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Whats that umbrella for ??

By markst33    
Alejandro, aged 7 months begins a promising career in modelling. Nikon sb600 and umbrella placed in the direction he is looking. Set at half power. Practising some off camera flash techniques.

C&C's welcome.

Thanks for looking.

Mark S.

Tags: General Black and white Portraits and people Humour and fun

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.

Comments


debu 6 India
3 Dec 2012 9:21AM
Very nice mono.
debu

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alistairfarrugia 3 164 88 Malta
3 Dec 2012 1:35PM
The shadow on the baby is the kind that develops when hard light is present. How far away was the umbrella and was it set up to send diffuse light on the kid? From the picture it seems there might have been something wrong in the setup - though I must state from the outset that I've never set up such studio lights myself. It's just that from what I know about the subject, I think the shadows shouldn't look like that when shot in studio with an umbrella acting as a diffuser. Was the light pointed towards the inner side of the umbrella or towards the kid? Did you have any other flashguns firing when you shot this?

Also, maybe the shot is a bit over-exposed as there's barely any contrast between the kid's edge of face and the white background. Or was the background in that area edited out using the lasso tool?
Focus_Man 6 481 631 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2012 3:16PM
Apart from the mystery of the harsh light from the same direction as the flash reflected into a white unbrella (I assume that is what you mean as that is the standard diffused method, flash facing away from the model and aimed at the centre of your white unmbrella mounted on a tripod or similar stand, so that only reflected light reaches the subject. Another way that I have not personally tried, but have heard about, is to blast the flash through the material of the umbrella) I would have preferred to have seen the chair either moved out of the way or edited out in software. I think had we been able to see the face of the 'cuddly toy', that would also have helped. I am not sure what power your flash unit has, but if it were possible, I would personally have stopped down at least one stop to reach a more efficient part of the lens in use,

Frank
banehawi Plus
11 1.4k 3422 Canada
3 Dec 2012 3:56PM
Quite nice. Would have preferred the leg included on the left. Direct light and shadows mentioned already, - try a large white cardstock right below the baby and in front of the camera position to reflect light from the front to soften shadows. Loaded a few mods, variations, lifted shadows mostly. And chair removed.

The brolly technique Frank mentions is not a regular brolly. Its a dual purpose model mostly, where the black outer shell is removable, leaving a translucent nylon liner that can be shot through, and works quite well.



Regards




Willie
Sooty_1 5 1.5k 219 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2012 5:45PM
As above, but re the shadows, the light is too far away. The smaller the source, the harder the shadows, and the further away, the smaller the source. You say you used the gun at half power, and your lens is wide open. If you come much closer with the flash, you can afford to stop down the lens (flash follows the inverse square law...meaning if you halve the distance, you will get four times the light, so your f/4.5 will become two stops better, or around f/9). This also makes the light relatively bigger and the light softer. If you have something to diffuse the light with, so much the better (soft boxes are great for this kind of shot) as this allows the light to 'wrap round' the subject better, and a large white sheet of something acting as a reflector opposite the light bounces light into the dark shadows.

Basically, you want more light bouncing around and back into the shadows for more even illumination. The rest is covered above.

Nick
paulbroad 8 113 1020 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2012 7:21PM
A lot on lighting and that is critical for baby pictures. For me the pose is wrong. For baby pix like this you need fun and eye contact. It really looks to me like the picture was set up for a photographer on the right and you snook one from the side.

Paul
markst33 7 57 1 Ireland
6 Dec 2012 12:27PM
Thanks for all the comments folks. This was done in Alejandros bedroom with him sitting on his changing table. I had taken a few pictures with him facing me but I really like this one for the simple reason that he was looking away towards the light source.

I actually think that this was one of the shots where I stopped firing the flash into my Silver umbrella and instead pointed the flash directly at Alejandro so this would account for the harsh light.

This is all a learning process for me so i will keep at it and see what other (better) results I can come up with. I only have one flash (Nikon SB600) so whatever images you see will only ever be using 1 light source.

Once again thanks for taking the time to comment and critique.

Mark S.

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