Portrait Lighting - Feedback on this shot

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by trish_o., Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Hello Members,
    This is my first studio I have set up in my home. I am still learning about lights and everything else. I took a few shots of my boyfriend to test the lighting and background. Your honest feedback will be appreciated!
  2. It is hard to tell what you were trying to do, to be honest.
    First, there is a sort of greenish cast to the whole thing, pretty sickly as if shot under fluorescent light--need to watch/correct your white balance. Next, I think there is almost no sense of lighting here, more like you were just trying to flatten everything out which ends up being sort of blah! But I have to go back to my first statement and say that the way you have set the lights, based on the catchlights in the eyes, and this result, I really have no idea what you wanted to achieve and so I do find it difficult to comment on any success you might have or not have had.
  3. Trish I`m not sure what you are using, but the biggest issue I think is the lighting is flat. You want more of a ratio between the fill light and main light. But you have a light meter? If not that would be your best tool to determine the ratios.
    I would try to have the main light at least 1 stop above the fill, possibly more depending on the look you want.I would also raise his face a little, that would clean his chin a little, you could then raise the camera to achieve the same look.
    I would suggest a good available/flash meter would be the first thing I would get, otherwise you are just guessing as to what is going on. Except for the ratio you are doing great......Keep shooting, that`s how you learn....
  4. Hi John and Russ -
    Thank you for your feedback. I am using the following source for lighting with 2 umbrella reflectors.
    • 6500K 105W Ultimate Power Day-light Energy Saving Light Bulb
      (Produces 1000 Watts of useable light: Total 2000W)
    Also, I have my camera set on manual white balance and on auto aperture priority exposure. I'm also studing the Kelvin scale to measure the right temperature with the bulbs.
    I guess I have tons to learn, as this is my first time shooting on a studio setting!!! The scary part is that I have my first indoor-studio client tomorrow!
    Thanks again for your feedbacks!
  5. I don't think you're ready for a client.
  6. The scary part is that I have my first indoor-studio client tomorrow!
    I would change white balance to auto for the shoot, shoot in RAW so you can adjust it easily afterwards. Try moving one of the lights in closer to give you more light on one side so it isn't so flat. Not sure what lens you are using, but be sure you are focusing on the eyes, change to manual focus if you need to. If you mean your first indoor-studio 'paying' client, you might want to reconsider and do it for free as you clearly need more practice.
  7. This picture was taken on AWB, the ISO at 200. It has less of a greenish tint to it. I will use PS to correct the imbalances.
  8. The shots for my client will be for her new book. She has been a client for a while now, but this is the first time working on a studio setting. The shoot will consist of 4 outfits with the white backdrop. I will do my best and with the help of PS, I should nail it. Thanks for the input, everyone!
  9. The scary part is that I have my first indoor-studio client tomorrow!​
    Suggestion; take a lot of photos and try everything; at least you might get a few keepers.
    1) Either manual white balance or use auto WB.
    2) You're too close. The subjects features are exaggerated, nose, chin etc...Use more telephoto, 75mm minimum...135mm even better.
    3) Cropped too tight. Capture more head & shoulders. Leave more dead space around the subject. You can crop and/or scale later.
    4) Consider shooting outside with available light until you learn lighting a little better.
    5) Try more positional poses. This pose is not complimentary from a number of stand points.
    6) Get a good book on basic lighting and practice like there is no tomorrow.
    I don't think anyone here is trying to be mean; so I hope you will take all advice in the spirit it is intended.
    You do have a lot of work to do; and the good news is..anyone can do it.
  10. Trish...
    More practice.
    If you can expose your BF's black shirt so it is somewhat visible AND light his face properly, now you're cookin'. A white backdrop will require you to blow out the seamless paper whech you have not done in the photo I see here. Get a ton of light on the backdrop. Move your subject at least 8 feet out in front of the backdrop.
    You will get a lot of step by step advice; trying to use it all will prove futile.
    Get a lot of light on your subject. Adjust your f/stop to get a solid exposure..check it with either your camera's histogram or in post processing.
    No one here knows anything about your equip; and more importantly, the room you are shooting in. Ceiling, walls, floor are all factors in studio lighting.
    Perhaps someone here can draw a simple diagram for you...I'm not in a place where I can do that..sorry.
  11. Hi Kevin,
    The stuidio is at my home with mexican tile floors. 30' ceililings with 2 skylights. Photo equipment consists of a 10x10 while muslin (yeah, I should have bought seamless white paper), my camera is a Pentax K100D, lenses are Pentax 18-55mm, 80-200mm and 35-80mm.
  12. Naaaa..The white muslin is fine, just get plenty of light on it.
    Now the floors and walls are going to cause some color cast problems.
  13. I know I have tons to do. The good news is that I have all day today and part of tomorrow​
    You are good.... it took me years to understand lighting. I am still working on it.
  14. Both photos seem pretty fuzzy to me, do you have a uv filter on the lens? Do you also have a seperate light you can use for the background or a flash you can use off-camera? That would be very beneficial. The lights you have don't seem very bright to me, your picture of the room looks like there is a window to the right that lets in a lot of light, that might be your best option.
  15. If you want an all white background, you need to have two lights flanking the backdrop to light it evenly, and expose it two stops more. Though I'm not sure if you can expose it more as it seems you are just using hot lights, not flash. Am I correct?
    If you turn off and block all other light from getting in your studio, your white balance will be easier to fix after the fact. If you use the preset white balance once you have everything set up, it will be smoother sailing. I found a step by step guide on how to do that for the k100d. I highly recommend doing this.

    1. Switch AF to manual (isn't necessary to do it first, it can be done anytime before step 5).
    2. Go to WB menu (with Fn button);
    3. Choose the last option (manual white balance)
    4. Point camera at plain white paper sheet (or anything neutral white).
    5. Take a picture;
    6. Confirm with "OK" button that manual WB is set.
    7. Set focussing back to AF.
    If they are just hot lights, you should find a way to diffuse the light on your subject, unless you can just dial it down. She would have stand about 5ft in front of the backdrop so the light isn't falling on her.
    Because you are doing a studio shoot, you don't need to use aperture priority. It looks like your slightly underexposing it. Your husbands test shots just seem a bit dark to me. Put your ISO at 100 or 200, your aperture at whatever one you want, and then just adjust your shutter to expose it properly.
    I hope this helps. Good luck!
  16. You know Nathan is right. If you are used to shooting in natural light, why not use the window on your right? If you are shooting at the same time tomorrow, there will be enough light to light your subject way better then the light you are using now. And mush more pleasing.
    Just angle the back drop so you can have your subject in front of it and enough room to move around at the same time while your shooting. I would say in front of the fire place to the corner. You might need to put a bed sheet over the window if the light is harsh but the position of your subject can help with that as well. You may need a reflector to fill in shadows.
    I shoot newborns like this. All three of these shots were using window light.
  17. D.D. Toth and Nathan -
    Both of your replies are extremely helpful to me, thank you. I also appreciate your feedback on the K100d.
    I loved the newborn photos, amazing.
    Thanks again everyone!!!
  18. Hi Trish. I am not familiar with your equipment so bear with me. The norm Aperture for shooting a portraits is F8 to F11, will your lights even support that? Can you go F8 and shutter speed 60 while keeping your ISO down below 400? Also, do you have a external flash? If so, use that along with your lights just watch the color cast. Shoot raw to help with final adjustments. Good luck v/r Buffdr
  19. Trish, I used to use a similar set up to photograph my kids as they were growing up. I used a gray sheet for a background, a single 36 inch umbrella (with vivitar flash), and a reflector card (32x40 inch white or silver board). Our living room is crowded with even that set up, but it worked. Here's one of my favorites of my daughter with this set up. The umbrella is up to her left and the reflector card is on a light stand just out of camera range on her right. My shot has better contrast than yours because I'm using one main light source, giving some shadows to her face. Yours does look underexposed as well. Reading up on portrait lighting would be a good idea.
  20. Trish,
    This isn't going to help with your upcoming shoot, but when the dust settles get a copy of "Light: Science and Magic"
    It's not about portrait lighting. It's about the principals. Gain an understanding of those principals and the rest is easy.
    Good luck.
  21. Two things:
    1. The energy saver light is a florescent light get rid of it and get a real photo light
    2. l look on youtube for how to take a portrait tutorials for lighting tips.
    good luck
  22. Hello Again Every One! My neighbor is coming over, so I'll be taking her photos. Thanks for all the tutorials and i will post her pictures later this evening.
    - Trish
  23. Steve J Murray, your portrait does NOT look better exposed than Trish's as you believe. You blown the girls details. There are no contrasts, just a white face.
  24. Ronald, thats some great material to read and practise.
  25. Alin, is your monitor calibrated? Steve's exposure looks acceptable to me.
  26. Hi,
    I really really really recomend you a excelent book that is all about lighting. Explains you everything. Is not a books to shoot models, it shows you how to lit products, explains you all the behavior os the light, how to use it, undertand it. This is the base for everything... then, you can read a book about shooting models. If i woul have someone to tell me this when i was starting, i would be really happy today, lol.
    Light, Science & magic ---> BTW, im reading it right now again, and i d nto do products photography btw
  27. Here is my setup for last week shooting...maybe it will help...
  28. And here is the result...
  29. Alin - the picture is not overexposed, it looks just about right to me. The girls skin is just very fine. There is detail in the white front of her dress.
    Boris - she is using continuous lights, not strobes...nice pic though, but I don't see how the light to the far right on your diagram throws any light on his side, it is all shadow?
  30. First off, you cut off the far edge of his right ear, which is distracting, but I am assuming you want a critique on the lighting itself. You did not supply much in the way of information so I just have to take the image at face value. The image is very flat (very little modeling) and maybe a half stop underexposed. The color balance is also off, tending way too much toward yellow. It is best with two lights, to have a lighting ratio between the two. Depending on whether you are using broad or narrow lighting, usually a minimum ration should be 2:1, whereas the key light is 1 stop brighter than the fill light. It is also a good idea to have a hair light to separate the subject from the background. Traditionally it should be on the side opposite the key light but sometimes the situation dictates otherwise. Also, watch your depth of field. The tip of his nose is out of focus, and his left eye appears soft as well.
    I would strongly encourage you to get a flash/incident meter. It is a lot easier and far more accurate than trying to use the camera's meter, which is pretty much worthless for determining correct portraiture exposure, at least in my opinion. If you can, I would get one BEFORE tomorrow's shoot and learn to use it before tomorrow. They are usually not difficult to learn to use.
    Also, since you are new to this and are shooting digital instead of film, I would recommend that you take A LOT of photos and try different lighting setups.
    I cleaned up the image the best I can in Photoshop but it is still not that good.
  31. 1) If you're going to crop tight, crop REAL tight.
    2) Bring you main light closer to the camera and reduce the amount of fill. (See comments above.)
    3) Makeup! Yes, even for men. You can do a lot with Photoshop, but why tie your hands.
    4) Get rid of the damn fluorescents! They're fine for table-top product photos. Not for people.
  32. Greg Peterson. I would not go that far in damning fluorescent light. Professional bulbs with a CRI of 92 or above, produce beautiful light for Portraiture, but you do need enough wattage, and they can get expensive.

    PS. I am lousy with computers, and have NO idea why this type is so LARGE.

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