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Thread: Lighting question

  1. #1
    Lascassas, TN
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    Lighting question

    I am working with both reflector fill and flash fill. My granddaughter likes them both I think the flash is too much. Also she thought the pole gave balance to the burnt out sky. I don't know.

    Shot with a D5200.

    Comments please. What do you think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BK_0078_small.jpg   SR_0088a_small.jpg  
    Bill Kumpf

  2. #2

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    Greenwood Lake NY USA
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    Re: Lighting question

    My personal preference is for the first image, in which the lighting seems natural.

  3. #3

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    Re: Lighting question

    I think a little less flash on the right photo would have been better, and we wouldn't notice so much that it is flash. On the left one, I wonder where the reflector is--I think this one could have used a little closer fill to brighten it up a bit, especially her eyes. So basically in my opinion the best versions would have been right between these. If I were your daughter, probably not so aware of the technical shortcoming of too much fill, I'd prefer the right one..
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  4. #4
    Lascassas, TN
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    Re: Lighting question

    Does the pole bother you?
    Bill Kumpf

  5. #5

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    Re: Lighting question

    Nope. The pole sort of makes sense. I would probably be bothered if it were narrower than her head, but here it's just a background. What bothers me more is that the space next to it, to the right, appears to be exactly the same width, and then the dark area to the far right is exactly the same width, again, so banding becomes a visual element. I'd probably crop some from both sides to break that up but be careful not to create another equal-size band on the left, instead. (Just giving you more things to worry about. :-)
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  6. #6
    SE Penna. chassis's Avatar
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    Re: Lighting question

    Use the sky as a light background and the pole as a dark background, as you did in the first image. Position the key light (flash) to camera right. Take care to avoid light spilling onto the post (dark background). Position the reflector to camera left. The pole is fine in the first image. Not my preference in the second image.

    In hopefully simpler terms, reverse the lighting from what you have in the first image.

  7. #7

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    Re: Lighting question

    Try using the fill at 1 stop lower than ambient, just to fill the dark "holes" and give them a neutral color balance...

    Will look more natural than "over-lighting" the face, and produces nice "catchlights" in the eyes with a single head...

    Steve K

  8. #8

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    Re: Lighting question

    Nothing a little analog or digital dodge and feather couldn't fix.

  9. #9
    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Lighting question

    The first one feels underexposed, but I do prefer the lighting in it to the other. The flash feels too obvious. Try bringing it over to the right at a 45 deg angle. Your key light is the ambient which is coming from the left, so your fill should come from the right to soften the shadows, at maybe 1/2 or 3/4 the strength of the ambient (so lower the power too). I don't mind the pole on the closeup but do find it distracting in the wider shot.

    IMHO,
    CB

  10. #10

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    Re: Lighting question

    Personally I think the question is whether you are trying to satisfy other photographers, or to make a portrait of your granddaughter. I think the right-hand "over flash filled" picture is a very nice portrait of a young woman, and only a photographer would react to the amount of fill flash. The first image is simply too dark to fully appreciate the subject. Technically I agree that you could power down the fill flash a bit, but I suspect if you show the images to your family, as opposed to photographers, the majority will choose the second image and won't even comment on the lighting.

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