More Practising with Flashguns

Discussion in 'People & Portraits' started by Paul Lange, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Well my great idea of replacing the photo cells of the flashguns with potentiometers was a non goer. The particular flashes I have varied the photo cell sensitivity by sliding tinted plastic windows over them rather than using the relative resistance of the cell to varying light levels. However got around it by using a Strobist gel kit that has multiples of ND gels in 1,2 & 3 stops. I just slap them on the change the flash power and it seems to work quite well.

    Had another stab at it this weekend and played around with a few schemes and got some fairly good results. I'm quite pleased as it was only my 3rd serious attempt.

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    I find that taking the shots and then looking at the results properly on the computer allows me to plan the next attempt a bit better. I seem to gradually be able to actually have an idea in my head of what I want to do before I start now.
     
  2. Lee Webb

    Lee Webb Member

    The bottom 5 look pretty much spot on to me, I think in the first few the light is very harsh from the side which had led to quite a few blown highlights, my personal favourite is the red nose one!
     
  3. Darren Turner

    Darren Turner XProPhotographer

    very nice set, really are great quality, the light does need toning down a few stop in the first 3 for my liking. the rest are brilliant..........!!
     
  4. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    I think the later are better technically and conventionally - as the others have mentioned, but I don't think the light needs toning down in the first ones ... They arnt as good because o the not so nice back drop and in the case of the first 2 the shadow from the nose is a little distracting...
    The light of the third, with a slightly nicer crop an a dark back drop would be a nice dramatic portrait with a lot of character ... IMO
    The latter ones do show that you are definitely getting to grips with the lights! Impressive stuff if you ask me?!
     
  5. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Paul - you have very understanding models!

    I think checking on the computer is going to really allow you to get a handle on what's working for you.

    The final image for example, shows nice balance between key light and shadow, making a very nice portrait.

    The detail in the hair is excellent, as are the catchlights in the eyes.
     
  6. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Than you for the comments guys. The first few shots were with one light and a reflector. It seems that while a more simple set up the positioning of the equipment is very sensitive. I imagine this is more to do with the fact that the Flash is quite small and so more directional that a larger studio flash with big umbrella or softbox. Also its harder to balance the levels between the two. The others were taken with 2 flashes in front of the subject and sometimes I used a 3rd flash with a snoot pointing at the hair and level with the subject. Although more lights I found it easier to control what was going on. Next time I think I will make an effort to comb people's hair. I must admit I quite like the look of the photo's with the blown highlights but concede on the points about the nose shadow and the backdrop. I think I still haven't used up all of the good will of the family yet so can't wait to practice on them again.
     

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