BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


Photography QnA: Studio, Still, & Personal Portraiture Photography

Browse by Category | All New Questions | All New Responses | Q&A Home

Category: All About Photography : Photographic Field Techniques : Studio, Still, & Personal Portraiture Photography

Read about techniques for personal portraiture photography, tricks for still photography and studio photography techniques here.

Page 10 : 91 -100 of 159 questions

<< Previous 10 skip to page
1 << 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | ...16
Next 10  >>
     
 
Photography Question 
John T. Chambers

member since: 11/21/2005
  91 .  Portrait Lighting Kit
Hello all
Up until now I've been shooting sports and nature. I keep getting asked to do portraits and want to step into this arena (but not have to sell the farm). I've found a few small low-end kits such as the Smith-Victor kit that comes with three lights (and stands), two umbrellas and one boom for overhead and back lighting. I've already purchased a collapsible backdrop so I think I'm covered with that backdrop thing.

Can anyone suggest a brand or things to look for in a kit for someone like me who is just starting out with portraits?

Thanks
Tom

11/22/2005 10:16:15 AM

Joyce S. Bowley
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/7/2004
  I've been doing a bit of research on this myself, planning for the future. Charlie Borland has a list of required lighting equipment that is needed to sign up for one of his classes here.

Editor's Note: Charlie is an experienced commercial photographer and instructor; see his equipment list at the following page for his online course: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting

I've seen a lot of people in The Forum who have different ideas. I know of some people who will use ONLY Alien Bees www.alienbees.com for their lighting. Charlie recommends 3 strobes; the Alien Bees 800 would probably fit the required 400 watt seconds or greater he includes in his list. Then there are light stands, a light box, umbrellas and a Safe Sync. This (entire) set-up you're looking at is $1K ... but I'm sure you can find folks here at BP who spend a good deal less and are happy.

11/22/2005 4:44:32 PM

L. W.

member since: 1/28/2004
  I'm a big fan of the Novatron Fun Kit. There are kits-a hard case filled with lighting equipment, go for photgs on the move-with various wattage. Affordable and reliable.

11/29/2005 8:29:22 AM

John T. Chambers

member since: 11/21/2005
  Thanks LW for your input. I'm going to try the alien bees kit with the flash through umbrellas. I'll let ya'll know how that works out.

11/29/2005 8:44:51 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Tom: Before you "step into the arena" and find out that horn you hear is attached to a bull, you should consider that lighting decisions, like any other photo equipment, is quite subjective and based on lots of factors including price, use, accessories available, future use, system flexibility and portability, etc., etc.
So, before you actually buy anything, I recommend that you rent and use what you intend to buy first. Then, once you find something you really like, see if you can buy it used rather than new unless it's really cheap. If it is, chances are it won't last and according to Murphy's law, it'll go kaputsky on you at the worst possible moment, usually during a paid shoot.

My preference is for monolights that are 1000 watt/sec. in order to give me high f-stops with low ISO films when shooting through a softbox. For those, you might take a look at Bowens lights, which are reasonably priced at bhphotovideo.com.

Take it....light.
Mark

11/30/2005 4:16:52 PM

John T. Chambers

member since: 11/21/2005
  Mark
Thanks for your input. I failed to mention that a friend of mine who has a photography business had suggested alien bees because it is what he uses for studio portraits. I wanted to see what type of input I could get (in addition to his). You suggested I rent some lights before trying them but unfortunately, in my area, I couldn't find anyone to let me rent/borrow their light setups. I've read many reviews on products and found nothing negative about Alien Bees. So, that coupled with my friend's input pushed me towards them.

Thanks again for your input and I promise I'll post my findings, along with some shots, on here.

Tom

11/30/2005 4:38:52 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Sarah B. Wittman

member since: 10/29/2005
  92 .  Shooting Engagement Pictures
I am taking my first set of engagement pictures and I was wondering if anyone had some tips for me ... to tell you the truth I'm nervous so I could use any help! I am using a 35mm camera with 400 ISO color film, and than I am using a 4mexa pixel digital camera. If you have any good poses or lighting things, let me know - any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, what are some ways to get everyone comfortable around each other?

10/29/2005 3:14:55 PM

Jennifer W
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/26/2005
 
 
 
I'm not a professional photographer, but I took some engagement photos last year. What I did for getting comfortable shots was to have the couple just interact with each other while I was far away with my telephoto lens. I just snapped candids for quite a while and slowly got closer and closer to them. By the time I was up close, they were comfortable with having their picture taken.

10/29/2005 3:24:31 PM

Craig  Paulsen

member since: 10/16/2005
  A glass of wine always does the trick. Don't have them look at the camera. Photojounalism is the hot item right now. Traditional is just traditional.

10/30/2005 1:36:06 AM

Jill Lenkowski

member since: 6/1/2005
  I would say do a mix of candid and traditional. You never know what the couple is looking for, so give them variety. They will definitely want a more traditional pose for their newspaper picture. Try a google search for engagement pictures. Compile a contact sheet of them and take them with you in case you draw a blank during the session. Relax, have fun, and once you get started it will become more comfortable for you!
Best Wishes!

11/1/2005 5:39:09 AM

Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member
imagismphotos.com

member since: 2/27/2003
  Sarah,
You didn't indicate whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors. This would not affect your posing so much as lighting. Give your couple a variety - full length and close-up images. Make sure not to have every shot with them looking at the camera - have them looking at each other in a number of images (very romantic). If you have them kiss in any shots, remind them to close their eyes as they kiss - otherwise, they probably won't and it will look dumb! If you want some posing ideas, feel free to visit my studio Web site and just click on my Wedding/Engagement gallery. Be relaxed, you'll do fine!
God Bless,
Greg

11/1/2005 6:27:37 AM

John L. Webb

member since: 2/20/2004
  Great advice from Greg, Jill and Craig. Given that we shoot over 50+ weddings a year and an equal number of engagements, my advice is to try and feel those emotive moments and let that shutter go! I prefer fast lenses and films as opposed to flash myself, but then I strongly try to use mood in my work. Good luck !!!

11/1/2005 6:30:00 AM

Linda K. McDonald

member since: 10/20/2005
  When I take portraits outside, I try to schedule them for when the sun is going down ... to catch the warm rays. Other times of day a little fill flash is nice and I always shoot some 100 black and white TX film. Yes, candids are the best! One idea for a pose is to have him put her on his back.

11/1/2005 7:05:46 AM

Cayde Johnson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/5/2004
  I assume you'll be outside for these? Pick a cloudy day or if really sunny, places where you can get fully in the shade (i.e., sides of old buildings or trees). For ideas on poses, google engagement pics and see what other photographers have captured. They are some amazing photogs out there. Also, maybe suggest they wear neutral clothing (nothing busy). If you do use a flash, try to get a bouncer (midi bouncer) to soften the light and fill shadows. Remember to try to be relaxed, and then your subjects will too. I always try to make them laugh, or ask questions about how they met. I also like to shoot some photos where I do NO POSING, and then you seem to capture them at their natural best ... Also try filling your frame with them, or part of his shoulder and her face ... have fun and be creative!!!

11/1/2005 8:17:22 AM

Sarah B. Wittman

member since: 10/29/2005
 
 
 
Thank you all sooo much for your comments and great advice...I think for my first time everything went really well...I'm definately an amater so I think they turned out pretty well! Let me know what you think if you get a chance k?

Thanks again!

-Always,
Sarah

11/1/2005 9:36:37 AM

Sarah B. Wittman

member since: 10/29/2005
  alright everyone..I have a gallery of the engagement pics I took so let me know what you think k??? Thanks!!1

11/1/2005 10:02:06 AM

John L. Webb

member since: 2/20/2004
  I think you did just awesome Sarah!

11/1/2005 10:05:17 AM

Laura M. Ingold

member since: 11/1/2005
  Check out my engagement section of my Web site for ideas and suggestions on clothing. I always tell them I want them to be themselves and have fun together and I will just catch the moments. Usually start out with a little posing and as things go along, they will relax and be more candid. When you are through, leave a few shots on the camera, because they always relax and do fun things and you want to be able to catch it - no problem if you're using digital. Some of my favorite shots were doing this. Have fun,
laura

11/1/2005 11:22:06 AM

Laura M. Ingold

member since: 11/1/2005
  oops. It's Ingoldphotography.com
Laura

11/1/2005 11:23:32 AM

Michelle Ochoa
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/4/2005
  Sarah,

Those pictures are wonderful! They look really relaxed, and that made the difference. What did you do to get them to act natural with each other, even playful?

11/1/2005 11:35:02 AM

Tony L. Avery

member since: 8/4/2005
  I've found in the past that if you allow the couple to be themselves you can get some good poses and expressions. By the way you will be using digital and this allows you to shoot several photos and yo also have the liberty to erase any that you don't like. So shoot plenty of your poses and plenty of theirs.

11/1/2005 8:30:56 PM

Maria Melnyk

member since: 5/2/2004
  Have the future groom sit on the ground with his legs forward and knees bent, and have the future bride kneel behind him and hugging him. She should be to your right so that her engagement ring shows. Couples love this shot, and this is one of several poses I sell the most of. Another one is to have them both stand up, have him behind her, hugging her from the back, and her hands on his forearms. Regarding kissing, I don't do kissing photos for engagement shoots. I save the kissing for the wedding day.

11/3/2005 10:14:04 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Jennifer  L. La Velle
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/22/2004
  93 .  Can an Idea Be Copyrighted?
Hi,
I was wondering, can I copyright an idea? If I have a great idea for holiday poses, can I copyright that idea or can I only copyright the actual photos? I had a brainstorm idea for holiday photos, but then was viewing other photographer's galleries here on BP and found I was not the first to have this brainstorm idea. I already bought all of the stuff to take the pics, and wanted to be sure I wasn't infringing on any "idea" copyright laws. However, if that person hasn't copyrighted the idea, can I do it? My guess is that I can only copyright my actual photos and not the idea.
Jen

10/28/2005 6:51:14 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  No, although direct duplication - pose for pose, prop for prop - of commercial ads has landed agencies into a court battle.

10/28/2005 7:06:00 AM

Michelle Ochoa
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/4/2005
  You can copyright a design, but here are the problems:
1) It's very costly to do so.
2) All you need to do is change one little thing, and you've found the grey area of copyright laws.
3) It's very hard and costly to enforce.

I've checked out some galleries here, and had to do a double take to see if I was looking at the same gallery twice. I've noticed many people use the same poses on their sites, especially pregnancy poses. I've never seen anyone copyright a pose, so I really don't think you would be infringing on anyone else from this forum. And you're not doing print ads commercially, so that's not a problem either. If you're worried about other people stealing your ideas, don't post them on the Internet. And if one of your clients says, "I've seen that pose before", say, "Yeah, but I make it look better!"

10/28/2005 2:54:11 PM

Jennifer  L. La Velle
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/22/2004
  Hi,
Thanks for the info!! I am starting to think there are no new ideas in photography because even if I THINK I had the idea first, I have discovered that I did not. Oh well, guess it was a good idea if others have used it too!
Jen

10/28/2005 3:45:11 PM

Darren Smith

member since: 9/25/2003
  You don't actually need to register a copyright, it is an automatic right that you have as soon as you create your work, whether its a piece of music, a poem or a photo.

I would suggest that it would be impossible to infringe someones copyright by copying poses from a photograph, because you can be sure that every pose you cn imagine has been shot a million times already.

The only intellectual property rights that you can register are Patents, which don't fit here, TradeMarks which again don't fit here and Designs.

Designs are the only IP that deals with appearances, but they are only applicable to the way a product looks. You would not be able to apply a design right to a photo. If you did, all anyone would have to do to beat it would be to change the model (which your doing anyway) in the photo and it would be different enough to get you out of any trouble.

My advice, study as many photo's as you like, and ones you do like, take the poses etc and use them yourself. Every single pose you can imagine has been used a million times already!

D

11/2/2005 12:15:55 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Kristi Eckberg
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/22/2003
  94 .  Help with Senior Portraits
I just did a senior portrait session, and it was really cloudy. I did not use the flash because this girl has very pale skin and my experience with flash and pale skin has not been good. The pictures look a little dull - I believe from being so cloudy out. Is there any way to add catchlights into her eyes or anything I can do in PS to brighten them up a bit?
The gal I photographed has a lot of freckles, and it kind of makes her skin look blotchy and uneven. To present her with the best photos that she will be pleased with, I feel that I should try to smooth out her skin with the clone stamp tool a bit. Is this wrong of me to do since the freckles are part of who she is? I'm not saying try to take them all away so that they are not visible, but I did smooth some out and it does look so much better. I just don't want to offend. For those of you doing senior portraits, what kind of touch ups do you do to the photos?

10/8/2005 8:50:46 PM

Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/7/2005
  Hi Kristi,
I had a gal who had really pasty skin in real life. So, in the pics where a flash was used, it came out REALLY pasty. Anyway, I added a warm filter on PS. It completely changed the lighting. It was a lifesaver.
An option for the freckles: I wouldn't clone stamp the freckles, but I would place a gaussian blur on the photo and erase the blur on the eyes, nose (any facial lines). This will be a remarkable improvement, and still keep her look. It will make them less of a focus in the portrait.
I hope this helps.
Cyndee

10/8/2005 8:58:39 PM

Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/1/2004
  I wouldn't erase the freckles either, but I often use the nose reduction feature in PSE 3.0. This will give you a soft effect to their skin and you can adjust it to how much or how little. I tend to use strength 10 Preserve details (varies on the sharpness and subject, but I use anywhere from 126% to 180%) and Reduct color noise 100% As far as flash goes. The ones in my gallery of Tanya I took using flash. I used my accessory flash and adjusted it to the ISO I was using and then just adjusted the flash head length as I needed. I also put my flash strength to -2 ... that seemed to work well and I don't think it had a bad effect.

10/9/2005 7:17:03 AM

Steve Parrott
LightAnon.com

member since: 9/4/2004
  I am hired by a local studio to retouch all their senior portraits. It can amount to hundreds in a year's time. I also do my own portraiits. Here is the number one question you ALWAYS want to ask your client: Is there anythiing about your looks you do not like? This is much better than saying something like, "do you want me to remove all your freckles, blemishes, etc. Let the client tell YOU what to remove. It is a much more subtle way of approaching the issue. As for skin smoothing, you can use Gaussian Blur, but you will lose sharp edges. The Gaussian will actually blur some background into the outer edges of the skin.. not good. Better to use Median. Create a duplicate layer. Go to FILTER/NOISE/MEDIAN. Enter a radius of about 10 pixels, then lower the opacity of the layer by about 50%. You then use a layer mask to erase areas you want to remain sharp, such as eyes, teeth, and lips. I like keeping the soft blur on the hair, as it looks much better than the hard, sharp, "digital" hair look. Contact me personally if you need some more indepth help.

10/11/2005 12:27:06 PM

Ed Ganze

member since: 7/7/2005
  My suggestion for the freckles is to duplicate the image layer in Photoshop. Then on the duplicate layer clone stamp away, or I prefer the patch or healing brush. Afterwards adjust the opacity down of that layer so that a desired look is achieved. This will not totally wipe away her freckles, but just soften them up a bit.

10/11/2005 2:00:58 PM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  You might like to have a look at the free stand alone CleanSkinFix application at www.mediachance.com which is designed to give the most flattering honest portrait effects...
David

10/12/2005 4:33:31 AM

dennis w. mcclain

member since: 8/2/2004
  first thing I do is run the pic through a program called neat image. you can cut down on noise with this( it should help smooth out the freckles). then I take it into ps, adjust the lighting color and contrast. then make a duplicate layer, and apply white diffused glow. after this, I reduce the opacity on the layer to between 50-75%. you can also add some gaussian blur to give it an ethereal effect

10/13/2005 10:02:23 AM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  guys what if the girl likes the freckles. everyone is saying REMOVE THE FRECKLES and I say, what if she likes them. personally I think freckles are cute so why would you want to rid them? Kristi, you need to ask the client what they don't like. if you just go fixing stuff, the could get offended. that's what makes the unique. we're not all plastic barbies with one set way of doing things. this is art. nothign is absolute. the appearance of freckles doesn't mean get rid of them. it means use every facial feature possible that the client loves about themselves and to brighten up the portrait and give it pop.ask her before you go erasing freckles. I personally would be pissed because what it says to me is "hey you're an ugly girl with these freckles so I did what I thought is pretty and you're opinion doesn't matter."


Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

10/13/2005 11:56:12 AM

Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/7/2005
  Justin! I completely agree with you :). Kristi had said that the freckles made the skin look blotchy and uneven. She just wanted to even out the skin tone :). I think freckles are beautiful! I agree that one should not go rearranging the body to accomodate social "norms" (or "abnorms" in reality).
Cyndee ><>

10/13/2005 12:46:47 PM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Keep the freckles. Freckles are beautiful!

10/13/2005 3:02:50 PM

Kristi Eckberg
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/22/2003
  I totally agree and I'am not trying to erase her freckles or change who she is. That is what I orgignally asked the question about. I do not want to offend her so I was looking for advice on just how to smooth or even the skin tone a bit. She did not wear any face makeup which I assume never does or she would have put some on. Not wearing any makeup when you have blemishes and uneven skin really shows up it seems with digial cameras. It just makes it hard for me to touch up her blemishes that are showing and also try to even out her skin tones. They asked me before the shoot if I could touch up the skin a bit. I'am still learning how to work with lighting, don't have any fancy light equipment or reflectors. People have seen my work and love it and there for I have been getting business and everyone has been very happy with their photos. I'am asking if I should do these touch ups b/c the few portraits I have seen from some of the local studios obviously work with reflectors and good lighting equipment b/c all the skin tones look smooth and even. My clients all know I'am just starting out and know what I can or cannot do.
I absolutley am not trying to change her to the way I think she needs to look. I'am not that kind of person or photographer.
There is alot to learn about doing senior portraits so I need to ask questions like this. Thanks for everyone's responses.

10/13/2005 8:07:13 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Michelle Ochoa
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/4/2005
  95 .  Backdrop Sizes
Is there a general rule on what size of backdrop to use depending on the number of people you're photographing? Would a group of 6 fit on a 6' x 9'? When would you need a 20' long backdrop?

10/4/2005 10:51:53 AM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  Short answer ... not really.
Can you squeeeeeze 6 persons onto a 6x9? Yes, but they better know each other really, really well. However, there are a lot of "depends" which only you can answer:
Depends on how large the people are. Depends on how close together you want them.
Depends on how much of them you want to see. And,
Depends on what focal length lens you are using.

A 6x9 backdrop is more suitable for individuals, and couples. A trio at best. Full length with a 6x9 is difficult with average height adults, assuming you want the backdrop to cover the entire image frame.
OK, you just might be able to photograph 6 really small kids on a 6x9 if you could squeeze them tightly together, then tie them up to keep them contained.

A 20' long backdrop might be in order for a bride with a long train. Remember, you probably want 7-8 feet worth of height, a couple of feet in the sweep, which only leaves you with about 10' coming out. Given that you want some breathing space around the bride, you can eat up that 10' in a heartbeat.

Something else to consider is the focal length of the lens in use. The focal length will determine how much of the backdrop shows side-to-side, and top-to-bottom, as will how far away your lens is from the backdrop. The wider the lens, the more backdrop you will see, requiring your backdrop to be proportionally wider so as to fill the frame.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

10/4/2005 11:40:30 AM

Michelle Ochoa
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/4/2005
  Thank you so much for your response. What if I don't know how many subject, or the size? I could have a couple, or I could have a group of 10 ... some kids, some adults, maybe a mix. And this is all at one event. I'm just starting out using backdrops (I'm more of the candid type of photographer). Would a 10' x 15' be a good safe and versatile size? Or would 15' x 20' be better?

10/4/2005 2:12:46 PM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  Size can become a big issue for location shooting. Physically handling large backdrops can be a problem, unless you have your own road crew. If you are unsure of the group sizes, such as in a large family reunion, you'll either need to inquire a little, or be prepared for anything. Good luck with that! Perhaps you can use an alternative natural background for your shots. If not, and you anticipate groups as large as 10 or so, I'd opt for a large muslin, at least 15x20. Keep in mind that the average width of an adult is about 18 inches, plus you need breathing room on the sides. Be sure you have enough flash power also. I presume you have some studio lights that you will use.
Michael

10/4/2005 6:02:29 PM

Michelle Ochoa
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/4/2005
  The events I do are mostly Bar / Bat Mitzvahs, so most are couples of families of about 5, but with this new service I'm offering, I expect I may have a few more group shots. They're not formal shots, and I'm overlaying graphics onto the photo, so I have a little room to fudge. I mostly need enough length on the muslin, so I can put kids on the floor, or have them kneeling/crouching. I will have some studio lighting, plus my flash, so that should be ok. And because it's all digital, I can always adjust a little later.

Thank you again for all your help!

10/5/2005 10:32:33 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Kalina J. Rumbalski

member since: 6/30/2005
  96 .  Color Portrait Film
I am just curious as to what brand of portait film that members on BetterPhoto use in a studio setting. Thanks.

10/3/2005 9:03:08 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Kalina,
In Portrait work, I always preferred Kodak film being very warm. For outside shots, I used Fuji film, better for blues and greens. And these days, I use a Lexar Memory card. I have gone digital. But I hope this helps,
Debby

10/3/2005 9:18:34 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Kodak Portra NC.

10/3/2005 3:41:24 PM

Maria Melnyk

member since: 5/2/2004
  It's not enough to just say "Kodak" or "Fuji"; one needs to be more specific because there are many Kodak & Fuji films. For portraits nothing beats the top two: Kodak Portra NC and the new and very terrific Fuji Pro 160S. This applies to both studio and outdoor settings.

10/4/2005 9:12:58 PM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  And on the transparency side Fuji Astia and Provia is not bad. Could exxagerate colors a tad too much in studio, I really don't know; I'm just rambling.

10/4/2005 9:16:52 PM

Buddy Purugganan

member since: 8/31/2002
  I also recommend FUJI PRESS,Agfa Optima, and for Black and White the BEST include Ilford Delta Series, and Kodak B & W PLUS.

10/9/2005 7:10:19 PM

Maria Melnyk

member since: 5/2/2004
  Buddy, there's nothing wrong with the films you suggested; they're all very good. However, for portraits I would not recommend Fuji Press (which, by the way, is the exact same emulsion as Fuji Superia; Fuji just packages it as Press film and charges $1.00 more per roll).

Agfa Optima is fine for portraits, I'll agree to that, except that it's more expensive than the import versions of Kodak & Fuji portrait films. Ilford Delta is not as good for portraits as Ilford FP4-125 or HP5-400, although it is superior to these two for fine art photography. Kodak B&W Plus (BW400CN) is a matter of opinion. I LOVE it for the first roll I shoot in a bride's house while she's getting ready (using only available light), but for portraits Ilford FP4 is a must for me. Also - important, but very few photographers know this - use a pale blue filter for portraits with black & white film: 82A. It must be 82A, not B. It brings out the skin tones and lips and keeps your B&W portrait from looking flat.

10/9/2005 9:34:41 PM

  FujiFilm 100ISO of Kodak Pro B&W 100ISO. I like the detail that slow film affords.


Walrath Photographic Imaging
http://home.comcast.net/~flash19901/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html

10/11/2005 3:44:30 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Donna Volkmann

member since: 9/29/2005
  97 .  Outdoor Portraiture
I'm photographing a large 20-person group at 4:00pm in a couple of weeks and am wondering which direction would be the best to place them. I've done small groups before and have had much success, but a group this large seems to be a little bit more overwhelming. I found a spot near a lake that would make a very nice backdrop but the lake would mean me facing the people with their backs to the sunset west. From everything I've learned this would not be the best choice. There are a couple spots where I could possibly place them in the shade of a large tree. Would I just use my fill flash then to balance the backlight from the sunset? Any suggestions would be much help.

9/30/2005 5:28:12 PM

  Man, tough one. First, ideally diffuse light would be best. We love clouds for outdoor portaiture. Barring this fortunate meteorological occurence, mix it up a little. Take a step ladder, face them into the sun and shoot down on them. The ground would provide less contrast than would a bright sky behind your subjects. Try to make lines from the faces, angles or triangles. They are very pleasing to the eye and give the portrait solidity, sense to the madness of forty eyes staring back at you. Don't use props like pets or hobby paraphernalia as they will clutter an already jumbled portrait. If they are in the shade of a large tree, fill flash would definitely be best as some of the faces may be in sunlight and some in shadow.
Even lighting is the key. But try a roll on someone you know in the same place and positions you might use on the shoot and one-hour the prints and see how they turn out. Then you can make adjustments to your technique. Do it again next weekend and one-hour those. Fine tune your technique once more and then go out and have no fear. Have fun. After all, you are the photographer that they chose. You are the pro. Act like it and you will see just what can come of preparation and practice. And get to know your subjects. They will be more comfortable with you and make your job A LOT easier. Good luck.

Walrath Photographic Imaging
http://home.comcast.net/~flash19901/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html

9/30/2005 7:32:42 PM

GARY FESPERMAN

member since: 9/27/2003
  Hi Donna
Christopher gave you some good advice.
In addition if you shot Digital you can do your photo test on site.
Important when doing group photos. Ask them to ware like clothing.
Example Jeans, with Jean shirts and Skirts or light blues. Solid colors work best.
Avoid bright colors such as Red, Orange, and Yellow - unless everyone is wearing them.
Gary

10/6/2005 12:33:18 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Donna;
1)Be careful with that many people that the shadow of one person does not fall on another..with 20 ppl its easy to overlook this error, so scrutinize the scene before you shoot.

2)If you are shooting with any tele at all, be careful not to position anyone too deep or shallow in the photo as DOF will be small and some ppl may be out of focus.

3)Don't use fill flash! Unless you are positioning all these ppl in a VERY tight arrangement, I doubt your flash will cover the ppl at the ends.
If on the other hand you have sveral umbrellas and the power, fire away! LOL

4) Shoot your best FPS, "Frames per Second"

5) When you have them all arranged the way you want them, tell them to relax and look at the cam, BUT tell them you're not ready to shoot just yet..Then..BAM! Crank off a few. You might be surprised how much better a group shot is when they think you're not shooting for real...just testing. (wink) Old hollywood movie technique.
The director would tell the actors to just "run thru it a few times so we can get a sound check" Many times THIS was the "take" that was printed.

6) With 20 ppl, there is a good chance some will have their eyes closed..So Bam-Bam-Bam..short rest, maybe 5 secs, then Bam-Bam-Bam..Three more in rapid succession.

Happy shooting,

Pete

10/7/2005 9:04:50 PM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  A friend of mine recently handled the contrast problem in a similar shoot by getting assistants to hold white sheets - beds sheets - above the group to difuse the light. Another sheet on the ground acted as a reflector to soften the shadows. No flash, lovely, soft, natural light!

10/8/2005 6:44:59 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Lee 

member since: 9/23/2005
  98 .  Avoiding Reflection from Eyeglasses
How can I avoid reflections from eyeglasses? My camera has a built in flash (Sony DSC-F717).

9/23/2005 6:36:00 PM

  Turn off the flash!

9/24/2005 4:50:38 AM

  Have the person wearing glasses raise that part that goes over the ear a quarter or half so the glasses' lens is more at a downward angle. Don't tilt them so much that it looks odd, just enough to not bounce the flash reflection back at the camera...
Hope this helps.

9/24/2005 8:45:09 AM

  Too early ... Make that a quarter or half INCH above the ear.

9/24/2005 8:46:37 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  If the person will oblige, ask him or her politely to take them off for the photo. If they are hesitant to do this, stand at a slight angle. The reflections from the flash will fall out of frame.

9/24/2005 3:01:01 PM

Carol Kalinowski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/24/2005
 
 
 
I take a lot of pics of fish. I have 12 aquariums up to 6 ft long ... so lots of practice with glass and glare. To use flash and cut glare, just hold a piece of paper towel or tissue over the flash. You can experiment with how many layers. Some fish photographers also tape the paper towel on ... just make sure it isn't resting directly against the flash. Works like a charm.

9/25/2005 4:20:43 AM

  I've always been told by teachers, who were professional portrait photographers, to see if the customer could bring a pair of similar glasses (to what they normally would wear) but wearing them without the lenses. That is, with the frames, but without the glass. I've found retouching flashes in the glass is more than my nerves can handle. However, I've also noticed that if you don't photograph the person straight on, like more to the side, there is no reflection (depending, of course, on the placement of the lights). By far, however, it's best to remove the glass from the frames ... because your fill-in light may hit the glass in a way that is a big negative all the way around.
It takes a lot of practice to find the correct angle to light and shoot with the lenses in the frame. Plus, their facial features may not be best captured at that angle.

9/26/2005 4:50:04 PM

Margie 

member since: 11/10/2004
  I have also heard about asking the person to bring glasses without lenses. I think this is ridiculous. Many people wouldn't own several pairs of glasses and they shouldn't have to remove the lenses to make your shoot easier. My opinion is that this shows you're not very professional and gives the impression that you don't know what you're doing. Far better to use one of the other techniques mentioned than give the impression you can't handle the situation.

9/28/2005 5:28:35 AM

  Wife and I had our portrait done last night for a church directory. Olan Mills (studio) did the photoing. 10 shots in about 5 minutes. Fade out, fade in to the sales pitch room.....they slip a floppy disk (how many quality pics can a floppy disk hold?)with our 10 pics on it into a laptop for us to preview....big square glare on my glasses in each pic...they told me it wouldn't be there in the printed pics we would be getting, that they would "fix it".......I understand in digital that there are some things you can let slide and "fix" later, but I was still a tad disappointed that they let the glare slide in the first place.
Bob

9/28/2005 7:35:33 AM

  It's very tough, Bob, to avoid the glare and reflection, and even tougher to spot or retouch it out. This is because a true artist is needed to rebuild the customer's eye and face once the reflection occurs. Hence, it not only takes time but also more money to pay a talented artist to reconstitute what should have been avoided in the first place.

I've seen images where reknown professionals such as the reknown Yosuf Karsh, the portrait photographer's photographer, has the "talent" holding his/her pair of eye glasses in their hands, rather than having their glasses on their face.

Prevention is better than frustration and unhappy customers.

~Bunny

9/28/2005 7:52:03 AM

  Yeah, I was wondering what my eye would look like afterwards. I was gonna ask, but opted not to.
It's getting close to Halloween, tho, so I could go to the dollar store and buy a pirate eye-patch and slap that on the picture....:-)

9/28/2005 8:12:42 AM

Maria Melnyk

member since: 5/2/2004
  Don't use pop-up flash. Use a flash unit that you can raise above the camera.

In either case, some cameras give off a pre-flash, so you can see the effect as you take the picture. Also, if you use umbrella or softbox lighting, you can see the modeling lights reflecting on the glasses, so if that's the case, you can make your adjustments before you take the picture.

9/28/2005 3:59:16 PM

  I received better lighting when using an external flash off the camera and angled slightly toward a 45 degree angle. But, there still was a reflection. Additionally, there are soft boxes that come in narrow rectangles, and look more natural for some reflections in glassware, for example. But, not in eye glasses, unless both your "talent" (customer) approves along with you, the photographer.

Prevention is still better than guessing.

9/28/2005 4:59:14 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Tracy Smith

member since: 3/15/2002
  99 .  When You Must Shoot In Midday Sunlight
I am shooting with another company that contracts for school sports portraits. Sometimes, the schools require that we shoot at 2:00 pm outdoors in the direct sun. I did this for the first time yesterday, only to come home and see these awful images!!
The best angle to shoot the kids meant the kids were looking directly into the sun. Even having the sun come in from the side caused a lot of squinting. So, we shot with the sun above and slightly behind the subject to avoid the squinting.
I shot with a SB-800 Flash for fill on a Nikon D70 with the standard ED short lens. When the sun went behind the clouds, the images were fine. What I didn't know how to balance was flash output, aperture, ISO, and shutter for the best possible results in the worst possible lighting. Any suggestions out there??

9/17/2005 3:46:59 AM

  Tracy,
Occasionally I am confronted with a similar situation when shooting commercial jobs outside. We always overpower the sun with flash. What I mean by that is that your approach, which is fine most of the time, uses the sun as the 'key' or main (more powerful) light and your flash as a 'fill' light. I reverse that order, flash being brighter than the sun. The key theory here is that shutter speed controls ambient (sun) light and aperture controls the flash.
To do this, take your camera and flash off any automatic modes and set them to manual. Start with the camera set on manual and take a meter reading of the kid, or a test subject before the kids arrive so you are ready to go. Let's say the camera says f/8 at 1/250th and the test shot shows exactly the ugly light you describe. Now change the f/stop to f/11 and you are now underexposing the ambient light 1 stop. Turn on the flash and with it on manual, choose a power setting to give you f/11 output. You can also leave it on auto TTL and you should get the correct output. Or turn the flash to manual and set the output for f/11. Experiment with someone, so you have this down before the next job.

9/17/2005 6:59:19 AM

Tracy Smith

member since: 3/15/2002
  Thanks for the suggestions. I will try it out tomorrow if I am able to stand in the sun after getting cooked in it today!!!

9/17/2005 4:25:14 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  At 2:00, the sun has an angle to it, especially this time of year, so I always prefer to have the sun as backlight and use a flash.

9/17/2005 5:51:53 PM

Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/1/2004
  Gregory .. . do you experience much glare on the lens shooting into the sun?? I use the lens hood but sometimes it seems to still not be enough??

9/18/2005 7:00:51 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  no, I'm not talking about sun right outside the angle of view. High sun should only need a lens hood for wide angles. Wider than 28mm. At least for level shooting.

9/18/2005 11:46:19 PM

Tracy Smith

member since: 3/15/2002
  I shot with the sun as backlight on that day I spoke of in the original question, and didn't have a problem with glare. And I like to shoot with backlight, but I had such a problem with getting the exposure correct for skin tones...a white helmet that was blending in with white pants...and a football field in the background that was not all that green like a well tended football field should be!! I've gotten some suggestions to try though, and hopefully will be able to figure it out!

9/19/2005 6:18:35 AM

Linda D. Smith

member since: 5/10/2005
  Tracy,
one other thing you can try, if you have a good stand and clamp, or a helper, try putting up a black reflector over and or behind your subject to block out part of the sun, and add a little shade if possible. I have done this and it can make the difference needed to get the eyes with adding flash, that may or may not flatten your subject. And you get to see the results as you are doing it so you can change the position of the board before you take the shot. Takes a few extra minutes sometimes, but can make the difference of a saved or lost shot.

9/20/2005 11:44:54 AM

Douglas Easton

member since: 6/20/2004
  Going back to the original answer... I work for a small local newspaper that can't afford decent camera equipment. The two photographers (me and someone else) get by using Canon 380EXs. These are obviousley rather old and don't have manual settings on the flash. Is there anyway I can control the flash to get the same effect?

Many thanks,
Doug

9/20/2005 2:57:38 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Christy Jackme
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/3/2005
  100 .  Lighting Kits, Group Photography
A gym wants to hire me to do group and individual pics of over 200 gymnasts. I have done group portraits in the past when I worked for another studio. My question concerns equipment. I will be using a Digital Rebel. Is this going to be good enough? No one will be ordering anything over an 8x10. And I am looking into the lighting I will need to purchase. I have seen a set from Alien Bees that will be perfect, but is $700. Don't have that much until after I do the job. But I found a Smith-Victor kit with 2 12" floodlights- 500W, 1 5" floodlight-250W, umbrellas and a wheeled case for $232. Is this a good deal, and would it do what I need. The largest grouping would only be 20 girls. And a lot of the groups are less than 10 people. Please help! I appreciate any advice or suggestions. I don't want to turn this job down because I can't afford the equipment.

9/7/2005 9:26:39 AM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  As far as individual portraits, a single umbrella or softbox should be fine ... maybe a fill reflector as well.
Now, the group of 20 people is a whole new ball game. I hope you have experience in posing that many people.
One umbrella is NOT enough, unless you get them all (VERY) tightly grouped. If there is a large window, you may want to use it as a primary light source.
To artificially light 20 people will require a lot of flash power that must light everyone equally. You don't want any shadows on the people from others in the group, so position them with care. The digital instant feedback will be invaluable here. Then again, you don't want to look like a newbie and have to continually re-pose the 20 people.
Are you shooting in the gym? If so, watch out for color casts, as gyms often use either fluorescent or merc-vapor. Unless your lighting is strong, this can lead to a mixed lighting prob.
Tip: Go to the gym and shoot some practice shots before you actually do the shoot. You won't need 20 people to test ... 3 or 4 friends will do as you can position them at all the extremes - i.e., 2 at the ends and 2 in the middle.
Concerning equipment: Buy as much output power as you can afford.

9/7/2005 8:50:19 PM


BetterPhoto Member
  Christy
The SV light kit will not work very well for you because it is too low in power. SV does make strobes also, but some of those are less power than your on-camera flash. If you use an umbrella, there will be hardly any power to light the people. I urge you to go rent from a pro shop if you can. See if you can rent some power packs like Norman, Speedptron, Dyna Light, or any top brand. Try for two 2000 watt second power packs with three light heads and three of the biggest/softest white umbrellas they might rent. Place two of the light heads with umbrellas at one side of the camera at about 45 degrees either side. Split the power between the two lights heads plugged into that pack so they each have 1000ws each. Then the third light head/umbrella and power pack next to the camera, opposite side from the other lights and set at -1 from the other pack/lights or 1000ws itslef. Pete is correct - if you use the available light it will be a different color than the strobes or window light and that will look bad. You may want to rent one more light to put some separately on the background, so it does not fade to black, which looks amateur. For the individual shots you can also use the same setup, but scale back on total power. It might be worth your while to rent this stuff and practice well before you do the job, so you have it perfected.
Have fun!
Charlie

9/7/2005 10:10:20 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Also please look in on the thread "Studio Photography-the cooked husband". This will help you a lot with lighting and I have put a link to the vender that I and several others have used.
Also, I had added a graph on posing a group of 30 - for Michelle's girls basketball shoot.
I believe you will fine a LOT of help here. Here's the link:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18585

I do hope this helps.

9/8/2005 6:49:30 AM

Gregg 

member since: 11/10/2004
  The Alien Bees should do the trick. Two of them with umbrellas. The 160's make a great system for individual portraits lights. Use 200 or 400 ISO and drag your shutter to aleast 1/30. Make sure on the 20 group your f stop is aleast 6.7 or 8. Do a custom WB as the gym will have a color cast from there overhead lights. If the Rebel has presets for flourescants, that may work.

9/14/2005 7:59:43 AM

Maria Melnyk

member since: 5/2/2004
  Hi, Christy, can you do the group shot outdoors? Then you only have to worry about lighting indoors for the individual portraits, unless you can do those outdoors too. If you do, please make sure your background is pleasing and uncluttered, and suitable to your subjects.

And yes, your digital Rebel is good enough.

9/14/2005 12:54:52 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
<< Previous 10 skip to page
1 << 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | ...16
Next 10  >>

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.