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Advice on Lighting and Placement

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by docshank, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. docshank


    Feb 24, 2007
    Hey Everyone,

    First off, let me say that I'm a rookie at taking pictures and my main subjects are my family, especially my grandkids. I have learned quite a bit by reading your posts on these forums. I'm including some pictures that were taken Easter Sunday after we returned from church. The background isn't very good, but I've got some backdrop muslins coming for future family group photograps. My setup was the D70s with 35-70mm 2.8 lens, one SB-800, and one SB-600, both mounted remotely on cheap MX2000 walmart tripods. The camera was setup in commander mode. The two flashes were positioned in front and to the side of the subjects and angled (about 45 degrees to the group). The tripods were extended to full height and both flashes were set to bounce light off of the ceiling (both flashes had Stofen Omnibounces on them). I'm thinking of getting an addition SB-600 and a SU-800. With this equipment in mind, what would have been the ideal setup as far as placement of the flashes and technique that comes to mind?

    I included three images that I took of my son and daughter-in-law with the grandkids to tell a story. My grandson had never seen the setup with the remote flashes on tripods. He started getting mesmerized by the flashes and only wanted to look at the flashes and not the camera. After we had to get onto him about not looking at the camera, there would be no more smiling for a few minutes.Ha!!! By the way, the camera was mounted on a tripod also. That's me and my wife in the group picture (courtesy of the infared remote).


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  2. Well, I don't know diddly about the units you're using but that's some pretty darn good lighting if you ask me. It's flat and even... very safe for the subject. But that shadow on the pole in the last is bothersome... that it's there and it has such a defined edge.
  3. Like Woody, I think you did pretty well. The shadows in each of the shots makes me think the flashes weren't diffused enough. I used SB800 & 600s for portraits for quite a while and I got very soft light by shooting through an umbrella. It spread the light nicely.

    Also in looking at the shadows it seems like you've got some cross shadows happening from the noses. Rather than aiming the flashes inward I'd be tempted to try aiming them more directly at the subjects. I'd also be inclined to raise them just a tad which might help to hide the facial shadows somewhat.

    The great thing with digital is it's free to experiment. Learn to see the shadows and you'll be able to make quick adjustments to the lights.
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