Some shots with the strobe

Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
763
Location
Davis / Bay Area
Lighting setup - X1600 w/ 60" Softliter 15 deg to the right of subjects. Folded up picnic table underneath as a reflector.

Shots in the beginning were a little rough but they got better once I settled down.

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Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
4,741
Location
SE Florida
Good way to start, Mike!

You've caught some good expressions there. Large group shots are a nightmare to arrange, and everyone is in such a hurry! I think eventually, to bring your portraiture to the next level, you're gonna need to add a 2nd light or at least a large reflector to get the fill you need on the deep shadow side. When you ty to cover all the facial area with just a single strobe, many times you get less than optimal results. Love the kid's shot where she's pointing, but would've liked to seen her pointing hand in the frame. I find ya always gotta frame looser, then decide later how much to crop out or leave in.
In that 1st group shot, Granny & Gramps, the boy in the blue shirt, and the guy far camera left needed to be a bit higher, by having them stand on something stable to get them up to about the same height as the ppl camera right. Actually, a pyramid arrangement with Granny & Gramps the highest in the frame would've bee ideal. Also, the woman in the yellow is casting a pretty big shadow on Granny. Looks a little tilted. On that last one, I would've brought the camera up to a slightly higher perspective, or at least done a little creative pruning of those 3 or 4 distracting Geraniums in the forefront. You could've cut them, then still placed them in the frame, but lower and more towards the very front, where there are none now. This might not've been possible though.
These are just my opinons, and not everyone will agree with them. Listen Mike, when I screw up my group portrait shoot tonight, feel free to pick it apart too! ;)
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,115
Location
Los Angeles, USA
The light looks very natural and you captured the emotional candid feeling perfectly. I was trying to find something I could add for improvement, but overall I can't find any faults in your technique! Great job! :)
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
763
Location
Davis / Bay Area
Re: Good way to start, Mike!

Steve S said:
You've caught some good expressions there. Large group shots are a nightmare to arrange, and everyone is in such a hurry! I think eventually, to bring your portraiture to the next level, you're gonna need to add a 2nd light or at least a large reflector to get the fill you need on the deep shadow side. When you ty to cover all the facial area with just a single strobe, many times you get less than optimal results. Love the kid's shot where she's pointing, but would've liked to seen her pointing hand in the frame. I find ya always gotta frame looser, then decide later how much to crop out or leave in.
In that 1st group shot, Granny & Gramps, the boy in the blue shirt, and the guy far camera left needed to be a bit higher, by having them stand on something stable to get them up to about the same height as the ppl camera right. Actually, a pyramid arrangement with Granny & Gramps the highest in the frame would've bee ideal. Also, the woman in the yellow is casting a pretty big shadow on Granny. Looks a little tilted. On that last one, I would've brought the camera up to a slightly higher perspective, or at least done a little creative pruning of those 3 or 4 distracting Geraniums in the forefront. You could've cut them, then still placed them in the frame, but lower and more towards the very front, where there are none now. This might not've been possible though.
These are just my opinons, and not everyone will agree with them. Listen Mike, when I screw up my group portrait shoot tonight, feel free to pick it apart too! ;)
Nah don't worry, picking em apart is fine. Otherwise I'd never improve.

I noticed when I was shooting that there just wasn't a clean way of lighting that other side. I used a picnic table as a reflector underneath to kill the shadows under their chins, but I had no way of angling something to fill the rest of it. Shooting from the shadow side of their faces on some of those shots probably doesn't help.
 

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