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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    God's Country - Australia
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    10,424
    frank you;re making things awfully difficult for yourself. you dont need a light meter, use your eyes. the way you are trying to work is a relic from a bygone era. no one uses flash like that anymore in the digital age. you shoot, you look, you adjust. start at 1/8th power and work it out from there. open in up a bit if you need more light, shut it down a little if its too hot.

    honestly bud, i think you;re overcomplicating things and its making things appear far more difficult than what they really are.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
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    Hah, the voice of reason. Anyone remember how it used to be with film.
    Bloody great, hot modelling lights to see how it might look when the strobes went off, several Polaroid images to check how it actually looked and finally the actual shooting, then fingers crossed until the images appeared from the darkroom.

    It's all so simple now!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I will give it a try today. I have my cousins Communion today. I see what you are saying Rooz. I have been watching some lightning tutorials and they all used a light meter. I cannot see dropping a few hundred bucks for a meter just to set up my lights. It was hard the last time my grandchildren were over and I had to take several shots just to try to get the lightning right. They had enough before I was setup.

    Thanks again Peter and Rooz
    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  4. #14
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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
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    2,152
    Frank, it's all about preparation.
    Get the shot set up before they arrive using the Missus or a Doll or something as a stand in.
    Ok, the ambient may change a bit in the interim but you'll be close enough to get off to a good start.
    Once started just watch your distance to subject but a foot or two won't hurt if you shoot RAW.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    10,424
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    I will give it a try today. I have my cousins Communion today. I see what you are saying Rooz. I have been watching some lightning tutorials and they all used a light meter. I cannot see dropping a few hundred bucks for a meter just to set up my lights. It was hard the last time my grandchildren were over and I had to take several shots just to try to get the lightning right. They had enough before I was setup.

    Thanks again Peter and Rooz
    Frank
    frank, that's just part of the learning process. even if you had a light meter you would be going thru a similar scenario. as peter mentioned, try a couple of test shots on your wife first is the easiest. it wont take long before you can pick the power you want in a couple of tries. also remember that the a580 has miles more DR and headroom than the a100 so even if you;re a stop under you will be able to recover it in RAW.

    imo people have far more issue with the light positioning as opposed to the amount of power they use on the strobes.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    These are all great points, but you need to encapsulate the issue (the control of shadows) and the best way to do that is with our old friend, good ol' knowledge. This acquiring of knowledge is a lot cheaper than some may think, but it will probably take getting a book on current (modern) lighting methods. Understand the way they are creating the "look" with various sources. There are accepted standards in using two, three and four light sources to get a seemingly "real" and clear look to your image, add or sanding out the shadows. Subtle differences give your image punch ... or can reduce its impact, altogether,

    If you have only three lights, you will struggle with getting that fourth-look correctly. If you have only two light sources, then the look is restricted even further. Obviously, on-the-camera source lighting can be somewhat effective, but again, a slimmer selection of options ... the shadows grow and envelope your subject. "The shadow knows," as it were.

    "Model lighting" is a good and accepted way to get an idea of how the shadows on the subject interact. Higher-end flash units have these built in and then you simply walk the flash into position and go back to your camera's location to examine the angle and rough intensity of the shadow mix.

    Ask yourself, "Does it look right?"

    Go ahead, pop off a shutter squeeze ... and examine the faces.

    Huge nose shadow? More fill.

    "Raccoon eyes?" raise or lower the fill ... or have the model adjust the head.

    Hair separating from the background? No ... more hair light ... and use a grid to keep that light from crawling into your other lighting.

    Every light has an effect on the others, where it be distance, angle or intensity, so the dance in never easy, but truly subtle. Know this ... there is a lighting solution to everything. More often than not, the speed of your finding this solution depends on your experience and whether you brought the proper lighting support for that "look" to actually happen.

    In the school, the instructor often assigned the lighting of a simple object, say a beach ball. Then two beach balls, close together. This demonstrated lighting angles and object interaction. The balls don't complain and you have plenty of time to practice to get your lighting concept right. With humans, a life-size manikin (you usually only have to borrow one of these for a short period to understand what is involved) will allow you portrait concept lighting. Once you have that down, repeating the same light strategy will make setting up your lights a whole lot less movement intensive and enormously faster. You already will have the knowledge of where they go and roughly how "hot" the light has to be at each point.

    Personally, background lighting for me has been the most challenging, because when you really think about it, it is the background that makes the entire image relevant, no matter who your subject is. Therefore, effective lighting that will usually create the true impact of "Joe Blow" standing in your shot. It, literally, tells the story.

    It is a lot to consider and separates the photographers ... from the snappers.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-07-2011 at 04:24 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I had a Communion yesterday and took some shots with my flash and the 17-50 lens. I had a few problems using the flash. I had the flash set straight up for bounce with my homemade bounce card. The flash wasn't giving off enough light so I had to adjust the flash EV. It wouldn't let me select a power level. I will post some images later.

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Frank, you have to be in manual to set the power level.

    Much harder to control things in a public place and straight up into a bounce card dictates quite a big card to do any good.

    BTW flash manufacturers always specify GNs in an ideal environment. Inside or in a Church or any big space means the actual GN will be much less.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I always shoot Manual but took it out of Manual yesterday.

    Thanks Again

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I took these with my Tamron 17-50 lens.

    Frank





    Iso 100
    f/5
    1/80
    Bounce flash with my homemade bounce card
    +1ev
    50mm
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

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