Problematic Lighting ?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by hjoseph7, Aug 28, 2021.

  1. I'm not sure I ever saw a set up like this one, to me it seems like it would cause cross lighting ? This is the set-up they want me to use at my new Gig. I will be shooting portraits of couples, small groups and individuals...

  2. At 81" from the subject, the diameter (40" ?) of the umbrella should be large enough to soften any shadow it forms on the subject. Likewise the fill light. They're high enough that the subject shouldn't cast a shadow on the backdrop, which will be lighted by spill. You will have to play with the power settings to find a pleasing lighting ratio.

    I suspect the purpose is to require only two lights in a compact setup, and to allow room for subjects to move in and out without tripping over cables and light stands. Nonetheless, carpet runners and gaff tape are your friends, plus sand bags for the light stands.
  3. I agree with you, Harry. I'd be more gentle about it if a forum member had devised the lighting, but in all seriousness I see this as lighting designed by an amateur. For some reason this style seems to be oft used for head shots of school children, where it's not too bad, young skin and all. But for older people... if you've ever seen a photo of an older person where it looks like they have the mouth of a marionette it probably used this style lighting (but probably smallish lights); you can get deeper shadows that neither light can reach into.

    The straightforward way to deal with this is to bring the fill light in close to the camera. I'd personally want to raise the main higher, enough to put some shadow down under their chin. This will help hide wrinkles. Again, with young skin these are not really issues, but I'm presuming that you are shooting adults.

    I know that you have done this sort of work before, so you know how to deal with reflections in glasses. For others... moving the fill close to camera means that it is preferable for a person wearing glasses to face more towards the main light side, where a higher-up light minimizes the reflection problem. But this is fine because that's the area you'll be working from - between the camera and the main (I'm presuming you're using a camera stand).

    Another reason to have the fill closer to the camera is so it can "reach" into the depths of group shot. Otherwise the main way to prevent crossed shadows inside is to keep everyone in a straight line.

    Anyway, those are my views on the situation. But if these are customer requirements, well... you gotta do it how the boss wants.
  4. " Anyway, those are my views on the situation. But if these are customer requirements, well... you gotta do it how the boss wants."

    True, I don't want to rock the boat. These people have been in business for 15 years so who am I to say ? They let you use your own equipment which is a good thing, but unfortunately I wont be able to use any of my soft-boxes. They want shoot-thru Umbrellas only.
  5. Wow , I am glad that I am not a professional :D.
  6. Many of these event gigs are run by companies who hire stringers to do the actual work. School yearbooks are a conspicuous example. To parody Einstein, they want to "keep things as simple as possible, or simpler" ;) In my business (audio/visual recording) I run into these stringers on a regular basis. The restrictions their employers place on them often seem ridiculous, down to the number of images allowed and format (JPEG small). Photographers generally have to provide their own gear, however.
  7. What's the location like? I don't see a big problem with the set up unless the groups get large, then I would like to see the lights higher and the fill closer. Of course, if you run into that you can adjust on the fly.

    Shoot through umbrellas are a very different animal that softboxes or reflective umbrellas. Remember, only about half of the light (maybe less) goes through and the rest will be bouncing around the room to act as additional fill. If they have been doing this for 15 years, they have an idea of what they want and what they will get.

    Many years ago, I shot weddings for a studio that had 25 photographers. They used to complain that my pictures were "too good" because I did more than just put a Vivitar 285 on top of my medium format camera. Their concern was that brides who knew each other would compare my pictures to Joe's pictures and Joe's bride would come in and complain. I understood their concern but didn't want to dumb down what I was doing. But, I gained a ton of experience quickly because they had me working every Saturday and many Fridays and Sundays for over a year before I left.
  8. The Location varies, but it will definitely be at a Church. It's a little less "assembly-line photography" than the Year-book photos which I had been doing for the past year, but they still want you to shoot a set of photos according to their requirements, no Boudoir stuff. From experience I can say the ambient light in a room affects the aperture and/or the power readings on your flash, so nothing is set in stone. They didn't say anything about a flash meter since they go by flash power output. For example Main = 200W; Fill = 70W. I guess I'm going to have to do some mental gymnastics to figure that one out, because my strobes are adjusted by slides that go by Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 etc. ? They also want you to get one of these
    'They used to complain that my pictures were "too good" So what are you supposed to do, lay-down like droop-along-cassidy so they can walk all over you ? GIVE ME A BREAK !;)
  9. Yeah . . . They're not looking for your best, they are looking for the same images across jobs and across photographers . . . It's a job . . .
  10. OK I got it dumb-it-down to keep everybody happy. I'll be working by myself so there is no way for me to see others works, but I always try my best, that's just me...
    Ed_Ingold likes this.
  11. The power settings establish the lighting ratio (more or less). A flash meter would be great, but it's easy to make test shots with a digital camera and check the results visually and with the histogram, with a human subject or a grey card. Even with a flash meter I do test shots, but one or two usually suffices.
  12. Thanks ! I will bring the light-meter with me regardless. Now that I'm using my own equipment, those User settings on my camera really makes sense. You plug in the parameters and forget about it. Besides this gig, I'm thinking about joining this real-estate photography company to supplement my income They want me to submit about 75 real-estate test shots as part of the hiring process. All I can give them is pictures of my dumpy apartment ?

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