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Thread: Studio and Still Life Question

  1. #1

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    Studio and Still Life Question

    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.

    Scenario:
    I have set up a still life and using just the modelling lamp in the flash head and some small bounce cards, I have found the lighting which I like, quite moody and lowkey.

    The part I am struggling with is knowing what power setting to use to reproduce what I am seeing with the modelling lamp.

    Am I on the wrong track here, should I be just using the modelling lamp as the light source and forget about the flash ?

    The reason wanting to use the flash was to stop me wandering into reciprocity and also prevent image movement through a long exposure.

  2. #2

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    The quality of light you see with the modeling lamp will be the same as with the flash. The only difference would be the exposure. Do you have a flash meter?

  3. #3

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrportr8 View Post
    The quality of light you see with the modeling lamp will be the same as with the flash. The only difference would be the exposure. Do you have a flash meter?
    Yes, I have a Sekonic L758 D Light meter

  4. #4

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Ian,

    First, take an attentive look to your Light Meter's manual.

    Cheers,

    Renato

  5. #5
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrportr8 View Post
    The quality of light you see with the modeling lamp will be the same as with the flash. The only difference would be the exposure. Do you have a flash meter?
    I beg to disagree, with respect.
    The light cast by the incandescent bulb is softer, generally has less contrast and can be used with a good degree of precision.
    And what you see is what you will get.
    Flash is harsher-looking, spreads everywhere and is harder to control as well as predict. That's why some kind of preview is usually needed (digital camera, Polaroid, etc).
    I think a tungsten bulb is a good place to start when experimenting with a still-life; it can give a beautiful light, if other precautions are taken (colour temp, contrast, etc).

  6. #6

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    FWIW, I frequently do still life and flower shots with just the modeling light. If it's giving you enough light for an exposure, why not? And I agree with Ari about the harsh-ness of the flash. If I use the flash, I'm more likely to stick the softbox on or something else to modify the light.
    Bethe King
    www.ewfisher.com

  7. #7

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    I beg to disagree, with respect.
    The light cast by the incandescent bulb is softer, generally has less contrast and can be used with a good degree of precision.
    And what you see is what you will get.
    Flash is harsher-looking, spreads everywhere and is harder to control as well as predict. That's why some kind of preview is usually needed (digital camera, Polaroid, etc).
    I think a tungsten bulb is a good place to start when experimenting with a still-life; it can give a beautiful light, if other precautions are taken (colour temp, contrast, etc).
    If you are using light modification, umbrella, soft box etc. then it makes no difference the type of modeling lamp. If using direct strobe then there is a slight difference but not enough to worry about. Light ratios should be measured with the strobe light and a flash meter. If you are getting different results then you're doing something wrong.

  8. #8

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Winger View Post
    FWIW, I frequently do still life and flower shots with just the modeling light. If it's giving you enough light for an exposure, why not? And I agree with Ari about the harsh-ness of the flash. If I use the flash, I'm more likely to stick the softbox on or something else to modify the light.
    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

  9. #9

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    Re: Studio and Still Life Question

    Traditionally, Polaroid proofs. but in all honesty i try the lightning using a digital camera

  10. #10

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    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
    Flashmeter and a good understanding of light ratios.

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