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Thread: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

  1. #1

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    Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    Hi

    I'm currently working with 3 asa direct positive Paper negatives on 8x10
    doing head shots at 1:1 I need as much light as I can get
    I can get a good exposure with flash of F32 with a 10,000 Joule strobe "fish fryer" just above the lens about 2' from the sitter but I'm a bit worried that this may have some long term effect on people

    Anybody know anything about this

    thanks

    robin

  2. #2

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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    Why don't you open the lens and use less light? That is a ridiculous amount at that distance.

  3. #3

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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    Hi Noel

    F32 is not a ridiculous stop for a 1:1 headshot

    it gives me about 2" of focus from my 480mm lens after I've allowed a stop for the bellows

    robin

    robin

  4. #4
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    You have absolutely no right to assault your models/subjects.

    Given that you're aware of the hazard, your actions could be considered criminal negligence.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #5

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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    I'm not aware of any long term effect on people but each person perceives this amount of light different ... from "I can do this again" to "I can't get out of here fast enough"

    Not sure if you're using reflector, bare bulb or soft box as all of these have a significant effect on how much light reaches the subject.

    I can tell you from experience that the pops of my two 3200J heads make pro models nervous and I'm not talking head shots here. (full length fashion shots) The retina is quite overexposed and the subjects see floating and sometimes very colorful "balls" for a very long time.

    YMMV.

  6. #6

    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    10,000WS fired a few feet from the subject? I'd be worried about a handful of things, including UV exposure, heat (burns), and permanent blindness concerns.

    What Rudi mentions is called flash blindness:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_blindness

    However, I expect that you will probably cross over into the realm of permanent damage because of the high exposure.

    Suggestion:

    Try it on yourself for a while first.

    Don't sit 2' from it, but across the room. Fire away. See how it feels looking into the camera. Then, move in to 1/2 the distance and try it again (should be about 3-4x the power at your face). If you aren't seeing very long-term blobs of blinded areas, then move in again... and again... until you are at the shooting position.

    If you are stupid enough to try this, please report back on the results (you know, for science).

    After that, there is this theory about how long a person remains conscious after being run through a guillotine that I don't believe science has definitively answered. Maybe you can help us out with that.

  7. #7

    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    Oh, and I'm just kidding... I don't think you want to come anywhere near to doing this. Have you ever been near 10,000WS going off, on the receiving end?

    I had a 4800WS head that I used for architectural shooting, and that damn thing put out some serious heat. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near it when it went off without having a reflector in the way. Additionally, if the arctube failed on you... could get nasty.

    Those things also make a lot of noise firing, so even if you did manage to make it work safely, could you keep the model from flinching?

    This sounds like a good case of "probably shouldn't go there".


    ---Michael

  8. #8
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    Quote Originally Posted by brighamr View Post
    I can get a good exposure with flash of F32 with a 10,000 Joule strobe "fish fryer" just above the lens about 2' from the sitter but I'm a bit worried that this may have some long term effect on people.
    I can't imagine that anyone would sit for you under these conditions. I certainly wouldn't.

    There was a reason for the way photographic portraits were done in the old days. They had flash powder, but they didn't use it for head-and-shoulders portraits for a reason. Instead they used a posing chair with a head brace to hold the head steady during the long exposure.

    I advise you to investigate this path. You blind some sweet young thing with your strobe, don't be surprised to have the boyfriend after you with a cricket bat. Just sayin'.

    Bruce Watson

  9. #9
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    I worked on a car job where we were using the Speedotron 9600 watt-second heads in-studio. Yes, we were using mutliple 9600w/s heads(each was connected to 4-2400ws packs).

    Short story: I didn't feel very good that evening after being that close to that much strobe power going off around me(again, we were in studio).

    And yes, those heads are really loud(boom!).

    -Dan

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  10. #10

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    Re: Danger of really bright flash lighting on people

    Yes... That is a lot of light!

    I'd say 1600j is the most I would use on one of my hazylights from several feet away (~7). Hard lighting... I use on the lowest setting.

    Some flash systems have an optional UV reduction filter... Use it, it possible.

    I can feel the effects of a long day in the studio on the more sensitive areas of my skin (around my eyes, and lips). My eyes are use to the flash and will automatically close before the flash reaches its peak.

    Sunscreen could be useful.

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