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Thread: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

  1. #61

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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Surely not more light needed, but one of these ...

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  2. #62
    fishbulb's Avatar
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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    The original intent of this thread was to get ideas for dealing with the small apertures and slow ISOs of large format. That is, where to get the 3-4 stops more light needed by 4x5 to produce the same image and DoF as the 'equivalent' 35mm shot (same DoF, AoV, focus distance, same shutter speed and ISO)...

    For anyone finding this thread later, here are my notes on solutions to this problem:

    * Longer shutter: coach/position the subject for holding still and use as long a shutter speed as you need -- lots of helpful tips on the first page (or get one of PDH's people-clamps, lol)
    * Higher ISO: underexpose the film, effectively providing higher ISOs -- I did most of the research on this myself, and I will probably be using this a lot when not using flash and new Portra 400 (underexpose and process normally) or HP5 400 (underexpose and push-process). It's impressive how good scanned film still looks even when underexposed/pushed.
    * More light: use a fairly powerful flash of some type to add more light -- an obvious choice, but not always practical or portable
    * More light: use large light modifiers to diffuse and soften the light of full sun, providing soft, but bright light -- interesting alternative
    * More light: shoot under a powerful continuous light source (bright window, open overcast day, etc.) -- an obvious choice, but not always available
    * Open the aperture: shoot wide open at f/5.6 or whatever you've got -- not really that practical, but possible if you can get the subject in focus with the thin DoF. It'd be like going around and only shooting 35mm at f/1.4 - very limited DoF, high probability of missed focus.

    Along the way, lots of other perhaps less-helpful advice came up and of course the usual bickering and pedantry.

    To some degree I'm sorry I started this thread, but on the other hand I feel like I have more options in my tool box now (top five points anyway). So, hooray. Thanks!
    -Adam

  3. #63

    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Just shot about 12 sheets today for my continuing Transformations:Cosplay project of costumer in and out of their costumes. Today sessions are all outdoor as the studio lights that I am borrowing won't be available until tomorrow (I am far away in a costumer gathering). Mostly F8@30 ISO 160 (Portra), which actually is typically the amount of lights I use with studio flash, + or - a stop.

    One photo we are going to do indoor without flash and there's going to be about a one second exposure. Fortunately, this costumer most likely can hold reasonably still for that long.

    BTW, costumers are used to seeing their photos, but when you show them 24"x30" prints (I made a portfolio of 40+ prints), they get impressed.

  4. #64

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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Fishbulb,
    Another important tip when using shallower depth of field, is to set your focus, attach a string to the camera that ends at the point of sharp focus, and have your model hold the string until the moment before the exposure. (Obviously what they hold it to depends on the pose. )

  5. #65

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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Richard,
    This is getting terribly off topic, but I've always been impressed with your cosplay photography. When I do digital, it's some of my favorite subject matter. I would love to hear more about their responses to large prints sometime.

  6. #66
    fishbulb's Avatar
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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Mods can we just delete this whole thread please? I'm genuinely sorry I ever started it.
    -Adam

  7. #67

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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    "It's not the quantity of light, but the quality." Dean Collins
    His demonstrations frequently began with making a portrait with a bare 5 watt bulb.
    Sometimes we get carried away with huge quantities of light.

  8. #68

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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    +1 to what Jim says!

  9. #69

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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey View Post
    Easier to test the learning out on smaller formats and then move upwards.
    unless you have a P-back

    for the price of two packs of Fuji instant film, about 90 minutes... and a patient model...one can get it pretty much locked down

  10. #70
    Moderator
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    Re: Getting "enough light" for LF portraiture

    Posts that amount to little more than "that was a stupid question" are rude and may be deleted.

    Piling on to create a cascade of uninformative "that was a stupid question" posts is not helpful, and is disrespectful of the OP and of others who come here to learn.

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