Wedding Portrait Light setup

Discussion in 'People' started by SMH77, May 26, 2007.

  1. SMH77

    SMH77

    746
    Feb 11, 2006
    Illinois
    Tomorrow I'm going to be shooting another wedding. This wedding will be different in that I'll have a brief time of shooting some formals using a background and 3 SB800's with modifiers. The setup is as follows: Main light is to camera right shooting through an Westcott Apollo Softbox (up about 8') set to M (SU4 mode) dialed to 1/2 power, fill to camera left shooting through a 42" umbrella (about 5') in M dialed in to 1/8 power (-2 stops, giving 3:1 ratio, correct?), and a hairlight above Subject shooting through a mini softbox (14" x 18") set to M in SU4 dialed to 1/4 (-1/3). Below is an example of the light output.

    (sorry for posting my ugly mug here :redface:)
    [​IMG]

    Camera is set to ISO 250, Manual exposure mode 1/80" @ f/8.

    I will be having from 1 to 3 individuals in the picture at a time. Will this light setup work and can it be improved? Should this arrangement be altered when I've got three people in the image?

    Thanks in advance for the help.


    Sean
     
  2. Looks like you've got it under control, Sean. I'll be anxious to see your results.

    I don't think so. It would be 3:1 if the main and fill were the same distance from the subject and shot through the same modifier. Since that isn't the case, you'll need to use your Sekonic, or estimate by looking at the test shots. My guess is that your ratio is higher than 3:1.

    Speaking of test shots, your main seems a little hot based on the highlights on your forehead and nose.

    When you're shooting multiple subjects, be conscious of the shadows they're going to cast on each other.

    Good luck with the wedding!
     
  3. SMH77

    SMH77

    746
    Feb 11, 2006
    Illinois
    Thanks for responding Frank.

    Regarding the ratio, the lights were at the same distance, so that one's covered. You're right, the modifiers weren't the same (It would be interesting to know what the factors are between the modifiers so that I had a better "mental reference" while setting up--I suppose, when I have time, I can set the two flashes to the same setting and then use the sekonic to determine the difference). From what I remember, the softbox was metering at f/8 (Sekonic pointed directly at it, dome in) and the Umbrella was metering at f/4 (Sekonic pointed directly at it, dome in). One difference that could affect those readings though was the fact that the umbrella was triggered via cord while the softbox was done wirelessly (SU4 mode) via D200 on-board flash. I did have the Sekonic "hidden" somewhat from the onboard flash, but I don't know if it was totally out of the line.

    I know and agree with your comments related to the "hot spots" on my forehead/nose. However, this is how the scene was metered for correct exposure. Maybe I could change my angle of the main (raise/lower, move out to the side) to reduce this effect? Any ideas?

    Good point about watching for shadows with multiple subjects. We're thinking along the same lines.

    I'll be sure to post some examples from the wedding today. I've got a nice overcast day (threatening rain) so I'll be shooting a lot of natural light outdoors (as well as during the ceremony). I just hope the rain holds out for us...


    Sean
     
  4. foto1139

    foto1139

    70
    Feb 6, 2006
    The background in sharp focus is a distraction, try moving away, this will also lower the shadows on the background.
     
  5. bob swanson

    bob swanson Guest

    :cool:Frank & foto1139 have good points. I'd personally get the subject off the background more and maybe open the lens about 1/2 stop (since your'e experimenting) and see if it softens the muslin a bit. Also, if you have more than one person I'd try to get them to squeeze together to eliminate any gaps between them. With your multi-lighting you might create some shadows. Just some thoughts. www.bsvirginian.smugmug.com
     
  6. Good explanation of your setup. Personally I would move the ratio closer to 2:1 to soften the shadows on your right side. Also, when shooting more than one subject the shadows will be more pronounced and this will help with that. While it is true that the lighting will be a little flatter the tradeoff of softer shadows for multiple subjects will make it worth it IMO. Well done on your hair light. As has been suggested, I would open my lens some to soften the background as well.
     
  7. SMH77

    SMH77

    746
    Feb 11, 2006
    Illinois
    Well, things went pretty well today. I've looked through the images and I pleasantly surprised at how well things turned out. I've deleted the original image and am posting just one image for now (once I start processing images, I'll be up all night long--ain't gonna do it tonight!).

    So to whet your appetite, I'll leave you with this one (outdoors, processed with NX--and yes, a little underexposed on purpose for now):

    [​IMG]

    Sean
     
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