Strobist: What a difference...

Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
650
Location
Thailand
...a flash, brolly box and a few feet make.

The following shots were done in a span of seven minutes...which you can tell by the "Dude, can I go now?" expressions, is about ALL my 16 y/o son was willing to devote to dear ol' Dad.

Anway, just a couple of very quick, basic outdoor lighting examples to hopefully generate some more interest in the upcoming Lighting 102.

Direct sun=Yuck!
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Better add some flash...SB-800 off-camera (of course:wink:) triggered by D70 in commander mode. Still pretty bad...Note the unnatural shadows and obvious "flashed" look.

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So, I moved my subject a few feet into the open shade (shadow) of my house. Put the SB-800 on a stand and attached the brolly, and placed it about 2-3ft. from my son...again triggered by the D70. Couple of quick, "take a shot, take a look" test shots, exposure adjustments and Voilá!...much better and more natural lighting.

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The setup:
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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Very effective set of examples, Ray, but the most impressive part of it was getting your 16 year old son to pose. That must have cost you :cool:.

I'm a little curious about why there are differences other than the flash. The background in shot #3 is less underexposed than the backgrounds in #1 and #2, so I checked the exif data. The first two shots were taken at 110mm 1/500 f/8, while the third was taken at 200mm 1/500 f/4. Also, the catchlights suggest the flash was less off to the side in #2 than in #3. Wouldn't those differences have influenced the results?

Btw, I'm impressed with the images I've seen from your Brolly! I just won something similar on an eBay auction, and look forward to trying it out. Here's the link to a current auction for the same item.

http://cgi.ebay.com/DYNAPHOS-PHOTO-LIGHT-UMBRELLA-SOFT-BOX-SOFTBOX-NEW-40_W0QQitemZ200114056049QQihZ010QQcategoryZ79008QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
650
Location
Thailand
Very effective set of examples, Ray, but the most impressive part of it was getting your 16 year old son to pose. That must have cost you :cool:.

I'm a little curious about why there are differences other than the flash. The background in shot #3 is less underexposed than the backgrounds in #1 and #2, so I checked the exif data. The first two shots were taken at 110mm 1/500 f/8, while the third was taken at 200mm 1/500 f/4. Also, the catchlights suggest the flash was less off to the side in #2 than in #3. Wouldn't those differences have influenced the results?

Btw, I'm impressed with the images I've seen from your Brolly! I just won something similar on an eBay auction, and look forward to trying it out. Here's the link to a current auction for the same item.

http://cgi.ebay.com/DYNAPHOS-PHOTO-LIGHT-UMBRELLA-SOFT-BOX-SOFTBOX-NEW-40_W0QQitemZ200114056049QQihZ010QQcategoryZ79008QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem
Very good question Frank. I often shoot portraits with either my 70-200 at 200mm or my 300/2.8. The reason the first two are at 110mm is because I was holding the flash in my outstretched hand...which also explains the difference in the catchlight. If I had been at 200mm the flash would have been too far away to provide proper fill at f/8.

As for the exposure being different, that's because I moved the subject into the shade, which really was the main point of the exercise, and needed to open up to compensate for the lower amount of ambient lighting. I would normally switch to manual exposure, and underexpose the BG by 1.5-2 stops, but in this case I just dialed in a -2EV, -1.3EV and -1EV. I settled for the -1, simply because I preferred the balance of subject/background.

For #2 I could have put the flash on a stand and placed the stand in close. But like I was saying, the purpose of this was to illustrate that we have much better control of the lighting when moving the subject into a shaded area. As a general rule, I almost never shoot portraits in direct sunlight, unless the sun is very low in the sky. Competing with direct sun is an exercise in futility...Even with the addition of flash, you're dealing with harsh shadows, squinty eyes, cross shadows etc...it can get pretty ugly.
 
L

luminarc

Guest
The difference in the last picture is impressive... Pardon my newbie-ness, where do you find brolly boxes/softboxes etc for flash setups like yours here? B&H?
 

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