Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Studio Lighting....

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Studio Lighting....

    Can someone please guide me. I have three lights from White lighting, One umbrella with a black cover that is removable, a small silver umbrella and two reflectors. I'm starting out with a paper (BLACK) backdrop. The problem is when I look at the pictures on the computer.....the backdrop isn't dark black and the lighting is horrible. Can you recommend a simple way of getting started. Thanks!

    Suzanne

  • #2
    The umbrella is a cheap light modifier. Problem is, it's a fairly hard modifier to control which is why most photographers don't use them as a main for portraiture. Umbrellas are fine for big groups, maybe fill light, but if you are serious about portrait photography and don't want to waste a lot of time in trial and error or producing images you aren't proud of, then invest in some good softboxes. If you're a chef you get good knives; if a mechanic you get good tools. Etc. If you want to be a good portrait photographer, get good modifiers.

    -David Schneider

    Comment


    • #3
      My black paper never went totally black, either. I switched to a black muslin or a black vellux blanket from JC Penney. Those will go full black.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree, umbrellas are very hard to control the light, the bounce light everywhere.
        Also if your lighting your background, it will go gray.

        Comment


        • #5
          Suzanne,

          I agree with David. It sounds to me like the umbrellas you have are going to make it difficult for you to get the look you probably want.

          I started learning studio lighting with one light, a shoot through white umbrella (the biggest I could find) and a reflector. It would have been MUCH easier if I had started with a large softbox, because it's easier to control the light. With the umbrellas, you're spreading it everywhere and it is going to be difficult to keep that background black.

          I think that the extra lights make it too complicated in the beginning. If you can use the one light and reflector, and get that down, then you can see where adding an accent and a hair light will help your work. But right now I think the best thing to do is to get a good modifier on that light and JUST learn to control your main light.

          Comment


          • #6
            Jinx, Denny.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am also shooting with an umbrella. Thank you guys for all of the great information and giving me a kick in the pants!! Larson is having a sale right now on there soff boxes!! I guess I need to break down and get one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, you CAN learn on umbrellas -- I'm proof of that. But it's so so so much easier to control a softbox and when I finally bought one, it made studio light much easier and more fun. You would love the Larson boxes, Shea. They're beautiful pieces of equipment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Shelby, I have had the umbrellas for a few years now and I have been eyeing Lori Norstrom's studio in a box. I think I will buy it after I see her in Houma.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you all so very much!! I will keep trying with the umbrella but I'm going shopping (LOL) for a softbox right away. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

                    P.S. Also any tips for lighting when you have props in the picture. Let's say two sisters around a small table having a tea party. What would you aim for when lighting this kind of scene? Do you still use reflectors or just light the whole scene?

                    Thanks again,
                    Suzanne

                    Suzanne

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Suzanne,

                      There is a photographer named Tim Babin who is all over this board. He has seminars whenever he can get someone to listen to him. JK. He teaches a great beginning / intermediate class on lighting. He is somewhere in Louisana. I would call him for a class.

                      In the meantime, USE KISS. Keep you're lighting simple. I use in my smaller studio one 4x6 larson soffbox, a reflector a background light and a separation light (also known as a hair light).

                      Get a good flash meter and use it. You're grasp of lighting will improve substantially.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Larry is right, I sometimes light with 4-5 or even more lights but you can make a great portrait with a 4X6 softbox and a reflector and this is how I light almost all my seniors. Add in lights as you master the basic setup.

                        I have a DVD showing this basic setup somewhere if your interested will give it to you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Suzanne, one more thing, dont be afraid to post samples the people on here will help you more than you can ever imagine, Trust me they have helped us ALOT.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks Larry and Denny! I will give it a try and look into the soft boxes.

                            Denny I would love to get the DVD from you. Thanks for your kindness.....greatly appreciated. I'm willing to pay you for it. Let me know what I need to do.

                            Thanks again,
                            Suzanne

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Picking the RIGHT light modifier is very important. Different kinds of light modifiers (refelctors, umbrellas, softboxs, etc.) shape and change the light a lot. So the question is what do you want? Then pick the right light modifier that will give you that result.

                              Umbrellas are cheap. So many people start with them. The problem is they are like flood lights. They just spew light everywhere. And in this case on your black background.

                              With lighting, we can control a LOT. If you put WAY too much light on a black background, you can make it WHITE. If yo have a white background and let absolutely no light hit hit, it will be totally black (think of a white room, turn off the lights, now it's black).

                              So your problem is that your umbrellas, and likely their placement are shining way too much light on the background.

                              A softbox will help. But there is also the issue of it's placement. Understanding of light and how it works gives you ultimate control. For example, knowing how the inverse square law affects lighting can ehlp you control that light further.

                              Good lighting is one of the major things that separates the men from the boys in photography. If you want to learn more about lighting, do a seach on our book called Chiaroscuro. It would probably help a lot.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X