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View Full Version : My first attempt: Seamless background...lighting tips?




HckySo
Feb 17, 2007, 10:36 AM
I recently bought some white and black paper rolls here is my set up:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/127/390535471_faf29a4364.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/179/390560851_e2d8753707.jpg

And I seem to have success:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/390571835_3a36800b55.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/136/390560858_16b13bdf3f.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/136/391260522_e20076ec0e.jpg

But I was wondering if I should be using continuous lights or flashes for the fill and main...?



dllavaneras
Feb 17, 2007, 10:40 AM
They look good to me, although the second pic appears to have some vignetting. What lens are you using?

As for lighting tips, check Strobist (http://www.strobist.com)

HckySo
Feb 17, 2007, 10:54 AM
I'm using a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Lens and I'm pretty sure I was aware of it's Vignetting problem before I bought it. :(

dllavaneras
Feb 17, 2007, 11:02 AM
Even so, the image quality is great :)

Aperture
Feb 17, 2007, 06:09 PM
You said that is paper? How come when you stand on it, it doesn't get all crumpled? It looks like where you stand on it there is no movement in the paper.. Also, how did you make the different rolls of paper so seamless. (I'm assuming that isnt all one huge roll.. if so, where can you buy it that big?)

One last thing, could you post a pic with the black paper? (just curious)

Thanks!

mjstew33
Feb 17, 2007, 06:16 PM
Very, very nice.

Surprised your parents let you do that!

spicyapple
Feb 17, 2007, 06:29 PM
But I was wondering if I should be using continuous lights or flashes for the fill and main...?
You'll want an overhanging softbox. It can be made on the cheap using white fabric, some daylight balanced fluoros and a metal box to hold everything in place. That'll give you the most even illumination.

Very, very nice. Surprised your parents let you do that!
I'm not surprised. My parents let me paint my bedroom walls with bluescreen paint. :)

bousozoku
Feb 17, 2007, 06:36 PM
That's great to have space for that.

You should have more control over where the light is going on all sides.

HckySo
Feb 17, 2007, 06:40 PM
You said that is paper? How come when you stand on it, it doesn't get all crumpled? It looks like where you stand on it there is no movement in the paper.. Also, how did you make the different rolls of paper so seamless. (I'm assuming that isnt all one huge roll.. if so, where can you buy it that big?)

One last thing, could you post a pic with the black paper? (just curious)

Thanks!

Yes it's normal paper. Yes I am standing on it but the carpet in my basement is harder than most carpet so it doesn't crumple much. Yes it is all one big roll, you can find them online. Shipping cost a lot and when I got mine the first 7 feet was ripped but whatever.
Oh and some pictures with the black:
On location:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/164/393250785_edbc1b5cbd.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/187/393250779_d437c8f0ef.jpg
In basement:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/150/393144301_395dbbf508.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/179/390177392_8e6e701a17.jpg

I can't wait to get some models in. This week I have four different people.

You'll want an overhanging softbox. It can be made on the cheap using white fabric, some daylight balanced fluoros and a metal box to hold everything in place. That'll give you the most even illumination.
I had something in mind like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HSEEY8/ref=wl_it_dp/002-0032777-3714453?ie=UTF8&coliid=I38H2ZHX1PTOCO&colid=2BDXVLEFK4C4B

wmmk
Feb 17, 2007, 09:45 PM
Very, very nice.

Surprised your parents let you do that!

ditto.
Wish I had that kind of space...

compuwar
Feb 17, 2007, 10:50 PM
But I was wondering if I should be using continuous lights or flashes for the fill and main...?

Hot lights versus strobes really comes down to just a few things:

1. Price- strobes cost more.
2. Color- strobes are generally more consistent
3. Heat- strobes don't make models uncomfortably hot
4. Light- strobes don't dilate pupils if you're mostly shooting people
5. Ease- hot lights show you what you get, strobes with modeling lights are second place, hot-shoe flash guns need more imagination

2 and 4 are the killer why-go-strobe arguments, 1 and 5 are the hot light argument. Only you can say what's more important to you.

HckySo
Feb 18, 2007, 08:50 AM
Thank you for the great comparison between continuous and speelights! I have a few photog friends, some of them just switched to Canon and maybe I could buy some flashes off them. Or maybe I'll try making my own lighting things with some cheapo shop lights. If I come up with something I'll post it here.

compuwar
Feb 18, 2007, 09:02 AM
Thank you for the great comparison between continuous and speelights! I have a few photog friends, some of them just switched to Canon and maybe I could buy some flashes off them. Or maybe I'll try making my own lighting things with some cheapo shop lights. If I come up with something I'll post it here.

You'll need triggers too. By the time you do it, you'll probably be wishing you'd went with strobes (and most folks I know tend to have issues with remote flash-fired strobes and end up cabling the whole thing.) If you have the budget, a kit like a 2 or 3 light Alien Bee kit a good way to learn (it's probably better still to get a used set of Speedtrons or something similar, but then you've got to evaluate the condition of the heads...) If your camera doesn't have a PC Synch terminal then you'll need to factor in some sort of hot shoe trigger or go with wireless flash-fired from on-camera and just deal with positioning the sensors.

matt311rocks
Feb 26, 2007, 07:03 AM
I took this one last night for my photo class, it's yet to be touched up and it's a bit noisy. I didn't use a seamless background but used a light setup somewhat similar. Nothing complicated just a few direct lights and a few bounced off this white foam core board, all constant lighting.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/178/403362309_a200f8a363.jpg?v=0

Veritas&Equitas
Feb 26, 2007, 09:17 AM
No offense but it looks cluttered, and un-artsy. It simply looks like you threw a bucket of water at her, and took a picture of it. No symmetry/framing to the shot, too much water near her face and none to the left makes it look unpolished, composition seems a tad off. Not trying to be negative; but I think you can do better. Also, the "light setup" seems pretty weak, the lighting is off, and the background isn't even close to a seamless background...it looks like it wasn't even taken with real "lighting"...just ambient light from the room switch?

compuwar
Feb 26, 2007, 10:34 AM
I took this one last night for my photo class, it's yet to be touched up and it's a bit noisy. I didn't use a seamless background but used a light setup somewhat similar. Nothing complicated just a few direct lights and a few bounced off this white foam core board, all constant lighting.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/178/403362309_a200f8a363.jpg?v=0


Everything's going right, but the empty space is all on the left, so the eye gets lead a little too quickly off the frame. I'd try closer to a square crop.

techster85
Feb 26, 2007, 11:00 AM
yea...the background is too cluttered to go for a "on the thirds" look, which still isn't really what you got there, but, I can see the merit in what you are going for. I think that if you had a seemless white background, or maybe a cool gelled background like a red or blue, you could really make the picture look more sinister.

seenew
Feb 26, 2007, 02:43 PM
No offense but it looks cluttered, and un-artsy. It simply looks like you threw a bucket of water at her, and took a picture of it. No symmetry/framing to the shot, too much water near her face and none to the left makes it look unpolished, composition seems a tad off. Not trying to be negative; but I think you can do better. Also, the "light setup" seems pretty weak, the lighting is off, and the background isn't even close to a seamless background...it looks like it wasn't even taken with real "lighting"...just ambient light from the room switch?


Jeez, chill dude.

jelloshotsrule
Feb 26, 2007, 03:46 PM
Jeez, chill dude.

while i'm not typically one for such on point criticism, i think they did a pretty good job to explain they weren't trying to be harsh, and gave some constructive comments about how to do better, and that they know the original photo taker can get better results.


as for the original poster in the thread... very nice shots! i take it you're the one in the majority of the pics? what's your system like for setting up/framing the shot and then actually taking it...? i assume it's more advanced than *set the 10 second timer, stand in front of the camera and cross your fingers* approach. hah

compuwar
Feb 26, 2007, 09:47 PM
Jeez, chill dude.

Lots of sites offer endless platitudes for images that could be done better, that doesn't help the photographer improve their work. We'd like to see Matt's work improve, but that's not going to happen if he can't take honest criticism.

There are three things that are really difficult to in photography- taking honest criticism and the first few times you sell an image and how selling images affects your downstream work.

The concept was interesting, evocative and poorly executed- people who say "Dude, that sucks" or "Dude that rocks" aren't helpful to a photographer growing. Someone who takes the time to say *why* the image doesn't work for them is at least being constructive. Someone who can't handle that is better off showing the pictures to mom, who'll always tell them they like it.

Generally, I find if someone takes the time to offer constructive criticism, it's because they see the potential in an image and want to see the photographer take that to the next level. Folks who do that generally don't spend any of their time on things that don't have any merit at all. It's not worth their time if the photographer isn't going to benefit from it.

matt311rocks
Feb 27, 2007, 07:10 AM
Thank you for the comments. The piece was really intended to be dark and humorous as the assignment I had to do was photo as fiction. So bucket of water + electrical equipment = bad news right? As I stated in the original post I did not use a seamless background and ambient light from the light switch?....laughable man. If I were to shoot in any room with "normal" lighting I would have been shooting at far slower of a shutter. I don't have strobes which is why I had to use the few modeling lights and pieces of foam core board I had. I'm not new to photography but I am new to dealing with using non-ambient lights. It was all done very quickly. I was taking it for a photo class in college that was due the next day. I procrastinate so the results do suffer from time to time. I thank you for the comments. I am open to any tips for the budgeted lighter.

PS Great start HckySo