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

Joined
Feb 1, 2005
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4,741
Location
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:

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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:

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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
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
14,472
Location
Toronto Canada
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
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
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
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
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SE Florida
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
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!
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
89
Location
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.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Re: Thanks ladies,

Steve S said:
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:
Something like this?

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Gotta get you into layers, Steve. Maybe your neighbor, Harris, can tutor you this winter.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
3,625
Location
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.
 

JPS

Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
9,284
Location
North-East of Brazil
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 ?!?

Cheers,
Jean-Pierre
 
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
17,633
Location
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.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
105
Location
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.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
109
Location
Glorious, Sunny New Jersey, USA
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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