A Photography forum. PhotoBanter.com

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » PhotoBanter.com forum » Photo Techniques » Photographing People
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old October 8th 03, 05:01 PM
Lynn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?

Hi, I have been taking portraits of subjects against a white
background. In an attempt to get rid of shadows, I have started
lighting the background with 2 tungsten 500 watt lights and then using
fill flash on the subject. This has worked beautifully, except that
occasionally my subject ends up a little dark and not contrast-y
enough. I've been fixing this in photoshop, but wondered if I used
lesser lights on the background (say 250 watt?) I might get the
subject a bit brighter all the time? I am shooting digital and
converting to black and white, so I don't mind about the tungsten
cast. Any help would really be appreciated. Thanks! Lynn
  #2  
Old October 8th 03, 06:28 PM
Randall Ainsworth
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?

When doing high key, the background should be 2 stops brighter than
the subject in order to give a good continuous white. Light the
subject normally but with less contrast, then dump 2 stops more on the
background to wash it out and get a continuous tone. Less will make it
gray and more will blow it out.
  #3  
Old October 9th 03, 07:09 AM
Mariusz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Odp: got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?

Where do your shadows come form?
First try with right positioning of your main light and then light the
background.
If you use digital, you should probably use M mode and set up your exposure
manually to avoid underexposing your main subject with background brightly
lit.

Mariusz

Użytkownik Lynn w wiadomooci do grup
dyskusyjnych e.com...
Hi, I have been taking portraits of subjects against a white
background. In an attempt to get rid of shadows, I have started
lighting the background with 2 tungsten 500 watt lights and then using
fill flash on the subject. This has worked beautifully, except that
occasionally my subject ends up a little dark and not contrast-y
enough. I've been fixing this in photoshop, but wondered if I used
lesser lights on the background (say 250 watt?) I might get the
subject a bit brighter all the time? I am shooting digital and
converting to black and white, so I don't mind about the tungsten
cast. Any help would really be appreciated. Thanks! Lynn



  #4  
Old October 9th 03, 08:43 AM
zeitgeist
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?



Hi, I have been taking portraits of subjects against a white
background. In an attempt to get rid of shadows, I have started
lighting the background with 2 tungsten 500 watt lights and then using
fill flash on the subject. This has worked beautifully, except that
occasionally my subject ends up a little dark and not contrast-y
enough. I've been fixing this in photoshop, but wondered if I used
lesser lights on the background (say 250 watt?) I might get the
subject a bit brighter all the time? I am shooting digital and
converting to black and white, so I don't mind about the tungsten
cast. Any help would really be appreciated. Thanks! Lynn


first, mixing lighting can often bring some annoying complications, tungsten
on the background can give it a pleasing warm tone especially if the
subjects are nicely exposed, wedding photogs will light the subjects but let
the very warm room lights supply the background. depending on how the
images are printed, and this can include digital workflows, your camera's
auto balance may 'see' more warm light or cool fill flash from one shot to
the next.

how are you exposing? with the camera's auto expo, or selecting an exposure
and using that for the session? If using the auto expo then the most
obvious problem is likely to be that the sensor is 'seeing' various amounts
of white versus subject color. and/or your fill flash is not putting out
the same amount of power, either cause you are shooting too fast for it
recharge, or its exposure sensor is also seeing various amounts of white and
varying its output.

if you are shooting film then the lab's printer exposure meter could be
seeing various amounts of white and compensating, these are often the
weakest link, especially consumer labs where they just stick the film in and
walk away.

white background sets are difficult. the typical and very popular hi key
set, you would have the subject and any props in white, (and right there,
very few clients follow through, especially a family group, on the all white
thing.) then the only color is the subject's face and hands. its a way
cool effect, requires that you light the background very evenly, some pro's
will use four umbrellas crossing the background two high and two low with
two on each side, I used two but bounced them off the sidewalls and ceiling.

as for varying the exposure with your flood lights, you can move them
further from the background, you can get a dimmer switch (which would give
you more control, or you can buy smaller bulbs, I assume a 250 bulb would be
one stop less.)


  #5  
Old October 9th 03, 03:48 PM
J C
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?

On 8 Oct 2003 09:01:49 -0700, (Lynn)
wrote:

Hi, I have been taking portraits of subjects against a white
background. In an attempt to get rid of shadows, I have started
lighting the background with 2 tungsten 500 watt lights and then using
fill flash on the subject. This has worked beautifully, except that
occasionally my subject ends up a little dark and not contrast-y
enough. I've been fixing this in photoshop, but wondered if I used
lesser lights on the background (say 250 watt?) I might get the
subject a bit brighter all the time? I am shooting digital and
converting to black and white, so I don't mind about the tungsten
cast. Any help would really be appreciated. Thanks! Lynn


The following assumes that your digicam actually has the controls for
changing f/stop and shutter speed (thus over-riding its automatic
exposure).

Suggestion, set the lighting of the subject. I would suggest NOT using
a fill flash but instead bouncing lights off umbrellas (see your
digicam so that the flash does not fire). Whether you use one or two
light/umbrella combos and what angle and height they are set from the
subject, just depends on what you're after.

Then, without the background lit, meter the subject and calculate the
exposure and f/stop you'll use.

Then set the lights on the background.

By the way, since you wonder about using "lesser lights on the
background" perhaps it is worthwhile pointing out that exactly how
the background comes out will depend on 1. the distance of the lights
from the background, 2. the distance of the background from the
camera, and 3. whether you also bounce the lights off an umbrella.


-- JC
  #6  
Old October 14th 03, 09:37 PM
Lynn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?

Thanks for all these suggestions. I shall be setting up ever
increasing numbers of lights, it appears! I have another question
regarding doing colour portraits with the tungsten lights. These are
v-e-r-y orange-y. Wondering if I can use some sort of white balance
adjustment for the photofloods' lights. I am using a fuji s2 pro.
Thanks again to everyone for their help! Lynn
  #8  
Old October 15th 03, 10:44 PM
JustaPawn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default got rid of shadows on portraits, but now subject too dark - help?

If you want the background pure white, the background lights need to be
brighter than those on the subject, BUT, you'll need to take your meter reading
at the subject. In fact, turn off the background lights while you do this.

Nothing wrong with this approach if this is the look you're after. Check Albert
Watson's work.

Hi, I have been taking portraits of subjects against a white
background.


Not the best way to start. You want a neutral background, usually.


In an attempt to get rid of shadows,


What shadows? From the subject? If that's happening, the subject is
too close to the background. In other words, that's not a lighting
problem.

I have started
lighting the background with 2 tungsten 500 watt lights and then using
fill flash on the subject. This has worked beautifully, except that
occasionally my subject ends up a little dark and not contrast-y
enough.


That's to be expected from your approach.

I've been fixing this in photoshop, but wondered if I used
lesser lights on the background (say 250 watt?) I might get the
subject a bit brighter all the time? I am shooting digital and
converting to black and white, so I don't mind about the tungsten
cast. Any help would really be appreciated. Thanks! Lynn










 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
*%[email protected]#*&^%$!!!!!!!!!!! John Bartley Large Format Photography Equipment 9 July 1st 04 07:32 PM
difficulty drum scanning negatives Jytzel Film & Labs 51 April 10th 04 08:56 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004-2017 PhotoBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.