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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 21 Dec 2007 (Friday) 19:46
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Is flash exposure just trial & error?

 
Johan ­ Groenewald
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Dec 23, 2007 03:49 |  #16

Read the articles on flash photography from photonotes .org, it helped me a lot


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Unity ­ Gain
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Dec 23, 2007 18:31 as a reply to  @ Johan Groenewald's post |  #17
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Thanks for reminding me why NOT to look at photo forums




  
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JMHPhotography
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Dec 23, 2007 18:38 |  #18

Unity Gain wrote in post #4554258 (external link)
Yes I know that...geez

OK ..from now on obey your light meter all the time...Don't question. Obey the meter. Geez

See how far that gets you on a few 20,000 dollar budget shoots with 4 assistants and 20 heads

20 heads??? Maybe it's just me, and my lack of real experience speaking, but I couldn't imagine it would ever be a neccesity to use that many heads in ANY commercial shoot.

On another note... I set up my lights with a meter, and it's never guess work for me. I dial my lights in one at a time and I shoot to the lighting. Once they're dialed in, I usually don't have to change anything. The meter is pretty much dead on. I can see where some could benefit from tweaking a little here and there by eye. I just haven't seen the need.


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transcend
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Dec 23, 2007 19:12 |  #19

Unity Gain wrote in post #4559190 (external link)
Thanks for reminding me why NOT to look at photo forums

You mean like reading comments from guys claiming that light setup is trial and error?


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steveathome
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Dec 23, 2007 19:17 |  #20

I think he got the ump :rolleyes:

Have a great Christmas everyone.




  
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richardyoung
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Dec 29, 2007 04:58 |  #21

This thread is going no place good..


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u8myufo
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Dec 29, 2007 06:35 as a reply to  @ richardyoung's post |  #22

Interesting arguements so far guys :) not wanting to stir up anything but we are all entitled to an opinion, and imo whilst you still have to have a knowledge of flash photography, and an understanding of light and how it works for you and against you, it still is to a certain degree a combination of understanding, having an artistic flare, bearing in mind that the same subject could be captured in numerous lighting effects and still have that wow factor, and trial and error, and one I still feel is a governing factor is location, some people in different parts of the hemisphere are fortunate to have in my opinion good natural light, here in the UK those times of day are few and far between.

Scenario: You have got all the lighting kit to hand, forgetting composition you are going to take a portrait shot. Can you honestly say that you could set up your kit take one shot of the subject and get the lighting detail spot on? I dont thinks so. In fact photography itself has a certain trial and error about it, why else would people take test shots or run off loads of proofs? If they were that confident they would not need to. Yeh I know a lot has to do with the subject itself but im sure the good ones that are picked out were merited on the lighting factor as well. Show me someone who could charge top wack for say doing a wedding shoot, ask them to produce 36 top quality photographs but only take 36 shots and I will eat my hat.
Or for instance your taking some pics for somebody and run off a few, in the finished results you have.

A) Some really outstanding subject shots but the lighting is not quite what you wanted.
B) Some subject shots that are not so good but the lighting is spot on.

You cannot afford to retake the shots so which ones do you present to the client? Myself I would have to provide them with the better composed shots, but then what do I know?

PS Happy New Year.


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grimreaper
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Dec 29, 2007 18:50 |  #23

Johan Groenewald wrote in post #4556006 (external link)
Read the articles on flash photography from photonotes .org, it helped me a lot


great site that , thanks :D


:D Any Photo is better than none:D
All the best, James.

  
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braduardo
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Dec 29, 2007 19:57 |  #24

The light meter is great for getting your lights setup and dialed in. When I am setting up, I'll normally take a lot of readings where I will be having my subjects as I am setting my lights. I'll often take 9-12 readings to make sure that I am getting even lighting across the entire backdrop to ensure that I don't end up with areas that are too dark/light. I just adjust my output and placement on the heads until my light is within 1/3 stop or so across my entire area.


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cdifoto
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Dec 29, 2007 20:02 |  #25

Unity Gain wrote in post #4554258 (external link)
Yes I know that...geez

OK ..from now on obey your light meter all the time...Don't question. Obey the meter. Geez

See how far that gets you on a few 20,000 dollar budget shoots with 4 assistants and 20 heads

Hmm. With a $20,000 budget, 20 heads, and 4 assistants the last thing I would want to be doing is eyeballing and guess-chimp-adjust. A light meter would be absolutely essential. If I didn't have one, there'd be at least 4 frustrated, bored, & independent eye witnesses to me being a total hack - assuming the client wasn't there and the subject(s) weren't human...


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richardyoung
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Dec 29, 2007 20:22 |  #26

I don't think he is saying NOT to have one.. that is not the point he is making..

set up your lights, meter, then dial your camera in, then tweak your lights a bit more.

the meters will get you close.. maybe around a 1/3 of a stop... then from there.. you need to use a monitor or photoshop to get with in 1/10 or tighter.

If you think you can just set-up, then meter.. .. and the meter says.. f5.6 and you can shoot at 5.6 blindly with out testing, your a fool.. I used to work at a college and I have done this, however walk down to a advance photo lighting class, with a couple of different meters and test the same lighting set up using different meters, you will get different reading. I remember reading some place that Sekonic meter are balanced at around 12% gray and that Minolta ( the meter I use) is around 16%. so that few % points, can be around 1/3 to 1/2 stop.

however if you don't own a meter.. and just plan on picking a randomly picking an f-stop you are also a fool.

cdifoto wrote in post #4591975 (external link)
Hmm. With a $20,000 budget, 20 heads, and 4 assistants the last thing I would want to be doing is eyeballing and guess-chimp-adjust. A light meter would be absolutely essential. If I didn't have one, there'd be at least 4 frustrated, bored, & independent eye witnesses to me being a total hack - assuming the client wasn't there and the subject(s) weren't human...


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Collin85
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Dec 29, 2007 20:27 |  #27

cdifoto wrote in post #4591975 (external link)
Hmm. With a $20,000 budget, 20 heads, and 4 assistants the last thing I would want to be doing is eyeballing and guess-chimp-adjust. A light meter would be absolutely essential. If I didn't have one, there'd be at least 4 frustrated, bored, & independent eye witnesses to me being a total hack - assuming the client wasn't there and the subject(s) weren't human...

Or you wake up and realize it was all just a bad dream. :)


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steveathome
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Dec 30, 2007 02:10 |  #28

richardyoung wrote in post #4592066 (external link)
I don't think he is saying NOT to have one.. that is not the point he is making..

set up your lights, meter, then dial your camera in, then tweak your lights a bit more.

the meters will get you close.. maybe around a 1/3 of a stop... then from there.. you need to use a monitor or photoshop to get with in 1/10 or tighter.

If you think you can just set-up, then meter.. .. and the meter says.. f5.6 and you can shoot at 5.6 blindly with out testing, your a fool.. I used to work at a college and I have done this, however walk down to a advance photo lighting class, with a couple of different meters and test the same lighting set up using different meters, you will get different reading. I remember reading some place that Sekonic meter are balanced at around 12% gray and that Minolta ( the meter I use) is around 16%. so that few % points, can be around 1/3 to 1/2 stop.

however if you don't own a meter.. and just plan on picking a randomly picking an f-stop you are also a fool.

That might have been from yesteryear, but in my world my meter is calibrated to a particular lens, body, and iso combination to within 1/10. Take a look at the new Sekonic's, the statement about meters being balanced to different references just doesn't apply.

In addition, you shouldn't be picking f stops to suit your lighting, but adjusting your lighting to the f stop you want to shoot at (in studio work), hence a well calibrated meter is critical. I'd apply for a refund from that college, had I spent money there. :rolleyes:




  
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richardyoung
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Dec 30, 2007 12:57 |  #29

So in your world you just shoot with one lens, one body, and one ISO?

or do you have like 50 meters?

I looked around at the sekonic site, some of there meters are 13% and some are 18%. however I couldn't find any statement ( granted I didn't spend long looking over there site)

however.. even on that point.. 13% is a MUCH better balance than 18%..if you are shooting digital.

steveathome wrote in post #4593732 (external link)
That might have been from yesteryear, but in my world my meter is calibrated to a particular lens, body, and iso combination to within 1/10. Take a look at the new Sekonic's, the statement about meters being balanced to different references just doesn't apply.

In addition, you shouldn't be picking f stops to suit your lighting, but adjusting your lighting to the f stop you want to shoot at (in studio work), hence a well calibrated meter is critical. I'd apply for a refund from that college, had I spent money there. :rolleyes:


The Art of Erotica • In Vegas - Lets Meet (external link)

  
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steveathome
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Dec 30, 2007 13:02 |  #30

No in my world (mainly portraiture) I use one body and mainly two lens's, I also use the Sekonic L-758 of which is calibrated to all. It has that capability.

I think you are missing the point on calibrating, the 12% or 18% doesn't even come in to it. Calibration is matching what you have to the meter for the best and most accurate results, and not depending on a manufacturers idea of accuracy.




  
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Is flash exposure just trial & error?
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