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Thread: Studio and Still Life Question

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    southwest PA, USA
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    354

    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBarber View Post
    When you use flash with a softbox or other modifier, with film, how do you know what power level to use to give you the look your after
    My incident light meter is also a flash meter. It at least gives me the exposure and I can test in bright and shadow areas to see how different they are. I also do test shots with my dSLR on occasion (though not always). Keep track of what you do and how everything is set and then it'll be easier next time.
    Bethe King
    www.ewfisher.com

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Canada
    Posts
    1,369

    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    I suspect part of the difficulty is that your eyes will accommodate to the different levels of light cast in bright and shadow of your modeling lights such that, you may think the shadows are open enough at a particular contrast level with modeling lights, and then, boom, the film does not accommodate to the shadows as well as your eyes.
    Perhaps the modeling lights look softer because of this and actually illuminate film the same as flash. keeping in mind that the two are not the same in all physical respects and cannot be precisely the same.
    Figure the lighting you like and take meter measurements of the ratios of key to fill to camera etc.
    Look at your prints and note the combinations of contrast that you like.
    Exposure is a separate issue.
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Leipzig, Germany
    Posts
    473

    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBarber View Post
    When you use flash with a softbox or other modifier, with film, how do you know what power level to use to give you the look your after
    Use a light meter. Just like you would when you are outside in the sunlight. With a tiny 200 W/s strobe, you will probably have to turn it to full power and find out the f-stop you are are able to achieve.

  4. #14

    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    [QUOTE=IanBarber;1366897]I am trying to get my head around using a flash head for still life.

    The head I have is a 200w/second with variable output.

    The modeling bulb is designed to give an approximation of the flash output, it is in the main never intended to be used as the primary output source, if you want continuous light there are far better options. So to address your question, set up your picture using the modeling bulb, then take a flash meter reading by either placing a greycard in the set and measuring the light reflected back or put a invercone on the meter , go into the set, point your meter at the lens and take a reading, this will give you your basic settings, whilst not trying to over complicate, look at your set with a viewing glass or more cost effectively squint, and check to see if anything is going too dark,if it is ,and that is not an effect you are trying to achieve you can resolve this in a number of ways but the simplest is to diffuse your lighting to reduce the lighting ratio. If you find that a single flash is not giving you enough light output then multi flash until you reach the desired f stop, this should be done with the shutter open, if needed just put a card in front of the lens between flashes and remember to switch the modeling lights off.
    I digress, back to the meter reading, once you have a reading shoot 1 frame as the meter then bracket two stops up and down, as this is a test putting a grey card and a note of the frame exposure in the shot is no bad thing, then shoot a frame with your modeling light set up , metering in exactly the same way you will have a set of images that will enable you to compare the two options and the with that information you should be able to assess the comparison between the two light sources.

    Hope this helps

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