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Old 03-06-2018   #1
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Default Black Background

This weekend I tried a black background. I used a key light with shoot through umbrella, fill light with a large reflecting umbrella, and a hairlight with barn doors. Nothing but a hobbyist. It looks a little flat to me and I missed the blue undershirt that I should be able to fix. I would love to get all the help from those more knowledgeable that I can.

Edit: fixed what looked yellowish on my work computer and removed the blue undershirt. Thanks again for the critique!!!!


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Old 03-06-2018   #2
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That is a fine portrait of a beautiful young lady. Well done!
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Old 03-06-2018   #3
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I think a small background lite, directly behind her, so it's not flat black all the way across, will help separate her from the background and make it look more 3D.
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Old 03-08-2018   #4
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Thank you gaopa2, that is reassuring!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike67 View Post
I think a small background lite, directly behind her, so it's not flat black all the way across, will help separate her from the background and make it look more 3D.
I tried that and the fault is mine. I have the backdrop hardware and a white backdrop 10x20. I bought a black one as well but hung it over the ceiling and side wall that is framed but not sheetrocked. The actual background is a king sized flat sheet I bought at Walmart but I could not get it tight so the wrinkles showed and it looked bad to my eyes. I will figure out how to get it tight and try again (I need to sheet rock the wall and paint it flat black)...I think you are correct. You can see my workspace here.

Any more criticism is more than welcome, Thank You All!
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Old 03-09-2018   #5
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Default Re: Black Background

It looks to me like you had the fill light power too high. It should be about 1 to 2 stops LESS than the power of the main light. Also her eyes don't have much color. Take a powerful LED flashlight and aim it into her eyes. then make the capture That will give her eyes a lot more color. It will not affect the color temperature of the flash units nor will it affect the exposure (assuming you are using a short shutter speed like 125 or 250.) Lastly black backgrounds are very unexciting. You can get painted muslin backgrounds fairly inexpensively that will look a lot better than solid white or black.
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Old 03-17-2018   #6
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@Benji Could you please explain use of flashlight, to get a smaller pupil and bigger iris , or just to add some light in the eyes. Thank you.
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Old 03-17-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benji View Post

It looks to me like you had the fill light power
too high. It should be about 1 to 2 stops LESS
than the power of the main light. ........
I underlined the "should be" phrase, cuz I agree
that the lighting here plainly violates the rule of
thumb. But "should be" does not rule universally.
This shot is a perfect example of an exception to
the rule. It's a child. The lighting is open and has
not a hint of drama. The subject trumps the rule.

Your own avatar holds closer to the rule, and on
this subject would look waaaaay out of place.
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Old 03-18-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gille View Post
@Benji Could you please explain use of flashlight, to get a smaller pupil and bigger iris , or just to add some light in the eyes. Thank you.
For a number of years I used a 500 watt tungsten light that was bolted to the ceiling just above the camera position and aimed down at the subject (my ceiling height is over 11 feet.) While 500 watts is very bright to the naked eye, to the camera with an aperture of f 8 and a shutter speed of 125 all it did was make the iris of the subject's eyes small which gives them much more color. It didn't affect the color temperature of the flash units illuminating the subject at all. Later on I started using an LED flashlight. It didn't get hot, didn't use any a/c power and it closed the iris of the subject's eyes down quite nicely. I had my office gal direct the light straight into the subject's eyes. It did leave a small catchlight which I cloned out later in Photoshop.

Upon looking at the image again I also would have placed the main light at camera left rather than camera right. That way there would not be any shadow cast by the main light onto the skin under her hair and nearly into her left eye.

Benji
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Old 03-18-2018   #9
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" I also would have placed the main light at camera left rather than camera right"

The shadow reminds me of sibilance. As an audiophile I remember learning of sibilance...once you hear it, you can't go back...and it is really annoying. Now that I see it, it really bothers me...but as opposed to sibilance, I can fix this...thank you!
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Old 06-12-2018   #10
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I did some editing in Photosop without asking you first. I guess there has to be a shadow somewhere or there would not be photography. Don't know how annoying a shadow can get. I cleared a bit in the irises, overexposed the background and smoothened the shadows in Portrait Pro. Tell me what you think and, once again, I'm sorry for the unauthorized editing.


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