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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 20 Jun 2018 (Wednesday) 13:14
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Using a light meter to measure continuous light

 
stanwelks
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Jun 20, 2018 13:14 |  #1

I want to use a KNO FLO Diva with a softbox, and possibly a reflector to do some portraits. Using a Sekonic 478D light meter, do I just dial in my desired fstop and shutter speed and let it give me the ISO just like I would do with natural light? Can I keep it in the same mode I use when measuring natural light? Just want to make sure I am not over looking anything. I will be using this light later today and am not sure how much time I will have for testing.

Thanks in advance.




  
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Jun 20, 2018 14:48 |  #2

Just out of curiosity, why are you metering with a hand held meter rather than using your camera's reflective meter?

As for your answer, since the Kino-Flo is a continuous light source you would meter as for any ambient light. Just remember that you will get different readings from different sides of the face, depending on what you want to preserve (highlights or shadows). Typically photographers will either aim the meter's dome towards the light itself or towards the camera. Either one will give you a really close reading where you can adjust to taste after.


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Alveric
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Jun 20, 2018 16:36 |  #3

Same as natural light. Dial in your targets and measure.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
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stanwelks
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Jun 21, 2018 12:00 as a reply to  @ -Duck-'s post |  #4

I could use the built in meter, though I just wanted to make sure I got accurate skin tones and that is something I have difficulty with when using in camera metering. Thanks.




  
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stanwelks
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Post edited 2 months ago by stanwelks. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 21, 2018 13:22 |  #5

I used a single KNO FLO Diva with a soft box on it positioned very close, and above my subject. I also have a silver reflector close to the subject and to the side to bounce light back on the subject. I’m shooting at f2.8. 1/250 and ISO 1250. My light meter said I need ISO1250 on the side with the reflector and 1600 on the side without.

I could slow down my shutter, I picked 1/250 because I will be taking photos of kids.

1. Does the fact that I still need to be at ISO 1250 - 1600 while using the light mean that it is not bright enough? Being that I have ZERO experience with studio lighting, I was somehow thinking that my ISO would be much lower with the light. Does this sound right?

2. Any thoughts on the lighting/suggestions for improving it? The image is unedited, I only adjusted WB.

Thanks!


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RDKirk
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Post edited 2 months ago by RDKirk. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 21, 2018 14:08 |  #6

stanwelks wrote in post #18648931 (external link)
I used a single KNO FLO Diva with a soft box on it positioned very close, and above my subject. I also have a silver reflector close to the subject and to the side to bounce light back on the subject. I’m shooting at f2.8. 1/250 and ISO 1250. My light meter said I need ISO1250 on the side with the reflector and 1600 on the side without.

I could slow down my shutter, I picked 1/250 because I will be taking photos of kids.

1. Does the fact that I still need to be at ISO 1250 - 1600 while using the light mean that it is not bright enough? Being that I have ZERO experience with studio lighting, I was somehow thinking that my ISO would be much lower with the light. Does this sound right?

2. Any thoughts on the lighting/suggestions for improving it? The image is unedited, I only adjusted WB.

And there you have the problem with continuous lights in general and "cool" lights (florescent or LED) in particular: Low power.

What you've measured is what you get. Yep.

Back in the day, when I was a teenager working in a local photo studio, we used to use a total of 3,000 watts of incandescents to get f5.6 and 1/250 using 400 ASA (ISO) film. That was literally two space heaters aimed at the subject.

Good times, good times.




  
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ksbal
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Jun 21, 2018 15:02 as a reply to  @ stanwelks's post |  #7

suggestions:

1. filtered natural light... like a garage with white curtains that are translucent - finding good shade with directional light of some sort.. White pop up tent?
2. get more power Scotty! switch to strobes.

Continuous lights are fine for product photography.. not so much for kids.

Want a super easy one? pick a room with white walls/ceiling (or make it that way, tape up white cloth) and put an on camera flash but point it behind and above you... instant big light source, with soft lighting for the kids.

Neilvan - Black Foamie Thing (external link)


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dmward
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Jun 21, 2018 16:18 |  #8

ksbal wrote in post #18648971 (external link)
suggestions:

1. filtered natural light... like a garage with white curtains that are translucent - finding good shade with directional light of some sort.. White pop up tent?
2. get more power Scotty! switch to strobes.

Continuous lights are fine for product photography.. not so much for kids.

Want a super easy one? pick a room with white walls/ceiling (or make it that way, tape up white cloth) and put an on camera flash but point it behind and above you... instant big light source, with soft lighting for the kids.

Neilvan - Black Foamie Thing (external link)

Another option is a really big umbrella right behind and above the camera. Then two kicker strip boxes at either side back. One kicker about 1/3 EV brighter than the other.


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stanwelks
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Jun 21, 2018 16:21 as a reply to  @ ksbal's post |  #9

I actually thought continuous light would be good for kids since they are cooler, and not bright...

I just opened up the softbox and discovered two embarrassing problems; a) the lower barn door was bent up blocking light! b.) one of the KNO light tubes was disconnected! I corrected both issues.

I re-measured the light and it is at 1000 ISO on both the reflector and shadow side.

Thoughts on the light now? Does the quality of it seem soft? Does it seem consistent with what you might photograph kids with?

Thanks!


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Alveric
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Jun 21, 2018 17:58 |  #10

Continuous lights are actually hotter than strobes. As for colour temperature, that depends on your bulbs and can be modified with gels. I don't want to digress and turn this thread into a my-dog-is-bigger-than-your-dog- strobe vs continuous debate, but I will point out that continuous lights won't allow you to freeze motion.

Yes, your light has a very soft quality, you can judge that by your terminator, which is very fuzzy. Is that the actual distance the light will be from your actual subjects? If so, and if that's the kind of quality of light you want to have, then you're OK.

There is no rule that says you must photograph children with so and so lighting. That's something you must determine yourself based on the look you want to achieve.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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ShutterKlick
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Jun 21, 2018 18:08 |  #11

I will try to contribute within my experience, I stand to be corrected when wrong (Which I am frequently).

I do NOT use continuous lighting because for me, it takes a *LOT* of light to get the desired effect (lighting) that I want.

I was a speedlight rookie for a long time, and until I spend some decent money and upgraded all my flashes (Godox Pro controller and 3 TT600 strobes, plus one that is TTL, I forget the model number), I struggled the get anything that was a keeper.

Then one day, after lots of Youtube University classes, I started to play with my stobes and it started to click. I got better real fast!


Anyway, some modeling lights to allow your camera to focus fast is all you need, with some decent strobes and I think you will have the results you want. Plus strobes (typically) are 5500K and thats more like the color your want.

Here is a doll baby I used to practice for a toddler shoot, all strobes, no color correction, "skin" tone of the doll matches what my eyes saw (98%).

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4673/28254314189_7b3bef302f_b.jpg

Take a look at the EXIF, low ISO because my strobes are BRIGHT! And the quick discharge of a flash is gone before they squint... where as with ambient light that is really bright, all they do is squint (any model regardless of age).

GL,
Andrew

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ShutterKlick
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Jun 21, 2018 18:16 |  #12

Actual Shoot images...


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*I* don't think I could have gotten these without strobe.

HTH,
Andrew

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ShutterKlick
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Post edited 2 months ago by ShutterKlick.
     
Jun 21, 2018 18:23 |  #13

stanwelks wrote in post #18648884 (external link)
I just wanted to make sure I got accurate skin tones

Shoot RAW and adjust WB to taste.. easy peasy. However, if your light color is off, that may be a struggle. I suggest light with 5500k.


IMAGE: https://www.exposureguide.com/media/white-balance-chart.png?x35090


I myself try to keep in mind, what one person finds pleasing.. another does not. You can go warmer with the intent to add drama to your shot by adding gels to your flash.. cheap, easy.

I have two of these, cheap and fun to play with..
https://www.amazon.com …rds=speedlight+​gels&psc=1 (external link)

HTH,
Andrew

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http://shutterklick.co​m (external link)

  
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ShutterKlick
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Post edited 2 months ago by ShutterKlick.
     
Jun 21, 2018 18:29 |  #14

ksbal wrote in post #18648971 (external link)
Want a super easy one? pick a room with white walls/ceiling (or make it that way, tape up white cloth) and put an on camera flash but point it behind and above you... instant big light source, with soft lighting for the kids.

YES YES YES, all day long YES!

Bare strobes aimed at white walls turn a room into a softbox. Like.. magic. My baby shot had 3 strobes.. 1 to the side of the tottler but shooting right to the ceiling, one behind a white sheet blowing it out to be all white and one in front (lowest power of all) behind a shoot though umbrella for frontal light and beautiful catch light. All my lighting gear was less than $300 with strobes, batteries, chargers, stands, umbrellas, etc.. etc.. etc.. And with the Godox controller, I can adjust output on the camera quickly. I think I ranted off course Capt..

Andrew


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RicoTudor
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Jun 21, 2018 19:02 |  #15

Alveric wrote in post #18649060 (external link)
I don't want to digress and turn this thread into a my-dog-is-bigger-than-your-dog- strobe vs continuous debate, but I will point out that continuous lights won't allow you to freeze motion.

If photography is a journey then there are stops on the highway that all newbies must make. The futility of continuous light is one of them, and the lesson is always learned the hard way (apparently).


Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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Using a light meter to measure continuous light
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