A&P EDU/Help Me On Lighting

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by PUREVIL, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    How do you take a picture in low light, like dusk and have the sky come in sharp and clear, and the subject still well lit? I understand some shots probably have 2 or 3 lights/umbrellas/boxes. But is it just through practice getting shit right? Trial and error? Or are shots that im talking about composed kinda like HDR? I like taking car pics, my cars are all black so when I take pics of them in the evening the sky is blown out big time. I bought a canon 580EXII yesterday and I was testing it out and im definately a noob. hahahaha

    Here is a shot that I like.... how did he get an action shot so clear in what looks like the early evening?

    [​IMG]

    Another cool shot.....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    He simply under exposed the sky/background by one stop and used a very fast shutter speed. He also used a strobe to help light the shot (fill in the shadows from the sun)
     
  3. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    To take a picture of a black car in the evening, you need to add some light to the car. You have to properly expose for the evening sky and add some light to the foreground (the car) While some aspects of this is trial and error, a light meter (either in your camera or handheld) will take the guesswork out of camera settings.
     
  4. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    not really easy to explain beyond what JColeman already said, but lets just say its very easy to manipulate lighting to dow hat you want.

    take this one:
    [​IMG]











    taken in complete shade, no sun anywhere. but off camera flash low to the ground with a gel creates the warm light and long shadows of sunset
     
  5. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    Ok here is one of my tests, probably one of the best ones. This one was done before buying the 580. The sun was pretty close to setting if I remember correctly. Another thing that bugged me is that you can see the ground through the wheels. I played with the 580EX last night and man there are so many settings and things to change its confusing as hell! hahahaha

    Can you go further with what you said about using the camera to meter the light of the car? Im a lil confused, you said set the camera for the sky, but metering will take the guess workout for the car???? Maybe I miss understood, sorry.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    If you point the camera at the evening sky, it will give you a reading of lets say 1/250 sec at f/16. That will be the exposure needed to make the sky appear "normal".

    If you point your camera at a grey card sitting on your black car you might get a reading of 1/250 sec at f/2.8. This also assumes that the car is in the shade between the building as pictured.

    There is now a five stop difference between the sky and the foreground.

    Now, if you were to aim your camera at your car and shoot at the first setting, the car and all the rest of the foreground will be too dark (underexposed) because the difference in brightness between the sky and the foreground. If you shoot at the second setting the sky will be blown out (too light)

    The trick is to somehow bring the two exposure extremes (the five stop difference) down to even or maybe one or two f/stop difference. You can do this in two ways.

    1. Add a lot more light to the car.

    2. Darken the sky with a graduated ND filter and add a little light to the car.

    Keep in mind that most "good" car shots are lit with multiple lights however your 580EX MAY be enough light to light your car IF you wait until the light in the sky comes down two or three stops.

    Also, please note that I said "grey card" sitting on your car. If you try to meter the light off your black car, your camera will be fooled into giving you too much light as it thinks the black should be gray.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  7. Tedrzz

    Tedrzz New Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    you really don't need fancy equipment to have good exposure in bright sunlight. both of these were taken with a on-camera flash.
     
  8. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    You are correct however you do need "fancy" equipment if you have situations of extreme brightness levels like the OP tried in his car shot.
     
  9. Sympathy

    Sympathy OT Supporter

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    maybe it's my monitor, but this pic looks alittle out of focus? :dunno:
     
  10. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    The kids face looks in focus to me, but the parents are a lil outta focus. I just thought it was a good example of what Im trying to do.... retain the sky and BG while having well lit subjects in the foreground.

    jcoleman: so to eliminate light going through the wheels and illuminating the ground behind them, i would need to place the lights really high correct? Any recommendations on what lights I should look at? I mostly want to photograph vehicles, I hate posing people hahaha. Thanks for everyones input.
     
  11. ///Mik3

    ///Mik3 New Member

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    In the family shot, the sun has already set, so that already helps, and then they threw some light on the family, looks like maybe umbrellas.

    As has already been said, it's about bringing the amount of light from the sky and from the subjects closer together.
     
  12. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    To eliminate the light spilling thru the wheels you simply position the lights to the side of the car instead of the front. Turning the front wheels away from the camera a bit will help as well. Also, lowering the camera will help as well.

    Still, I wouldn't worry too much about light behind the wheels as much as I would about reflections in the body of the car. Position the lights to light the car first, worry about the wheels second. You can always PS the ground under the car if it bothers you.

    Here's a shot I did of my car. While it doesn't illustrate the concept of bringing the sky and car exposure values closer together, it does show you what three lights will do. Your assignment is to figure out where the lights were placed.


    [​IMG]
     
  13. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    Is there one on the passenger side front corner..... one to the driverside front and one behind it? Like on the bumper facing backwards?

    tonight if you got time you should try and do a shot for me to illustrate your teaching hahaha :big grin: So im going to have to invest in alot of lights now..... does this hobby ever end? HAHAHAHA
     
  14. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    Close. There was one on the passenger side but aimed at the front wheel/door area of the car. Another on the drivers side front bumper and the third was a tiny little light (about 1/8 the power of the others) behind the rear wheel. The first two lights were on stands about 6' high and about 15' away.

    As for my teaching, look up a few posts from this one to "photography 101". you might find some useful stuff there.

    Also...beware...this can become an expensive hobby.
     
  15. Derrict

    Derrict No, I am not Amish OT Supporter

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    [​IMG]


    You don't need to place the light stands high (4-5' is enough), but, placing them higher will reduce the amount of light that shows up on the ground. The above shot is taken with three speedlites, 1) on camera, 2) to left, 3) to right. The slaves off the to side are angled at 45 degrees, the one on the left aimed towards the front wheel, the one on the right aimed at the driver side headlight at 45 degrees. Both are about 12-15 feet away. It takes a few shots to get the set up correct, but once they're angled correctly, reflections are minimal. The less you have, the less post processing is needed to remove them later. I'd post more but Mik3 doesn't like shots in front of loading docks. :hsd:
     
  16. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    Well I love that profile shot of your car... didn't you say that profile shot was all natural lighting? Or did you have strobes for that too? Also what lens did you use for that profile shot, and what camera are you using and what strobes are you using as well. I dont wanna copy/bite someone style, but I wanna copy and bite someone style hahaha.
     
  17. nine

    nine OT Supporter

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    remember shutter speed will control your ambient (background/sky) exposure, and aperture will control your flash (foreground) exposure. decide what flash power you're gonna use and expose for the background first.
     
  18. Derrict

    Derrict No, I am not Amish OT Supporter

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    My profile shot is from the same set as the one I posted above (artificial lighting).

    Canon 1D MKII, 70-200 2.8L IS with B+W CPL, Canon 580EX, Canon 430EX and Canon 420EX

    Not from the same shoot, but from several months ago, here's a set up shot (I always forget to take these) to give you an idea of positioning: http://asianguywithacamera.com/msm_pics/set_01/images/setup.jpg
     
  19. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    Cool... So you have tripods for the flashes, tripod for the camera, lens, and laptop..... so much gear to lug around! I dont have A tripod, let alone 3 of them! It looks like it takes 40 min to set it all up for one shot! And on top of that your driving a miata so there isn't much room! im going to have to buy more 580s it looks like.... damn this hobby!!!! Thanks for sharing some tips and tricks of the trade!
     
  20. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

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    could someone point me towards a flash shoe holder that mounts on a tripod head?
    no light stand plenty of tripods
     
  21. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    Light stand, not tripods. It only takes about 5 minutes to set up. It seems like a lot of gear but after a while you find that it's not enough and you want more!!
     
  22. PUREVIL

    PUREVIL More Money Than Brains Croo

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    Any recommendations on tripods and light stands??? I want a tripod next for sure.
     
  23. Derrict

    Derrict No, I am not Amish OT Supporter

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    I use Impact 6' and 8' light stands ($30-40) and hotshoe adapter. Sometimes I'll use the tripod to mount the flash using the adapter that comes with the speedlites. I'll start using the tripod when the shutter speeds go below 1/30. The 8' stand barely fits in the Miata trunk (by 2"). Set up takes about 3-4 minutes and another few minutes to get the distance and angles correct.

    If you don't want to spend the money on a 580ex, you can buy a few Vivitars and shoot manually. I like using ETTL for times when I don't have the time to set up all the flashes. The Vivitars are fine when you can control the time, location and environment.

    why size is the tripod head, 3/8"?
     
  24. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

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    ya
     
  25. Derrict

    Derrict No, I am not Amish OT Supporter

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    the only adapters I can find so far are 1/4". The ones that come with Canon speedlites are 3/8" though
     

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