softbox closer to subject can create exposure problem

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by priteesh, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Hello folks at photo net
    Here are two images shot in studio. If you notice to the left in their hair the pixels don’t look clear its looking dirty. You can see the similar dirty looks in other shadow areas like neck. When I process the image increasing the exposure slider in camera raw the dirty area don’t improve rather it get s muddy look.
    What may be the reason?
    This image is shot with 600D EF-S 17-55 f3.5-5.6 in Studio .
    ISO 200 f5.6 and 1/160 the of second
    the soft box are small around 60 cm. one is reflected from the wall.
    I guess if you keep the light close to the subject chances are there you cant illuminate the face evenly and the difference between light and shadow is abrupt and deep. You cant recover the shadow area as the there is no gradual blending of shadow and highlight. i dont want to post process the image and want to get good exposure in my image.
    My idea was to keep my softbox close to the subject to get soft light but I guess the fill light could have been increased or may be the dynamic range of crop sensor are not good to capture detail in both highlight and shadow at the same time. My studio lighting area is 7x10 foot. I cant light from both side so I am reflecting one light for feel light.
    Please enlighten me. sorry for my grammar/ I have other images that is good but I want to show the image I could nt understand.
    thank you
  2. Never overexpose skin shooting Raw or jpeg with the assumption you can recover in post.
    It really isn't about the amount of light but the exposure because I shoot my self portrait to test a wide variety of consumer light bulbs not designed for photography shooting hand held with exposure settings around 1/8's, f/4.5, ISO 800 and get decent looking skin tone in Raw (not so good shooting jpegs).
    But if I over expose with results similar to the forehead shine in your posted shots it's really difficult to get decent skin color editing in post.
    What you should examine and test for is the character of light you can get from your setup and I find the following short but sweet tutorial quite helpful on showing how light changes character using a soft box or spot...
  3. Dial the exposure down it's horribly overexposed.
    This shot:
    Was made using single softbox (of exactly the same size as yours - 60x60cm), no reflector, white backdrop, white walls, in a room about 2x3m in size, with a softbox almost to the face of model. If the shadows are too deep, use reflector for fill. Use the othe light for rimlight instead of reflecting it from the wall. In such a small room you'll have plenty of fill from light reflected off the walls anyway. Like here:
    Same room, same softbox, but with reflector just under the girl and extra hairlight from the left (barebulb).
    Also, you DO want to postprocess, and very much so. There's a limit of what you can do in the camera, and the cheaper the set the more limiting the limit.
  4. Preteesh, You first need to learn where to place your soft. As you see in the first shot it is too much to the right side. You are lighting her cheek and ear. The second shot is the same except it is over the top of the head. You are lighting the fore head and hair. It is basically a reverse hair light. It both cases the extreme angles that you chose it what is causing your problems, NOT the distance of the light to subject. Your exposure is also a little hot. I am not going to go into fill light or reflector because you first need to light properly with one light before you introduce a second light.
  5. Marcin - great work!
  6. For the softest transfer from highlight to shadow, I use a 4x6 soft box almost on top of the subject with a pair of large reflectors. One is beside the soft box, capturing part of it's light a wrapping it around the face a bit. The other is on the far side of the head and placed for a comfortable visual balance of the shadow side.
    As others have noted, your problem is exposure. Power down if you need to for your choice of f stop, and then set your camera properly and you will get the results you want.
  7. correct exposure is not going to help bad lighting. For those who can see the light placement lets look at the first shot. the main light is too low on the right giving an upward light that is un attractive. It is also to much around to the side of the subject. Next time pull the light back and raise it at least head level and light more the front or mask of the face.
    The second shot lighting would still look bad even if it was exposed correctly. The main light is too much over the top of her head. Next time just move that light back from the subject another foot or two and we would be looking at a lighting pattern similar to Marcin's first example.
    Notice in Marcin's photo the catch light in the eye appears lower than the OP's example. That tells me it was not in the same position as the OP's. As a light is further away and I am speaking small movements of 1 foot or so, you will begin to see more of the catchlight reflection appear lower into the pupils. A good rule of thumb is the more of the catch light you see the more light hits the front of the face. Most non model people look better with more forward light hitting the face. When you add a reflector under the face you can leverage the main light placement a bit more and shape the light more. The upward fill creates a soft pleasing glow and fills in the shadow.
  8. Here are some examples of the same overhead butterfly lighting with 4x6 soft box. Two of them have a reflector underneath which you can see in the eyes.
  9. This one I used an umbrella instead of soft box just because it was a wedding and you know it takes too much time to fiddle with a soft box.
  10. Proper placement of your lights can make it or break it.

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