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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 12 Jun 2013 (Wednesday) 03:28
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New to portrait and lighting

 
Paulstw
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Jun 12, 2013 03:28 |  #1

Hey folks,

I've always been a wildlife, sunset, nature, birding, outdoor and landscape type photographer, however, lately it's been boring me to tears.

I very rarely take portrait shots, but when I do I really enjoy it. No two people are the same and you get some great feedback from it that gives you that warm glow.

I want to do more, for family friends and work colleagues.

My kit is in my sig, and I also have a Yongnuo 560II manual flash, two light stands, and one of those awful ebay backdrops that looks more crushed than a cotton sheet in a hot wash.

I would love to do more professional shots, and anyone I speak to always asks what type of lighting I have, to which I reply, I have a flash? and they smirk..

I took this shot of my girlfriend for her employers website. It had to look very straight laced as she is a dentist.

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Pauleen_portrait (external link) by Campsie Photography (external link), on Flickr

Her boss was quite happy with it, as was I.
just the flash bounced off the ceiling, nothing fancy.

Is there anything I can get thats going to cut the mustard? I mean do I need all the umbrella, softboxes? and multiple lights and stuff?

I have one of those large circular reflectors too, that I've hardly used.

I guess what I'm asking to vaguely is, that is there a starter list of kit I should have?

Thanks for your help as always.

Paul
Glasgow, UK



  
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richardhurst
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Jun 12, 2013 04:32 |  #2

The kit list you can get is endless, just keep doing what your doing and buy little bits here and there like a shoot through umbrella, extra flash etc. Great start!


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reheat ­ module
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Jun 12, 2013 04:51 as a reply to  @ richardhurst's post |  #3

Did you use the reflector underneath to bounce a little light back up under her chin? - a simple trick but it would lift the shadow a little.
Also, try bouncing the flash off a plain side wall if available, and use the reflector to return some light into the shadow side of the face.
A single flash and reflector can provide many, many options.
Beautiful partner by the way, maximise the opportunity to practice the portrait work.


Tons of enthusiasm, loads of kit, limited skill...

  
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Paulstw
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Jun 12, 2013 05:06 |  #4

richardhurst wrote in post #16023082 (external link)
The kit list you can get is endless, just keep doing what your doing and buy little bits here and there like a shoot through umbrella, extra flash etc. Great start!

Good plan! much like all kit I guess, get good with the least you can get away with because its expensive :)

reheat module wrote in post #16023101 (external link)
Did you use the reflector underneath to bounce a little light back up under her chin? - a simple trick but it would lift the shadow a little.
Also, try bouncing the flash off a plain side wall if available, and use the reflector to return some light into the shadow side of the face.
A single flash and reflector can provide many, many options.
Beautiful partner by the way, maximise the opportunity to practice the portrait work.

Thanks :) Yes she's a looker. Never though of the reflector. I guess i wouldnt have expected the light to travel that far. I'll give it a go.




  
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reheat ­ module
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Jun 12, 2013 06:32 as a reply to  @ Paulstw's post |  #5

Use a similar pose, bounce the flash from a neutral ceiling as before, but this time have her hold the gold/silver reflector underneath at chest level, just out of shot. Then take a shot with the reflector slightly further down mid torso, and finally remove the reflector totally and take a third shot. Review all three images on the LCD. Although the LCD isn't perfect, it should give an indication in the effective use of a reflector. Don't forget to pop the pics on the forum!


Tons of enthusiasm, loads of kit, limited skill...

  
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Paulstw
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Jun 14, 2013 01:54 |  #6

reheat module wrote in post #16023240 (external link)
Use a similar pose, bounce the flash from a neutral ceiling as before, but this time have her hold the gold/silver reflector underneath at chest level, just out of shot. Then take a shot with the reflector slightly further down mid torso, and finally remove the reflector totally and take a third shot. Review all three images on the LCD. Although the LCD isn't perfect, it should give an indication in the effective use of a reflector. Don't forget to pop the pics on the forum!

Great tip :) Thanks. I'll give it a go next time around.

I ordered a hotshoe/umbrella bracket and shoot through umbrella, see how that goes.
it's a start of a very winding road I suspect.

Thanks guys.




  
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drvnbysound
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Jun 14, 2013 10:33 |  #7

Something else to consider:
http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=Qe3oJnFtA_k (external link)

For portraits, I prefer the light that I can get from modifiers as opposed to bouncing; the reason being control of direction, falloff, etc.


I use manual exposure settings on the copy machine
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...A few umbrella brackets I own...

  
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CptTripps
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Jun 16, 2013 01:01 |  #8

You can do a lot with one light and an umbrella. A second light for accent is nice when you want it.


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dmward
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Jun 16, 2013 09:25 |  #9

One or two speedlites along with shoot through umbrella and/or an umbrella frame soft box are great tools for portraits. HERE (external link) is an explanation of how I use them, along with a reflector to replicate large soft window light.

Your headshot does illustrate the benefit of a reflector, looking closely under her chin one can see the light reflected into her neck by the light bouncing off her sweater/chest.

When you get the umbrella, you may want to practice with moving the light off axis to create more definition in the face. I'd start, if using your girlfriend as a subject, with the light camera right since her hair covers the right side of her face somewhat. That will permit the light to get under the hair.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

  
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Paulstw
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Jun 17, 2013 04:32 as a reply to  @ dmward's post |  #10

Thanks for all the replies guys, It's really helped a lot.

I'm looking forward to this new venture, and with willing subjects, i'm sure it'll be trial and error too :)




  
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