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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 06 Oct 2009 (Tuesday) 07:25
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Lighting a Debutante Ball??

 
r_kell.
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Oct 06, 2009 07:25 |  #1

Hi All,

Long time lurker first time poster on the forums :oops:.. and I may have the opportunity to shoot a local debutante ball early next year, however the challenge of lighting during the evening has me a little stumped as to how I could approach it.

In short, previous year's photogs have done a satisfactory and on some occasions sub-standard job, with shots that are all too dark, too far away etc and all with on-camera flash, so now the organisers are perhaps looking into alternatives.

I may be a little ambitious, but I was thinking of utilising the 2 x AB400's (fired by PWs) and 1 x430EX I currently have and hiring any extras I may need/want to get the shots.

I'll post some diagrams shortly that will better illustrate my challenges, but for now here are some great shots from an american deb ball to give you an idea (more specifically the group and dancing shots) of what I could be up for.
http://www.7x7.com …-francisco-debutante-ball (external link)
Unfortunately for me, the venue shown in these photos has much better lighting than will be available in our venue...

The group shots will consist of possibly 20 or more girls, and a separate group shot with partners included.. ouch.

I only have a stofen omnibounce for my 430EX, however the high ceilings won't allow for any bounce for the formal dancing shots - What might be my best option for the walk-around on-camera part.. apart from perhaps using a body with better high ISO performance?!

Would anyone perhaps have any tips or hints as to how I could plan for this possible job??
Any insights from those that have either done this or a similar type of situation would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all in advance!




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 06, 2009 08:55 |  #2

The bees should work for the posed shots. For the walking around photos, I would suggest getting a bracket and softbox. Alzo makes one, so does photoflex, something along the lines of 12x12 or so. That will soften the light some and still keep you portable. You can bounce your Bees in the corners of the room to provide some addition "ambient" so your backgrounds will be less dark.




  
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r_kell.
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Hatchling
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Oct 06, 2009 19:29 |  #3

Thanks for the suggestions - would it be worthwhile trying to get my hands on a 580EX or similar as opposed to my 430EX?




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 06, 2009 20:25 |  #4

The 580ex, or 580exII gets you one more stop of power over the 430ex. I'm not certain that you need it, but its always nice to have. I think your bigger issue is to improve the quality of light, especially on your walk around on camera part. Like I said above a small softbox would be optimal, if not you can use a lumiquest or bounce card like the demb flipit. The other thing to seriously consider is a bracket so that your light sources stays directly above your lens pushing shadows directly down behind your subject.




  
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picturecrazy
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Oct 07, 2009 00:42 |  #5

Two strategically placed strobes in the room can do a lot for your lighting. I'd say set up the bees in the room.


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r_kell.
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Hatchling
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Oct 07, 2009 05:59 |  #6

Cheers guys, I was hoping that room lighting could be an option with the bees - before I make any decisions I'll try to get access to the venue and bring some gear along for a few test shots!




  
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z-monster
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Oct 07, 2009 06:24 |  #7

Test shots indeed as you will more than likely have color balance issues with room lighting mixed with your strobes.


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Benji
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Oct 07, 2009 09:51 |  #8

For years a photographer buddy of mine photographed a similar venue and as dumb as this sounds it worked VERY well. He had an assisitant with a battery powered studio flash in an umbrella on a long telescoping pole follow him wherever he went. When the assistant saw him pause and raise the camera this was his cue to raise the flash and umbrella up to the proper height and at the proper angle and at the approximate predetermined distance and the photographer made the capture. His on camera flash provided the fill light and the off camera studio flash provided the soft directional light. This was done so smoothly that most people didn't even realize the extra flash was even used because the photographer used the ten seconds of setup time needed as his time to refine the pose.

Benji




  
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Lighting a Debutante Ball??
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