"Strobist" noob, C&C please!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MattSepeta, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #1
    I had asked you guys about some flash recommendations earlier, and finally have gotten into the swing of things with my speedlights!

    This is (imo) my most successful attempts yet at off-camera lighting, and I was wondering if I could get some critiques from you guys.

    These shots were taken in a DIY macro studio box thing, with a 430EXII fired through the opaque paper wall on the left, and a nikon SB28 fired from the top, pointing towards the backs of the beer.

    PP: RAW taken with Canon 50D and a 17-55f/2.8IS, adjusted in Aperture 2, with some curves, levels, Topaz Adjust, and sharpening done in PSCS4.

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    with the first two, I added a lens flare in PS to try to help cover up some blow-outs, and I think it actually contributed to the image rather than degrading it.

    C&C for my foray into flash?
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    The blown out spots in the first two detract completely from the images, the bright spots draw the eyes immediately away from the subjects. Tone down the lights, scrim them, use more diffusion or increase your aperture.

    In the third one, I'd have used fill from the sides to tone down the shadows in the front and left a little more headroom in the shot, but it's the best overall image. If you toned down the front shadows with fill flash or reflectors (two pieces of foam core would probably do it just fine,) then you'd have a nice contrasty arrow up front, adding a little headroom to balance the empty space would leave you with a great image.

    If you look at the third image, you will see that the eye is naturally drawn to the lightest part of the beer in the center bottle, and then the lines lead the eye through the frame- both the arrangemment and the contrast of the labels- that's what you want. In the other two, the eye gets drawn to the bright spot and stops there- that's not what you want.

    Paul
     
  3. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #3
    Thanks!

    Thanks for the feedback compuwar.

    I'll try again this weekend with the following changes to the set up:

    I have a softbox coming in the mail fit for the speedlight, so I will fire that from the front, rather than relying on the paper sides of the macro box to diffuse the light fro ma bare flash.

    I will fire the flash from the top the same, but hopefully The front firing flash can drown out the shadows coming off of the bottles. I really like the reflections the Can image gave me, So I am going to try to get the perspective down to accomplish similar reflections, but with the bottles.

    I will also try using some reflectors on this. I bought a big 4-in-1 thing with a gold side, maybe if I set up the gold side to reflect back the light from the flash firing through the back of the bottles? I think that would cast a good color that goes well with the brown bottles, as well as filling in the shadow a bit.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    Gold is going to warm the tone, I'm not sure that'll work so well in this case- you can just use a couple of pieces of paper to reflect the light back if you don't have foam core- though Staples and Wal-Mart and any art supply place will have foam core cheap.

    Paul
     

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