I Need Lighting Help
DARK or BLURRY IMAGES:
I recently rented out 2 tungsten with stands and tried taking photos against a white 7ft wide backdrop and ran into many problems. It seemed that the area looked bright though when I tried to photograph my subject (human). The images kept turning out dark or blurry. I turned up my ISO, I turned down my aperture.. to make the image brighter because even with a shutter speed of 30 it was taking the photos to slow. I got the shutter up to 90 with a fairly good brightness but then some reason it still took the images to slow (why is this??)
When I took Images that were black under the tungsten lights they turned brown why does that happen??
WHAT TO GET?:
I would like to purchase lighting that will be bright enough to take full body shot photos on a 9ft background. I would like to know what to get that won't cost me a fortune.
Other Misc Info that may be helpful:
I'm new to shooting indoor always did outdoor shots.
My camera is a Nikon D70 (I know its outdated)
I Tried using a speedlight to help the brightness but the resulting image was not desirable.
Small things you should know.
You would need a huge amount of power from a constant light source to get bright and clear pictures with a good shutter speed.
Remember, the higher the shutter the less time light has in contact with the sensor, things like tungsten lights, are not very powerfull, you would need easily over 1ooo Watts to get anything worth out of it.
Constant lights, like tungsten are usually used for product shots, where having really low shutter speeds is no problem, and wanting to pre-visualize the shot and play with highlights/shadows is desirable.
For portraiture, flash is used. Because a flash is only on for a short amount of time, it can be much much brighter then a constant light source.
The reason the mix probably didn't work out too well for you is because lights have a color cast. Your flash is generally cool, or bluer, while a tungsten light is generally warm, or orange. When using both you are ending up with a weird color calibration, especially if you are shooting on AutoWhiteBalance, if you are balancing the whites yourself, you may use tungsten to warm up your subjects slightly, but thats different really, and you're only lighting the subject with the flash, doing a mix is not something recommended generally, especially to someone starting out.
So, you want to light 9 feet, and a subject i presume, with a decent amount of brightness and Depth Of Field, normally, about 3 flashes are used, you can use speedlights, but you won't be able to use softboxes and your depth of field will stay rather low, or your lights will be harsh with long reload cycles.
I've done it with less, When i first started, after alot of testing, i was able to do basic portraits (Not full length) with 1 flash on the background, and 1 flash through a umbrella or softbox Really close to the person, just out of the camera's view.
Speedlights are probably your cheapest solution, studio lights are more powerful, have a modelling light to help preview the shot ahead of time, but are more expensive.
You will want to grab a few speedlights, nothing too expensive, and play around with them, the best scenario is to be able to light your background completely even And separated from your subject. Any manual flash will do, theres some ebay ones starting at about 50$ that do the job just fine, aslong as you know what your doing.
Last edited by Csae; 10-18-2009 at 09:27 PM.
Why cant you? Ive had no problem using a softbox on my SB-800's.
Originally Posted by Csae
I would suggest getting a light meter. Will help determine which exposure to use... among other things.
"A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac
A bunch of Nikon stuff!
Well, you can, but your losing power, im not quite sure how powerfull the sb-800 is, but if you can get enough power of it, power to you.
Whenever i stick one of my speedlights in a softbox or umbrella, i either have to 1) get it that much closer 2) use a higher power with long reload cycles 3) a higher iso, or lower my depth of field.
My minimum settings for a portrait shoot are iso 100, ss 125, f5.6 minimum. What you use to get there is up to you, i like to hover around f7/ f9, and try to keep the reload cycles down so i can get more shots and keep the flow going.
Nowadays i only use speedlights as fill for the background, maybe catchlights, rim lighting, etc. i get my raw lighting from a set of 3x studio lights, so maybe i'm just underestimating the speedlights now that i don't use them anymore
Edit, i checked some of my older speedlights only portraits, and they were mostly at iso 200.
Joe, could you post some of your attempts with the tungsten lights? While I agree that flash would give you more light to work with, you should be able to get fairly reasonable results with tungsten photofloods. I'm guessing the dark images may have been a result of your cameras metering possibly seeing some of the white background you used and causing an underexposure. You also need to be aware of white balance and how your camera handles it.
The image below is a scan of a negative I shot many years ago with probably 500 watt photofloods using an ISO 160 tungsten balanced film in a medium format camera. It does have some problems with lighting ratios and positions and I have no recollection of settings used, but simply want to illustrate that it is possible to use tungsten photofloods.
Nice thing about digital is you get instant feedback to make corrections.
Last edited by Mark_48; 10-19-2009 at 08:44 AM.
Csae WOW you were a HUGE help!! Thank you for your very in depth reply to my post. I still don't really understand why when my shutter speed was at 1/90 I still got images that were not taken fast enough but everything else you said makes perfect sense.
Mark I will try and post some of my attempts and failures later, as of right now I just got out of work and feel like crashing. I will post one that I did a quick 30 second edit of the white on just to test to see how it would look. Later I will post ones that give a better understanding of the issues I was facing.