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Thread: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

  1. #21
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Moving them super close will also maximize their softness.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  2. #22

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    On someone here's advice for learning about shooting portraits, I bought and have been reading Herb Ritts' biography, The Golden Hour. [Off track: It's a great book and I highly recommend it. The whole thing is clips from many different interviews with other people, interleaved into a flow as if they were all in the same room discussing their interactions with Ritts] One thing that I noticed was a comment that he moved his soft boxes so close to subjects that they needed to be cropped out of the edges of his photos. That's a good way to maximize the light output of a weak source, and I am going to experiment with it more. I suspect it's going to be good for an extra stop or two over what I now do.
    every time you roughly half distance from light source to subject you gaining one stop of light. So if it was 1 meter way - moving it in about 0.5m will get you one more stop. Then moving it 0.25m will get you another & etc..

    Also it will increase transition surface and make highlights smoother (and bigger)

  3. #23
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gordon Bilson View Post
    Ah,yes ; last time I checked,for a 1F/stop increase with strobe,it worked this way. One pop : base exposure.
    2 pops :+1f ,4pops :+2f, 8..16..22..32..45...64..you can stop now,because your strobe is a pile of smoking slag.
    And the numbers are,oddly enough,just like the aperture scale on your lens.
    And the accumulated pops still do not sum for a correct exposure, but something less.

  4. #24
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Some meters will take account of successive pops. My Minolta Flash Meter 3 does so. The exposure based on what it said worked fine.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  5. #25

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    I ended up buying a Polaris flash meter, which will also calculate multiple flashes. I've played with the meter, strobe and a CFT as fill light with 35mm and 120, but next weekend I ought to try out a real camera with these lights. Fun!

  6. #26

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    The original Polaris meter I bought was fully satisfactory - replacing a Gossen Profisix,stolen. When you use the multiple flash feature, could you post the results? One of our forum members has challenged me about the theory of the maths behind the theory.
    Quote Originally Posted by chrism View Post
    I ended up buying a Polaris flash meter, which will also calculate multiple flashes. I've played with the meter, strobe and a CFT as fill light with 35mm and 120, but next weekend I ought to try out a real camera with these lights. Fun!

  7. #27
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    Like Ghostcount I love the L-308, esp. its small size and reasonably low cost the Minolta Flashmeter IV has many fans here, too.
    +1 on the Sekonic L-308 (or L-308s)
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

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  8. #28
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    On someone here's advice for learning about shooting portraits, I bought and have been reading Herb Ritts' biography, The Golden Hour. [Off track: It's a great book and I highly recommend it. The whole thing is clips from many different interviews with other people, interleaved into a flow as if they were all in the same room discussing their interactions with Ritts] One thing that I noticed was a comment that he moved his soft boxes so close to subjects that they needed to be cropped out of the edges of his photos. That's a good way to maximize the light output of a weak source, and I am going to experiment with it more. I suspect it's going to be good for an extra stop or two over what I now do.
    I've been working on a series of portraits & I have a beauty dish positioned about 18″ from the subject's head, with a reflector on the other side for fill light. Camera is very close to the subject, 'though, so the light is not (usually) visible in the image area.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
    seezee on Flickr
    seezee's day-job at Messenger Web Design

  9. #29
    fishbulb's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by chrism View Post
    My initial plan is to use a digital camera and set it to manual, correct ISO, shutter of 1/60 and play with the aperture until I get something that looks right, then transfer the settings to the LF camera and shoot. Is this a reasonable and valid approach, or should I buy a flash meter?
    I have done it both ways... pros and cons to each.

    Camera method:
    + get to see the actual shot on the screen, check histogram, and you get digital outtakes of your shot
    + most people have one, don't have to buy a separate flash meter
    - have to figure out a way for both the digital and LF camera to trip the flashes/strobes
    - digital camera may not have the same range in ISO, aperture, focal length, as a LF camera
    - digital camera has greater DoF at same aperture setting as a LF camera, so the picture isn't a perfect representation
    - film and digital ISO sensitivities are _supposed_ to be the same, but may vary due to in-camera processing, film types, etc.

    Light meter method:
    + faster, don't have to pick up a separate camera to test the lighting
    + less gear to bring with you
    - takes some skill to use a meter accurately (light meter readings will vary depending on where you place the meter, etc)
    - most people have to buy one
    - can't get a live preview of the image, no digital outtakes are created
    -Adam

  10. #30

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    On someone here's advice for learning about shooting portraits, I bought and have been reading Herb Ritts' biography, The Golden Hour. [Off track: It's a great book and I highly recommend it. The whole thing is clips from many different interviews with other people, interleaved into a flow as if they were all in the same room discussing their interactions with Ritts] One thing that I noticed was a comment that he moved his soft boxes so close to subjects that they needed to be cropped out of the edges of his photos. That's a good way to maximize the light output of a weak source, and I am going to experiment with it more. I suspect it's going to be good for an extra stop or two over what I now do.
    Peter showed how close he puts a beauty dish, way closer than I ever tried. I immediately shot the edge of the dish, but it is easily removed even with a wet print.

    My X-Ray series just posted had the beauty dish very close, with a gold reflector and a hair light, mit grid hanging right above out of camera view.

    I need to keep practicing with still objects.

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