Portait lighting help
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Old 02-15-2008   #1
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Default Portait lighting help

I seem to have a problem with over exposing the skin slightly, I have been using the key light one stop over the fill and BG but generally seem to get the results like the photo below.

Key light in large softbox is camera left close to subject, fill is behind camera right. In this photo the key was f/8 and bg and fill f/5.6. Any suggestions on light placement or settings to improve skin tone? Thanks


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Old 02-15-2008   #2
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

I can't see your image, so I'll ask a couple of questions about your metering technique.

Are you also taking a reading of the main and fill combined?
Are you taking into account the 1/10th stops on your meter?
Are you aimnng the meter towards the main light or back to the camera for a reading?


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Old 02-15-2008   #3
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

I take a combined meter reading with all lights and set camera to match. ISO is also matched to meter.

I am using the 1/3 of a stop increment on the meter to match camera.

I am placing the meter on the cheek nearest the meter and pointing at the main light.

I must have linked to the image wrong, I will try to fix that.
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Old 02-15-2008   #4
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

MC,

Your metering technique is 100% accurate. Your hand held meter could be off significally which would affect the exposure. It should be calibrated to your camera. This is easy to do and has been covered in one of my postings several months ago here on the Camel. Try searching for it.

Does your camera room have white walls? If so the main light is probably bouncing off of them and adding fill to the shadow side resulting in rather flat lit images. A large black flag (I use a 4 x 8 sheet of green builders styrofoam painted with black latex paint) up close to the fill side will prevent this light from bouncing around. You may want to try backing the fill down one more stop, or boosting the main (leave the fill where it was.) The fill light should be behind the camera and slightly on the same side as the main light side of the subject.

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Old 02-15-2008   #5
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

The meter should be pointed toward the key light and not the camera?
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Old 02-15-2008   #6
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

Quote:
Originally Posted by artur View Post
The meter should be pointed toward the key light and not the camera?
I think it's a matter of taste as to how you do it. I am one of those that aims my meter back towards the camera and that works for me. I know others that do it the other way and never have any problems.


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Old 02-15-2008   #7
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

Quote:
Originally Posted by artur View Post
The meter should be pointed toward the key light and not the camera?
Artur,

I point my meter straight toward the main light under the chin of my subject with the dome of the meter fully extended. By placing it under the chin, the dome is at the same distance from the light as the skin is.With the dome in its full out position it will also catch the fill light and factor it into the reading (although it does not actually add that much additional exposure.) Since the main is more powerful than the fill, by pointing the meter toward the main, it will give you the maximum light reading that is available to the meter. You cannot have an overexposed image that way, and as we all know overexposure is the bane of digital imaging.

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Old 02-15-2008   #8
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

OK, thanks guys. Will try the way of pointing out toward the key light just to see how it differs.
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Old 02-15-2008   #9
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Default Re: Portait lighting help

Thanks Benji and others...I will try your suggestions.


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