This flower better with or w/o use of Lightsphere?

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by Steve S, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Was out early this morning experimenting with my new Lightsphere 2, and would like some feedback as to whether or not you think the Lightsphere made the shot better.

    Without Lightspere:


    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D2X
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 85 mm
    Exposure Time 1/20 sec
    Aperture f/9
    ISO Equivalent 100
    Exposure Bias
    White Balance
    Metering Mode multi spot (3)
    JPEG Quality (6)
    Exposure Program aperture priority

    With Lightspere:


    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D2X
    Flash Used Yes
    Focal Length 85 mm
    Exposure Time 1/60 sec
    Aperture f/9
    ISO Equivalent 100
    Exposure Bias
    White Balance
    Metering Mode multi spot (3)
    JPEG Quality (6)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
  2. Maybe it's just a girlie thing, but I much prefer natural lighting. In the second shot, I can see the natural light coming from the left with a poof of artificial light from the front creating extra shadows - not my cup of tea. I much prefer just lightening up the centre of the flower using a fill layer in PS. In this case, I would have used a reflector to bounce some nat light back into the flower face. Just my humble opinion. Great flower shot though! Gerberas are my favs. Cheers, S
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You have beautiful backlight on the flower and loods better that way to me. This one pops and the second does not.

    the second looks good also. Depends on the effect you are looking for Steve.

    Pretty daisey
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Thanks ladies,

    I think now I do prefer the backlit shot more. Need to see if I can coax more detail out of the center with a Quick Mask, the only kind I know how to do! :oops: The reflector idea is good, but I wouldn't want to disturb the look of the petals, only the center. Hard to do with a reflector!
  5. rsimms


    Apr 30, 2005
    Redondo Beach, CA
    I like the first one best

    The second is nice too, but if you look at the stem you can see the direction of the natural light, then when you look at the petals the shadows don't match, so it kind of throws it off for me.
  6. Re: Thanks ladies,

    Something like this?


    Gotta get you into layers, Steve. Maybe your neighbor, Harris, can tutor you this winter.
  7. Now that looks great!

    The lightsphere shot looks too cold and clinical to me.
  8. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    These shots aren't so much a judgement of the LS II but rather flash versus non-flash. The problem with the second shot is it's underexposed and you're not getting as much of the backlight effect from the ambient exposure. I think if you had used the same ambient exposure as the first shot but with just a touch of fill-flash (say TTL-BL at -1EV Flash EV) you might have been able to get the backlight effect while also bringing up the shadow detail in the center of the flower a bit. But as Frank's edit shows you can often compensate for lack of fill-flash in post-processing, although in some cases depending on the degree of editing required there may be side effects such as increased noise/posterization, etc.
  9. Hi Steven ! Nice to meet your here...

    For me, WITH the lightsphere ! ...but maybe it's just because the background is darker that i like it more ? ...or else because the center of the flower "pops" out more than on the #1 ?!?

  10. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I like the first image a bit more than the second. Something about the rear-lighting in the first image does it for me.
  11. TR_Fox


    Jun 13, 2005
    Flagstaff AZ
    I like the first shot better. The lightsphere in the second did what it was made to do. But I think the first one has more Visual impact. Punch. But hey just me looking at it.
  12. this really ended up not being about the lightsphere

    I didn't much care for the second one because it was so flat. Lighting like lighsphere or a softbox can do that to a picture if you let it. The first picture was clearly "something" - everyone talked about backlight. The second one, they talked about lots of stuff. So, not really a fair test. You committed to the first picture, not to the second.

    I find that using my portable softbox (a Chimera mini-softbox that makes a lightsphere look positively sane by comparison) there's a tendency for me to produce pictures that are "stuck between the baseline and the net" in terms of lighting. Shadowless, darkish background, mildly lit front. I mix the light without having a clear picture in my head of what I'm trying to achive. When you're using a less diffused flash, I think that's harder to do because it's so much stronger that you have to commit to some point of view on the image, because we all know how hideous a flash picture can be.

    Or maybe this is all philosophical stuff that only means something to me... but I find that often a lot of what I get when shooting that makes me shrug, is because I didn't fully commit to a point of view, a style of lighting, a radical angle, something, and produced something that I call digital bland. My wife and kids hear me screaming it at my monitor from time to time. I don't seem to be listening too well.
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