Uploaded: May 07, 2013


ISO 1600, 34mm, f 5.6, 1/160

Exif: F Number: 5.6, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 1/160 seconds, Flash: did not fire., ISO: 1600, White balance: Manual white balance, FocalLength: 34.00 mm, Model: NIKON D5100


Elaine Hessler May 07, 2013

This is a very unusual picture for me to take, much less post. Guess where I was? (Dale knows, so he can't guess:) #1527270

Dale Hardin May 07, 2013

I like the mood of this image. Not only with the pose and location, but mainly the light.

I was a bit surprised, based on the strong shadow indicating a strong light source, that more light was not reflected off the glass opening up the short side a bit more. But after reviewing it closer I can see that the angle of the light would have reflected away toward the camera.

Nicely done Elaine, and I do not know where this is. :o) What am I forgetting? #10685260

Kalena Randall May 07, 2013

Nice portrait, Elaine.

Rita K. Connell level-classic May 07, 2013

Elaine for the setting and the lighting you capture her very well. you feel her isolation and deep in thought. well done! #10685306

lisa anderson May 07, 2013

Very nice portrait, Elaine! What did you take this for? #10685314

Jeff E Jensen May 07, 2013

This works really well, Elaine. The strong light and shadows really helps to portray the mood. I think this would also work really well in B&W. #10685395

Debbie E. Payne May 07, 2013

I like this, Elaine. For your class, right?i like all the angles in this one, too! Plus a good one for the challenge. WTG. #10685493

Arthur Bohlmann May 08, 2013

Nice capture and agree with Jeff about this image in B&W #10685922

Susan Williams level-classic May 08, 2013

Very nice candid portait, Elaine. Agree with Jeff and think it would be even stronger in B&W. #10685931

Elaine Hessler May 08, 2013

I must fess up and tell you that I was at a small flash workshop last week. We learned all about different types of flash equipment, then there were a few stations that were set up with models, and we got to have some fun.

This station used a soft box aimed from the above right. To be honest, she positioned herself, all I had to do was press the button. Now I know the beauty of using a model-they want to pose for you! She really made it easy for us.

We were told what settings to use with each station. We were told with this one to use an ISO of 1600. For those of you that know what you are doing, do you think this is because some light from the flash is lost using the soft box? I'll post some other pictures later-we used much lower ISOs for those that used umbrellas as a reflector.

So here's the BW conversion-nice call on that all of you. I used the "portrait" setting on PSE. Let me know what you think. #10686008

Elaine Hessler May 08, 2013

Here are two more from the workshop. The first used a flash aimed at the silver lining of an umbrella so it was reflected onto the model. We used a reflector to the right, the flash was to the left. This was underexposed, so I had to work a bit on this, and can't recover what is in the shadows (too dark).

The second photo has the same setup, but there was a flash behind the model with a blue gel (two flashes).

There were 30 people at the workshop, so we didn't get a lot of time to spend taking pictures.

Again, we were told what settings to use on our cameras. Can someone please school me on the logic of the different settings used and why? Thanks! #10686026

Dale Hardin May 08, 2013

I'm very surprised that the workshop did not explain the reasons for each setting. What is the point if the participants job is just to "stand here and click?" Doesn't sound like a very useful learning experience.

I don't mean to sound negative, but truly don't understand the benefit of paying for "lessons" with 30 other people and getting no technical instruction. Am I missing something? #10686037

Susan Williams level-classic May 08, 2013

I agree with Dale. It would have been helpful if you were allowed to change your settings and move the reflectors to compare the results later when you have time to study the images. That's the best way to learn when you don't have time to ponder each shot at the time. Sounds like the class was over-crowded and more of a money-maker than serious instruction. I hope I'm being a little unfair and that the workshop was worthwhile overall. I recently bought some umbrella reflectors and round flat reflectors that I can take along, and have learned a lot just playing around with a light tent - a great way to spend a rainy day indoors. Indoors or outdoors, it's about light. #10686068

Michael Kelly level-deluxe May 08, 2013

Elaine I like your original post and the B&W Version of it the best - Very nicely done even if you were given the settings.

There are tree things in a camera that control exposure: f stop which determines how much light comes in through the lens and of course also controls DOF. Shutter speed which controls how long that light is going to hit the film or sensor and also controls motion both subject blur if your subject is moving and camera blur how steady your camera is held. ISO which is sensor or film sensitivity or how reactive your medium is to the amount of light that strikes it. The trade off for higher sensor or film sensitivity is noise or grain at higher settings. Photography is all about balancing act utilizing these three. In your posted photo you had the following settings f5.6 1/160 second and ISO 1600. The settings allow for small DOF plenty of speed to stop a slightly moving subject and I think you were using a tripod so no camera movement issues. The ISO reading of 1600 is high and you were bound to get a little noise but from the result it was the only variable that could be changed much to allow the proper amount of light for the exposure. However, I might have shot at 1/80 of a second at ISO 800 which would be exactly the same exposure and I think 1/80 would have been plenty of speed to catch a relatively motionless model and reduced the chance of noise significantly. So the trade offs are double the ISO double the shutter speed. One full f stop open double the shutter speed - note that your f stop settings are probably 1/3 stop increments so you need to move two to get a full stop in either direction. #10686248

Elaine Hessler May 08, 2013

Thanks Michael. I probably should have been more clear in my question above. I think what stood out to me was the high ISO of 1600 when using the softbox, compared to 200 when using the reflective umbrella along with backlighting. I was wondering if using a soft box really leads to 3 stops less light, due to the diffusing cloth over it. That's the only thing I can think of why we used that high ISO. And I agree, if I had more time, I would have decreased the ISO to 800. Thank you for the explanation.

This was a crash course in speed lights (3.5 hrs after work), and I really did learn A LOT (more than in my last few BP courses, unfortunately). I think he covered way too much info on the lighting equipment and placement in his talk, to the point I was so overwhelmed by the time we got to play. I may have not heard the reasoning for the settings, and yes, there were too many people, so we didn't have a lot of time to fiddle. And no, they didn't make much $ on the class-I think they were expecting to do that when we bought equipment from the store. It was tempting, but I am waiting before I buy anything. I don't mean to defend this type of instruction, but it was a good intro to this subject. I still have a lot to learn and the best way to figure out how to use this stuff is to use it...

Oh, and thanks Mike for the last reminder about the increments-I'll check my camera.

Thanks all for the comments! #10686368

Michael Kelly level-deluxe May 08, 2013

Sorry misunderstood the question. I don't have a simple answer though. When using artificial lighting so much depends on power and placement. I am sure that a soft box in general will produce less light than a reflective umbrella mainly because the light is diffused over a larger area more than the the loss due to the diffusion material itself. I have to assume that is the reason for the high ISO. It will not always be the case though. In these situations I use an external meter to give the exposure settings. #10686391

Dale Hardin May 08, 2013

Mike is right about the light Elaine. It depends on power and placement. The soft box will produce less light but not because it is a larger area because it is possible the umbrella was actually larger than the soft box. It is because of the diffuser on the box if the power and distance from the subject are the same.

Depending on the distance from the subject, there is also a difference in the softness of the light between the two. The umbrella tends to scatter light all over while the soft box is more directional due to it's enclosed nature.

Scattering light is not always a bad thing because it tends to wrap the light around the subject more, due in part to reflections on object in the vicinity. #10686402

Elaine Hessler May 08, 2013

Yes, sorry I was very unclear above. I completely forgot about the placement of the light. Duh.

When I signed up for this workshop, I was expecting it to be more basic speed light instruction without the fancy equipment. I'm still glad I went, I did learn a lot.

Thanks guys for the detailed explanations:) Very much appreciated. #10686418

Debbra Bailey level-deluxe May 08, 2013

As usual, lots of great info!

Elaine, I really like the portrait! Wish my seniors just posed themselves! lol #10686503

Beth Spencer May 08, 2013

Wow! That's a lot to think about but great information. I really like the black and white portrait #10686564

Peter W. Marks May 10, 2013

Thanks Elaine. A pretty girl is a pretty girl! Then it got technical and after I had stopped laughing at old Dale's grouchy impersonation of me with low blood sugar I have enjoyed this thread although I never get into studio photography.
All very interesting comments on the type of photography courses too.
Now it is 6.18am and I am off to SIUE fitness center for some self-inflicted pain.
Blessings, friends. #10687978

To discuss, first log in or sign up (buttons are at top center of page).

Get Constructive Critiques

Sign up for an interactive online photography course to get critiques on your photos.


Did You Know?

BetterPhoto Websites: If you see an orange website link directly under the photographer's name, it's totally okay. It's not spam. The reason: BetterPhoto is the one that offers these personal photography websites. We are supporting our clients with those links.

Unavailable EXIF: If there is no other information but 'Unavailable' in the EXIF (meaning no EXIF data exists with the photo), the 'Unavailable' blurb is not displayed. If there is any info, it shows. Many photos have the EXIF stripped out when people modify the image and resave it, before uploading.


The following truth is one of the core philosophies of BetterPhoto:

I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.

You learn by doing. Take your next online photography class. Editor's Pick

Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Elaine Hessler.
Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.
Log in to follow or message this photographer or report this photo.