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Thread started 04 Sep 2010 (Saturday) 13:46
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How to deal with majorly sunken eyes?

 
anthony11
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Sep 04, 2010 13:46 |  #1
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I got cornered into shooting a BIL's wedding in November in Mendocino, CA. I think my biggest challenge is that he's something of a skeleton: very thin, bald, with distressingly deep-set eyes. I know to minimize his skull shape and hawkish nose by shooting him straight-on, but how do I deal with his eyes?

I took a number of shots of them at a park on an overcast day, bouncing fill flash off my handy new Joe Demb Flip-it. Here's are two examples, chosen only wrt the eye issue. She's also underweight, so I'll try to shoot her shoulders relatively square-on so she doesn't disappear, but I'm at something of a loss as to how to make his eyes look halfway decent. They both know that his eyes are difficult. Can I do something different wrt shooting or lighting? I can probably get some cosmetics applied if that would help, but I'd need some idea of what to ask for.


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Peacefield
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Sep 04, 2010 13:56 |  #2

If you have someone who can serve as an assistant, I'd go with a small reflector kept down low just out of shot. If you're going to do fill flash, use it bare bulb; no reflector. Finally, and maybe the best way to deal with it, there's always software.


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anthony11
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Sep 04, 2010 14:06 |  #3
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Peacefield wrote in post #10849924 (external link)
If you have someone who can serve as an assistant, I'd go with a small reflector kept down low just out of shot.

Unfortunately, probably not, though I could perhaps get one of those reflector sets that have a handle and use my left hand - might be too fumbly to use during the ceremony too.

If you're going to do fill flash, use it bare bulb; no reflector. Finally, and maybe the best way to deal with it, there's always software.

Conventional wisdom is that straight-on bare flash lends itself to hot spots, etc. Why wouldn't I want to use a bounce card for this?

Software -- adjustment brush set to exposure in Lightroom?


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Sep 04, 2010 16:22 |  #4

Not seeing much flash effect here. Your exposure appears to be 1/2500th at f1.8.
Were you using high speed sync?
Your flash was not likely contributing too much to this image. Stop down your fstop, decrease your shutter speed and get that flash a little closer. Using any modifier will help but it will also decrease your flash power. Direct flash is sometimes required if you need the extra power. Depends on your situation.
Judging the image, I probably would have been around 1/200th at f5.6 or so.


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anthony11
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Sep 10, 2010 11:04 |  #5
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Yes, HSS. Would not closing down the aperture and increasing shutter actually favor ambient over flash?


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Sep 10, 2010 11:27 |  #6

anthony11 wrote in post #10884839 (external link)
Yes, HSS. Would not closing down the aperture and increasing shutter actually favor ambient over flash?

Huh? If you use a narrower aperture AND a faster shutter speed, you'll get WAY less ambient exposure (assuming ISO is constant)

Or did I misunderstand "favor ambient over flash" ?




  
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anthony11
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Sep 10, 2010 11:35 |  #7
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It was advocated that I use a way slower shutter


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Sep 10, 2010 13:13 |  #8

egordon99 wrote in post #10884982 (external link)
Huh? If you use a narrower aperture AND a faster shutter speed, you'll get WAY less ambient exposure (assuming ISO is constant)

Or did I misunderstand "favor ambient over flash" ?

Shutter, aperture and ISO have no effect on the flash when using TTL?

The questionmark is there because I'm not sure.

I would of used direct flash and rescued in lightroom.


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anthony11
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Sep 10, 2010 13:15 |  #9
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From what I've read, direct flash is a last resort due to the hot spots it tends to create.


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egordon99
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Sep 10, 2010 13:32 |  #10

Gel wrote in post #10885626 (external link)
Shutter, aperture and ISO have no effect on the flash when using TTL?

HSS aside, the flash exposure is solely determined by the flash power, the ISO, the aperture, and the distance from the light to the subject.

So aperture and ISO certainly have an effect on the flash when using ETTL.

Say you're at ISO200, f/4, and your body determines you need 1/4 flash power. If you increase the ISO to 400, your flash would only need 1/8 power for the same flash exposure. Or you can open up to f/2.8, ISO400, and you would only need 1/16 power.

Now in ETTL, these power adjustments are automatic. If you're in manual flash and you adjust the ISO or aperture, you'll have to make sure you properly adjust the flash power accordingly.

Shutter speed affects the ambient exposure obviously.




  
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Sep 10, 2010 13:35 |  #11

anthony11 wrote in post #10885634 (external link)
From what I've read, direct flash is a last resort due to the hot spots it tends to create.

It's not the hotspots, it's the harsh shadows and "unpleasant" light you get when using such a small light source. It's also generally preferable to have the light source off-axis from the subject.

This is why folks (1)Get the flash off camera so it's not pointing directly at the subject (the position aspect) and (2)Shoot the flash into/through an umbrella or softbox (to increase the size of the light souce which leads to more "pleasing" lighting)




  
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anthony11
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Sep 10, 2010 13:44 |  #12
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An umbrella/softbox won't really be an option during the ceremony and reception. I just want to be able to minimize the degree to which the guy looks like a mummy.


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Sep 10, 2010 13:54 |  #13

A very small amount of "color dodge" using an adjustment layer will go a long way.


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Sep 10, 2010 14:03 |  #14

Direct, bare, undiffused on-camera flash is fine if it'll do nothing more than fill in the eyes. If you set your ambient exposure to expose the faces well, then a touch of light from your flash won't kill the ambient light, it'll just fill in the shadows so you can see his eyes. I use direct on-camera flash a lot for this exact purpose. Set the flash to something like -2 (if it's just him in the photo) or -1 (if the bride and her white dress is in the shot) and adjust accordingly and it'll do a long ways to seeing his eyes.


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anthony11
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Sep 10, 2010 14:12 |  #15
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picturecrazy wrote in post #10885920 (external link)
Direct, bare, undiffused on-camera flash is fine if it'll do nothing more than fill in the eyes. If you set your ambient exposure to expose the faces well, then a touch of light from your flash won't kill the ambient light, it'll just fill in the shadows so you can see his eyes. I use direct on-camera flash a lot for this exact purpose. Set the flash to something like -2 (if it's just him in the photo) or -1 (if the bride and her white dress is in the shot) and adjust accordingly and it'll do a long ways to seeing his eyes.

Thank you! I've envied your work that you've posted here, so I really value your input. The bride's dress will be ivory not stark white, which I think will ease exposure dilemmas.

Are you saying above that bare flash is *preferable* for eye-filling compared to bouncing it off my Flip-it?

The reception will be in a smallish room with blue sponge-painted walls. I'm tempted to try a tupperware diffuser for table shots.


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