a piece of cake.
4. Sun never for fill, only for rim (I'm talking full sun).


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