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Photography Question 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
 

Portrait Photography


I want to learn about portrait photography, I'm thinking in buying a Speedlight
for my camera and a diffuser because I don't have the space to set up an studio inside but I have a huge backyard, does anyone knows a course here at BP or another place that I can learn how to take great portraits or at least good ones with just the flash.
This is the diffuser that I want to buy diffuser.
Does anyone uses this one? It is good?

Thanks in advance!


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8/7/2008 11:07:35 PM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  This is the diffuser that I want to buy diffuser


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8/7/2008 11:14:36 PM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  Trying again.
This is the diffuser that I want to buy diffuser


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8/7/2008 11:21:40 PM

 
W.   
Hi Elida,

getting a Speedlight is a good idea. Also useful for fill-in flash outside. Get the 580EX II if you can afford it. Bigger is better

A GF LightSphere, or similar ('Tupperware') diffusors spread the flash gun's light not only to the front, but also to the sides and the rear of the flash gun. That light – 3/4 of the total output – is completely wasted if there is nothing to bounce it off of. A GF LightSphere, the D-I-Y version, or similar ('Tupperware') diffusors is/are therefore only (limited) effective in (en)close(d) quarters, but totally useless in 'open spaces' (more than 10 feet from possible reflecting walls/ceilings), where it will only cut heavily into your flash gun's light output and therefore cut your DoF down to a 1/4 or less...

The ABBC is much more effective as it prevents wasting light to the rear and the sides of the flash gun. It effectively works as a portable softbox and makes much more efficient and effective use of your flash gun's output.

ABBC: http://abetterbouncecard.com/

Have fun!


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8/8/2008 1:36:01 AM

 
A C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/6/2004
  here is a wonderul place to start:
http://planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/


I sometimes go the wireless/off-camera way with my speedlight, an umbrella, and a trigger set (I currently use the cheapo Cactus V2s from Gadget Infinity ... I plan to get some Pocket Wizards cuz you can't really use cheapo stuff that's not %100 reliable for a paid shoot)

this is where I learn about all that wireless flash stuff:

http://strobist..com/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html

http://strobist..com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

my most recent pic in my gallery is with my wireless flash setup. It's kind tough to do with kids that move around a lot .... but I think the lighting is more flattering this way than with the flash coming from the camera.

anyhoo, it's just another way to do it


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8/8/2008 8:40:24 AM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  Thanks for all the links, they are great and take me to other places too. about the diffuser, I just learn to do one instead of buying it (thanks W. S.)

I think I'll go with the wireless speedlight and umbrella, because most of my pictures will be outside and I don't like the direct flash pictures.

Thanks Cherylann for the link, it was metioned in the ABBC video too, I whent o see it and it's great, I'll be busy reading, watching and learning, hope to post some pictures soon, by the way your portraits are Gorgeous!!


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8/8/2008 1:33:21 PM

 
W.   
"I think I'll go with the wireless speedlight and umbrella"

An umbrella – be it shoot-thru or reflective – absorbs a lot of your flash gun's light output and therefore cuts its effective range very considerably, as well as its DoF. Count on -F/1.5, but probably more. Since outside your flash gun is competing with the sun even a 580EX II will be struggling to perform!

So I would get two, minimum.


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8/8/2008 1:52:48 PM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  I have so many trees in my backyard so I have plenty of shadow, do you think that with one should do it or I'll need two?


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8/8/2008 1:58:27 PM

 
Kerry Drager
BetterPhoto Member
Kerry's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
  Hi Elida,
Thanks for asking about BetterPhoto's interactive online courses! We have excellent ones taught by top pros with lots of experience - you'll learn a lot in a short time. Some possibilities that might match your interests:

Taking the Mystery Out of Flash Photography


Posing and Portraiture Techniques

Thanks again, Elida!

Kerry



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8/8/2008 2:11:16 PM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  Thanks Kerry, I like both and the prices are great, I'll be doing some serious thinking.


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8/8/2008 2:16:53 PM

 
Kerry Drager
BetterPhoto Member
Kerry's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
  You're welcome, Elida - let me know if you have any other questions!
Thanks,
Kerry


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8/8/2008 2:19:54 PM

 
W.   
"many trees in my backyard so I have plenty of shadow, do you think that with one should do it or I'll need two?"

Of course it depends on the sun's strength at that particular time. But if you place your subject(s) in the tree's shade – a.k.a. in 'open shade' – one Speedlight 580EX II might be enough.

However, with just one Speedlight (with or without umbrella) you have only one light source. And therefore heavy shadows on the subject('s face). You will want to fill those, 'open them up'. A second Speedlight would be ideal for that, but expensive of course. So another tip! This one will cost you 10 bucks max.: fashion yourself a big reflector, 5 feet diameter or larger. You can use a white foamcore panel from Home Depot or any hardware store. Or any other (lightweight) panel of the desired size and shape, which you cover (use spray-glue) with (very carefully crumpled, then stretched out) household aluminium foil (shiny side up, of course). Finish the edges with tape, and HEY PRESTO! you've got a great reflector to place opposite the Speedlight to fill the shadows.

Have fun!


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8/8/2008 2:33:54 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Elida,
I teach Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio here as well as An Introduction to Photographic Lighting. Perhaps one of these classes will help. Not to muddy the waters, but since you are working at home you might want to consider one of the Alien Bees, say the B1600, or the Calumet Travelites. Theses lights will give you more power, more control and faster recycling.
Thanks, John Siskin


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8/9/2008 8:26:00 AM

 
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