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Thread: Lighting Placement in a small space ?? help? by 03-08-10 ??

  1. #1

    Lighting Placement in a small space ?? help? by 03-08-10 ??

    I could use some pointers, I do wonderful with tungsten and cfl, now I need to do wonderful with monolights. These are Interfit Stellar 300s with a 39x39 softbox on one and a 39" octobox. I do intend to get a small softbox and a grid later on, but for now its this. I also have a Canon speedlight 600EXRT and a lumiqeust softbox on it if i need it. 2 lightstands of course, 1 tripod for the speedlight. There are inexpensive radio triggers on the flash and 1 monolight.

    Light placement is a big issue. I had to lean towards using this space due to health concerns, or I would happily truck everything to a small studio for an afternoon. It I have a severe cervical spinal cord injury and the weather killed me this week, so I am out of it on medications unfortunately. Its a TFCD for a musician so im not mucking up anyones wedding, yet reminds me of the guy who I met and was at a giant wedding 1 hour later with my 60D as second shooter, but WAIT! Why was I shooting the ring, the glass, the ceremony and all that, my goodness... the other photog said do this, he was going to do the video and I was like, ohnoz.. my shots were good until the party in the haunted house of darkness, lasers and disco lights when s*** hit my ego fan.

    I am using a 5D mk3 w/ Canon 24-70 f2.8 L II, key light on max, it is the octobox, fill/rim is the big softbx, the speedlight may be used to blow out the seamless paper. I have settings on shutter speed 1/60, ISO on 50 (ultra low and its beautiful) f11, WB is sort of jumpy for some reason but the lights are supposed to be 5900. the speedlight is not necessary maybe, or it could be the rim?

    I would just like some help before 11am EST on Sunday, tomorrow.

    I have done this but not with strobes. I have watched lots of lessons and tutorials, I have owned a photo business before but its been a while and now I am injured. So, being slightly incapacitated and in lala land is going to make tomorrows shoot a challenge to pull the settings, common sense and creativity our of the magic hat.

    Imagine hitting your thumb with a hammer, be glad that pain goes away, mine is like that, it is there a lot and never really goes away.

    Ok, i dont know if these images links show? Enjoy the cat with the super long whisker, the livingroom is now devoid of furniture. The paper is 107" ultra white, the room is 11x14 with some carryover into the kitchen. Thee are two windows on the desk side (with the 3 monitors) but its facing north and this is winter, so go figure................

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  2. #2
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Savannah, GA
    Use the smaller of your modifiers (the 39"x39" softbox) as your main light, 45 degrees camera left (or right), and the other light as your fill, as close to the camera's axis as possible (right behind your would be best, but you can place it just on the other side of you from the mainlight). Use the speedlite on the background, but don't expect it to blow the entire background to white. The best thing to do is to place it on the ground directly behind the subject and shoot upwards. This will cause a nice gradient from whilte/almost white to slightly grey around the edges. If you want an even better look, try gelling the flash with a colored gel (or two) and use a low power setting.

  3. #3
    Ok, I will try that. I was doing the speedlight that way already, I put it on a mini tripod though. It looks good with minimal effort.

    Im apprehensive about a $600 light sitting on the floor behind musicians though. I might try to put it about 1 meter up on the tripod and use the pull out diffuser, aim it sideways, maybe try that small white reflector thats built in to control it if nothing else.

    Time to move the lights. The tricky part is testing the lights with no subject... whats usually good for that? Beige shirt hanging on a tripod?

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  4. #4
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Savannah, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by UmiKaibutsu View Post
    The tricky part is testing the lights with no subject...whats usually good for that? Beige shirt hanging on a tripod?
    Self-portraits. ;-)

  5. #5
    I did what you said, except they would have definitely stepped on the speedlight. I put it on the tripod with the ballhead and squinched the tripod legs in to make it narrower, albeit more precarious. The speedlight was facing the wall at a decent angle with the head like this || and throwing light across the paper. I used the built in diffuser (which I believe brings the flash thingy to the front of the speedlights housing and prepares it for a wide 14mm shot) and taped a standard white envelope onto the top to keep the light behind them (this is where one would normally put a big white board to block the thing from hitting the subjects). It actually diffused and let through a little bit of light, which became a bit of rim on the left side of the musician on the left (two of them) and it was good.

    I did leave the 39" octofill to the side and then had to put it almost behind me for better effect and to eliminate hair shadows on their faces that the fill was causing. Not beard 5 oclock shadow, I mean hair extensions blocking their faces. lol. Overall it went well, except forgetting how to pose people very well.

    Keeping them from stepping backwards into the flash that needed to keep them 1 foot to 1.5' away from the paper, I was on my tractor seat [ thats a good old fashioned air ride and adjustable height tractor seat with a chrome base and solid caster wheels ] and stayed about 2' away from the wall behind me. So it seems, the 24-70 is meant to be right close to the subject. Of course I had to stand for headshots. I put the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 NON is onto the camera to get some headshots since the second of the pair was late, but it would be too tight with both of them unless I stood way over *yonder*. The 24-70 easily handled this small space and without distortion issues.

    I need to refresh my model handling skills.

  6. #6
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Savannah, GA
    Will we get to see the results in pictorial form? :-)

  7. #7
    I'm not really satisfied with the subjects to be perfectly honest. Not only were they late, they did not have proper attire and were extremely ill prepared. I'm not sure what to expect from "hip hop" people, besides my own personal opinion that hip hop is not music.

    There are two shoots on Friday. One in the "Studio" and one on location that requires lighting to be transported. I'll be using the same lighting for the studio shoot and will likely post them as an example here, as the talent has been screened and approved. Now that all financial hell is rising, I wonder if it is worth the cost and effort to put a sheet of 4x8 white gloss hardboard panel on the floor part of the seamless paper...

    As the rain approaches, despite the nice weather today, I plunge into another 痛みの危機, or pain crisis (itami no kiki), befitting the "crisis" status normally reserved for the less periodic 5 to 6 week cyclical instances, where I have these intense pain issues. The weather in this god forsaken city is killing me. Working in a damp, cold, low ceiling, cement floored, subterranean torture chamber up until January was not helpful. Being a bookkeeper in an alternate dimension, I see my recent predicament amazingly similar to that of Bob Cratchit's. Except good ol Bob was not working in nearly as terrible of an office. My version of "A Christmas Carol" has a distinctly different outcome for Mr. Scrooge. It is not a pleasant ending for him.

    I thought I would attach an image of myself for the time being. After I post Friday's shoot, I'll move on to other topics, such as the state of obsolescence that commercial, pro and semi pro lighting gear has fallen into. Perhaps it will encompass a plan for substantial research, development and investment into lighting gear. Why not drop 100 million into some think tanks at MIT, Harvard, etc. and get the ball rolling. If you all (y'all) do not already know it, I will tell you, that the capabilities of current technologies go far beyond the antiquated things we are currently using. Its not about developing the technology, its about applying it where needed. More about that later!
    Last edited by UmiKaibutsu; 03-17-2013 at 02:06 AM.

  8. #8
    Here is one from Friday, location shoot. Really difficult because of mirrors on one wall and glass on another. Matte black floor and ceiling. I ended up uses the locations tube CFL and modeling lights on max with no strobe, 1600 ISO/3200 ISO . We had the place to ourselves but there somehow managed to be chaos. We're going to shoot again.

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  9. #9
    Saturday shoot in this studio. Yoga. Many poses. Not easy to light so I have decided next time around to put a monolight at left and right, perhaps slightly behind the subjects and using the speedlight with softbox as fill, mounted on tripod next to me. I need overhead shots, plus all the many poses, so I think this lighting should be a coverall on the second shoot, although it will be in another location with hardwood floors for warming effect.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2008
    I take the liberty to comment on the last two pictures. I really liked the lighting, and am impressed on how well it emphasised the model in the first, considering the rather messy background. The last one has very pleasant lighting (to me at least), and would fit very well on a web-site etc. But I think that the use of a wide-angle lens in the first is perhaps not so successful. The model's hand appears very large compared to her head. I guess that there were space limits, but it still looks a bit weird to me. Just my thoughts.


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