ICD - so what did you decide, what's the update, have you got any new lighting gear and have you been trying any of it. Would love to hear what you're doin'..
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07-03-2012 07:08 PM
- Join Date
- May 2010
Yes picked up a speedlight, need to clear out some stuff from the living room before it's a working studio. Two questions:
- What is a modelling light for and why is everyone talking about it? Don't really get it... just a lamp ducttaped to the strobe? The photographers "directors viewfinder" or what?
- Recycling time, I guess it's the rate you can fire it? Because I was kinda dissapointed how slow the speedlight is... I just assumed modern flashes could be fired without hassle. Oops!
(PS. Confused with terms cus I'm a foreigner, not retarded... )
Last edited by ICD Films; 07-03-2012 at 07:12 PM.
07-03-2012 07:42 PM
A modelling light does a few things,
- It lets you preview what the effect of the light will have on your subject and scene so you can get an idea of what your final image will look like once the actual more powerful flash head fires. It also therefore gives you an idea of where the shadows will fall on your subject. Read (google) rembrant lighting, butterfly lighting to get an idea of these different light placement techniques.
- In the old days I imagine a modelling light was used more to previsualize the lighting effect since working with film you would not see the results until developed afterwards. These days however you can take a few test snaps until you get the lighting to your liking. (Its not like you move your lighting after each shot or two)
- Another more practical and modern use of modelling lights is to help out the speed of your auto-focus on your DSLR - although it should work pretty good in low lighting conditions. A photographer who's work I really admire (and also shoots a lot with speedlights) is Stephen Eastwood and I've seen him use a low power light just over his camera position to light his subject slightly to help out focusing. Generally if you shoot with decent shutter speeds you are cutting out stray daylight anyway, so you can shoot with some daylight coming in the windows but rely mainly on your speedlight to light your scene. Experiement, but I suggest shooting around 1/125th.
With your Canon and 580EXii you can simulate a "modelling light" by pressing the depth of field preview button on your camera body. It will strobe your speedlight really fast for a few seconds allowing you to see the lighting effect and shadow placement on your subject. Don't do it too much, excessive strobing like that is not good for your flash at all.
As for recycling time, it is pretty fast on a 580EXii (I own three of them and they all fire fast). Be sure to use high amp rechargeable batteries. I am using 2600mAh AA's and have no problems. If you are still not getting good recycling times then I suspect something wrong with your 580EXii. By the way for about $80-$90 I bought 20 2600mAh with battery charger on ebay... look into something like that since its a bloody steal of a deal.
Last edited by starcentral; 07-03-2012 at 07:47 PM.
07-04-2012 09:50 AM
Most of the guys I've seen shoot with shoemounts use something like a Qunatum battery plugged into the power port (if your flash has one). Instant recycle with those.
As for watt-seconds... shooting 4x5 film (view camera product shots) at like f45... yes, you'd have several huge packs going. We only shot 400 speed film if we wanted some grain or for location situations with no light. DSLRs just don't need as much light. Even for product shots with a DSLR I'm using a couple 1000ws packs.
Modeling lights - they're showing you everything in the lighting chain - reflectors, grids, flags, softboxes - the bulb is placed near the flash tube. Higher end gear has modeling lights up to 250 watts vs. 50-100 watts - makes a nice difference.
Shooting 6x7 film with a prism attached would effectively lower your viewfinder by like 2 stops - could be impossible to focus; photogs would often have a big 500 watt open faced light when they started shooting, with the shutter speed fast enough to negate it - we called those "focusing lights". Once you started to shoot you'd lose all the "mood" of your model lights, so it kind of sucked rolling that way - remember, we pulled polaroids at the start of the shoot and had no LCD to check the progress of the shoot, so losing the mood/style of your setup was a leap of faith and really jacked with your creativity - you had to really envision how the film was going to look; for complex lighting setups, you'd often pull a 'roid at the END of the shoot to make sure nothing changed, like a pack not firing or a flag dropping.
Shooting film was definitely a "separates the men from the boys" era - after an expensive shoot it was tough to sleep sometimes, waiting for your snip tests from the lab. There were far fewer commercial shooters back then, you really had to know your stuff. Ah, the old days.
08-04-2012 01:20 PM
- Join Date
- May 2010
So, first studio shoot ever today (and pretty much first time ever using a flash at all...) Model had to wait for me fiddling around with the settings on the flash, but other than that, I think we did ok.
We played around a bit with letting in natural light aswell, I had ductaped the windows with paper but I felt I got the "cheap studio look" so we played around some with that, aswell as positioning of the flash. From the right felt "right" on her face.
Umbrella, 580ex2, 5dmk2, iso200, silver disc
Last edited by ICD Films; 09-22-2012 at 06:07 PM.
08-04-2012 01:43 PM
Hey those are some great shots and a great start! You will only get better.
I bought a disc holder that is pretty handy and can go on top of light stand so you don't have to have someone hold it.
Pretty good shadow placement in the first pic, you can tell from nose shadow you pretty well got the light 45 to side and 45 degrees up. Use that shadow as your guide for your lighting setups. Also your DOF preview button on camera should strobe your 580 so you can quickly see light/shadow. Its like a quick modelling lamp..
Looking forward to seeing more stuff... Great thing is you can take your setup practically anywhere.
Last edited by starcentral; 08-05-2012 at 05:54 PM.
08-05-2012 05:34 PM
- Join Date
- May 2010
Any tips how do to get larger eyelights? Bigger umbrella? The gigantic ones seem to be mostly non-transparent...
08-05-2012 05:52 PM
There are a couple ways,
Use a larger light modifier (umbrella, softbox, etc..) or you can move your smaller light modifier closer to your subject.
If you want a full body shot then obviously a small umbrella weill have to be further away and therefore appear much smaller in the eye. Also an umbrella as a light modifier FAR away will light more of the whole area along with the subject, so you could end up getting a flatter looking image without a lot of contrast. A great light modifier for full body shots is a large octobox of rectangle softbox with grid. It can be further away but the grid helps keep your light directed and therefore will help keep your contrast under control in your image. Also for large light modifiers far away I recommend multiple 580's or you will have to shoot much higher ISO's and lower f-stops.
On the other hand, if you are just doing 1/2 or 1/4 body shots then just move your umbrella closer to your subject before it is in the frame of your shot. This will work well and then use your reflector on the opposite side to give you the amount of contrast you like. Its also your cheapest option.
Here's an image I took with my light only a couple feet from my subject, note the nice large round reflection in the eye. I used one 580EXII in a beauty dish as the key light, and a second 580EXII through x-small chimera softbox lighting the white backdrop. Triggered with pocket wizard TT1 and two TT5's.
Last edited by starcentral; 08-05-2012 at 05:59 PM.
08-06-2012 02:26 PM
You can buy very large shoot through umbrellas though. Try amazon and the paul c buff website. I have incredibly large 82" shoot through umbrellas. Both shoot through and bounce will give you large catch lights but bounce has a little more reflectiveness which will give you a hot spot and little less diffusion.