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Off Camera Flash Photography Thread

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ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2010 - 3:15 PM

does look a bit like a double chin at this size..

pretty sure it's not when viewed bigger.

the more traditional shot did a lot better on here by the way

Got a bunch more to this series, I'll try to get a shot from each different part of the park we shot from and describe what we did on here.

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26 Apr 2010 - 3:15 PM

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steve_kershaw
26 Apr 2010 - 3:18 PM

what I particularly like about this style is that it can be very forgiving towards the model/subject, this could work for most people

most portraits use the model/subject to create the impact of the image, the background is normally secondary, and normally subdued to focus the attention to the model

My daughter has asked me to do her friend who wasn't the first in line when they handed out the good lucksWink I had told her I was a photographer not a magician, now I am thinking this is a style that may prove my statement wrong,

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2010 - 3:29 PM

I was saying to Coral that I'm not really a fashion photographer as such, more a landscpae and architecture photographer with ideas where a lovely model would fit in to a shot.

I think that's where it all comes from .

it's "environmental portraiture" maybe?

most of my city shots include things like kerbs, white lines, grids, grates, drains and fag packets - so the style/ideas seem be crossing over Smile

whipspeed
whipspeed e2 Member 94038 forum postswhipspeed vcard United Kingdom22 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2010 - 3:38 PM

I think sometimes that people who do other things can bring fresh ideas to a genre like portraiture, because they don't see things in a set way. I just wish I had a bit more vision. I have just joined a camera club to see if it will make me get off my backside and try some different things.

Last Modified By whipspeed at 26 Apr 2010 - 3:38 PM
steve_kershaw
26 Apr 2010 - 3:39 PM

your first upload of Coral is a great picture with a girl in it, and got my vote
your second upload is a fantastic portrait in a great picture, and got my vote

I have tried a few times doing my middle daughter, but she has no interest in a traditional portrait image, she is an emo (whatever that is) and would "not be seen dead" in one of my portrait shots,
I have shown her some of these images and she is up for letting me do a shoot Grin
the main difference is that she sees herself being in a cool image, rather than it being a portrait of herself,

I will upload when I do it (and obviously credit Ade as inspiration Wink )



Quote: environmental portraiture

you want to get that on your blog before someone else nicks itTongue

Last Modified By steve_kershaw at 26 Apr 2010 - 3:45 PM
ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2010 - 3:46 PM

Cheers Steve

I take it your flashes have either snoots or fresnels (i.e. you can zoom with a speedlite etc)

Well with one set up with Coral, I was trying just to get her lit and not somuch around her, so used 105mm zoom on the 580EX as it creates a narrow beam of light, rather than flooding the place

That could work with our daughter.

Emo... not quite goth, so maybe not a graveyard, but you could try something there - hide a strobe low behind a tombstone and have her walk into the scene and when she gets into position - POW - grab a shot.

Also, think of great landcapes you've seen/photographed and picture someone in the shot...

Here's a place I want to take a model...

18097-1218289320.jpg

There's a massive vista there, so I'd probably have a light or 2 as hidden as possible lighting a model on the end of that main boulder.

ideal for an Emo - could get them looking very serious there Smile

Last Modified By ade_mcfade at 26 Apr 2010 - 3:47 PM
User_Removed
26 Apr 2010 - 4:08 PM

as i said in the feedback for this shot Ade, i really liked it. I think its good to be a bit quirkier from time to time or, as you rightly pointed out you can just end up being safe all the time. For me though i don't know when i am being safe or quirky lol

The light is beautifully balanced and personally i like the sun flare going on. Legs should be exaggerated and on a model like this with such great pins exaggerating them a little further does no harm in my book.

Just out out of interest what do others here do when they contact their models ? i am utterly crap at going with "themes" so i just say wear what you want and we will see how it goes. One model i work with whom i have just uploaded some pics of is brilliant. She knows what she wants for her portfolio and just goes for it, hence the wedding dress themed uploads, however i would never have thought of that.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2010 - 4:27 PM

Well I've got Bettie de Barberilla who always wears burlesque stuff... so that's not hard to orgaise... though doing a shoot of her in a little flat was very hard to light and organise.

Untill Coral came along, most have had very distinctive looks already - the Goth/Alternative Nadia just turned up at Yorkshire Sculpture Park looking like that demonic princess and Trish, the red haired alternative model was all squeezed into her corset and raring to go.

I've offered Coral a shoot in Leeds and pointed out locations when we were driving around - I told her to think of either "film noir" for shots under the station tunnels, or urban wear for shots around graffiti, fire escapes etc.

For TFCD I just say that I'm open to ideas, suggest a location, send them photos/links to the location so they can get a feel for it themselves, then hope for the best!

I've not said "lacey basque, G string, fishnet stockings and stilettos" just yet Wink Though I think that would work in most locations.... not that I'd get any shots taken! Smile

steve_kershaw
26 Apr 2010 - 4:49 PM

getting back onto boring architecture,

Today I was shooting a villa and thought I would shoot the examples we talked about on a previous page

the Idea is to see the difference between using hdr and using speedlights

shots 1,2 and 3 are bracketed raw exposures +/- 2 stops ev
shot 3 is exposure blended hdr with levels boosted to try and get whiter walls
shot 3 is shot using 5 speedlights, raw image with levels boosted as with hdr

shot1
cassa-peliz-5.jpg
shot 2
cassa-peliz-6.jpg
shot 3
cassa-peliz-7.jpg
hdr
hdr-edit.jpg

speedlights
raw-edit.jpg

these are unedited images and obviously need the perspective fixing

I quite like the hdr version, the blow on the windows is just about acceptable, the lighting is nice and soft, and the lights are a nice feature, but the detail has been lost around the window,
the speedlight shot has good window pull and overall detail, but is a bit stark and needs selective curves layer yet

the strobe set up was
2 camera right, 1 full power 1 on half
2 forward of camera left and right behind alcoves on 1/4 power
1 forward of camera in centre pointing at wooden ceiling at 1/4 power

johnnyboy114
26 Apr 2010 - 5:29 PM

Hiya

From a recommendation from Ade, I thought I would join this group as I have just tried my hand at a bit of off camera flash work with a friend of mine from work. Its the first serious attempt at it and I would love a bit of feedback on some of my images to know and see where I am going wrong....

I know there are a few mistakes, but, like Ade, I like things to be a bit "on the fly", a bit different....I am a bit fed up of seeing really, really good images taken apart by some of the old "sticklers" on this site because the shadows might be too harsh (according to them and the "traditional" rules of photography), or how the composition might be a bit off (according to them and the "traditional" rules of photography), or how the angle and the lens were the wrong thing to use (according to them and the "traditional" rules of photography) etc etc.....I very much like what I like and I think people can be a bit too analytical....

So, lets get analytical....! lol!

Here is my first upload from the gallery. Its taken with a dimming and low sunlight to camera right, over the lake, which you can just see. To camera left and high up is a Vivitar 283 on full power, into a reflector umbrella, pointing straight at her. I think the camera is set at ISO200 (the lowest I can go) and f8-9(ish). I need to check, but there or thereabout. There is little done out of camera other than just touch of cloning to get rid of a couple of spots and some contrast and colour touch, but other than that, not done a thing to it.

The model is a friend of mine from work. She is a scientist in genetics, like myself, but moved over from Poland only 3 years ago. When she first moved over here, she was nearly signed up by a modelling agency to work at it properly, but she didn't like the people and how things were run (and it was a TOP modelling agency too!), so she decided to go back to what she knew...science.

This is taken in Hatfield Forest.

Hope thats all you need to know? Would love to know what you all think......I have loved some of the images that have been posted here. Especially yours Ade and the shell shots from Pete....nice stuff!

Anyway, the image.....

iza-hatfield-forest-114-large-resize.jpg


Let me know what you think! Smile Cheers! And thanks Ade for the pointer!

John

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2010 - 5:48 PM

you found it then John Smile

Pretty open minded bunch in here so far - though all are welcome, so long as they use off camera flash of course. Its often people who've never used flash that leave the comments you mentioned above after all.

I think the main couple of things here are the inclusion of the water and the light position. The water is all to one side and she's looking away from it, so there's no real "connection" between them - in fact, she's looking to the left when most of the room is to the right, that creates a bit of an imbalance a lot of the time - and I think it does here. So I'd have a go at cropping out the water and see if that balances things up a bit.

The second part would be the brightness of the bottom left corner - looks like your brolly's focussed the strobe down there.

Don't worry though, use Photoshop to darken that down - or even do a dark RAW conversion and add blend that in. We don't really want an irrelevant corner to be brighter than the model.

the good news is that the light on her face is nice a soft, feathered a bit probably because the light's focussed bottom left.

just had a play in Photoshop....


untitled-1.jpg

not perfect - but you get the idea.

Probably better to get some connection with the water maybe get her at 90 degrees to where she is now with her feet along the river, then looking into the water maybe>?

steve_kershaw
26 Apr 2010 - 6:01 PM

edit.jpg
my version, seems a shame to loose what your image was about

johnnyboy114
26 Apr 2010 - 6:12 PM

Thanks Ade, all taken on board. I do have some with her looking the other way, but believe it or not, the sun "oranged" out her face and I didn't have any gels to correct the flash to compensate...hence this one is looking away from the camera to reduce that. The water was partly intended, but also because of where the tree stump was placed, it was also slightly unavoidable really. To get a meaningful and decent composition, I had to widen the lens out, but that ran the risk of having things like the light stand and so on in the frame on the left. So, ended up having both thing you say there due to necessity more than really wanting them in the frame. But completely get what you have said though.....I kinda liked the looking away from the water though....I felt it gave it a more "whistful" feel to it. I guess maybe looking at the water (as there wasn't much of it) would have been a bit "obvious"? Does that make sense? But loving the feedback, so thanks. Always interesting to see how others percieve your images, especially ones that you feel are good.....I heard a top tog once say that when putting together a PF, don't include images YOU fall in love with....they are invariably not the best ones....always get someone else to choose a few. Its a good point and proven here I feel....so thank you! Smile

Oh and the things you say about the exposure? Yep, you're right. Just before this shot, the umbrella fell over hitting her on the head! lol! And when I put it back up and reshot, I didn't see that the angle of the flash had moved....I only grabbed three or four shots like this as she was in quite a bit of discomfort, so didn't notice the light until AFTER the shot was taken, which was annoying. So agree and the one big mistake I DID see when I first saw the image. But I liked the light on the face, as you said, so thought there might be a way around it somehow.....unfortunately, my PS skills really are pretty poor, so to darken it down with a layer like you say would probably be beyond my capabilities at the moment.....any pointers?


And Steve.....how DID you do THAT? Thats impressive!!! It kinda works as well I presume this is some kind of selection and then movement of the selected area? However you did it, I really can't see a join, which is impressive as there isn't a sharp, continuous line from the water edge and line.....see....I really need to sort out my PS skills...lol! Thanks though.....wish it was really like this at the location! lol!

User_Removed
26 Apr 2010 - 6:16 PM


Quote: I heard a top tog once say that when putting together a PF, don't include images YOU fall in love with....they are invariably not the best ones....always get someone else to choose a few. Its a good point and proven here I feel....so thank you! Smile
!

yeah that's strange, i wonder why that is. Bearing in mind we all look at images etc surely we must have a feel for our own work and what the best work is ?

johnnyboy114
26 Apr 2010 - 6:24 PM


Quote: I heard a top tog once say that when putting together a PF, don't include images YOU fall in love with....they are invariably not the best ones....always get someone else to choose a few. Its a good point and proven here I feel....so thank you! Smile
!

yeah that's strange, i wonder why that is. Bearing in mind we all look at images etc surely we must have a feel for our own work and what the best work is ?

He said its because although you took the image, you can't be objective about it as its YOUR vision.....it may well be that there are other shots that are more "showable" from a certain shoot, but you will "love" others....I kinda see what he means. I have always been amazed at the shots other people like in my images when I have thought they are nothing special....makes you look at them in a whole different way really. Yet the shot I thought was the best, they don't like so much.....strange isn't it?

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