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New portrait - B&W
Posted By: davemdsn, 11-20-2007, 03:51 PM

Taken last night after shooting the model for a radio station. I got a few side light portraits in before letting her go. Taken with the K10D, FA* 85mm f1.4, two Vivitar 283s (one in DIY softbox to camera right and one in DIY snoot for hair). Sharpened after resize, but no other PP except for B&W conversion.


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11-20-2007, 03:56 PM   #2
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It's a great shot. I like the lighting and the conversion. This lens is so sharp that's it's almost too much for a close head shot portrait.
11-20-2007, 04:06 PM   #3
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I usually soften the skin on shots like this, leaving the eyes and other features sharp. I wanted to show this shot before I did any of that.

Thanks for the comment. This is such a cheap and easy lighting set up. The softbox is only 8x12 inches and is made of cardboard (from a box of prints), tin foil and a piece of old white sheet. The snoot is made of a Cheerios box and duct tape. The flashes are about $20-30 each. I did use a cheap radio trigger to fire them, which cost as little as $20.
11-20-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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Dave, that is a very nice portrait and what I was going to say Peter has said already. On a portrait of an older man this kind of sharpness can look fantastish.

Take care, heinrich

11-20-2007, 09:52 PM   #5
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Hi Dave,

Great shot. I love the details left in sometimes, it adds to the personality of the model somehow. I was wondering if you could post a shot of your setup for us? I guess I have to know what a "Cheerios Snoot" looks like! If you're getting these kind of results for that kind of money, please share some more details on how you've acheived it!

Thanks
11-20-2007, 11:18 PM   #6
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the softbox

I don't have a shot of the snoot, or the specific setup for this shot on hand, but I will take some shots of them tomorrow. For now, here are some shots of the softbox. It ain't pretty, but the results are.





11-21-2007, 09:27 AM   #7
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Hi Dave,

Thanks for posting this, that's very helpful. So I understand that there is a Vivatar flash in there, but I have a few newb questions for you. The way I understand it is that the flash is mounted to the stand and then box is placed onto the flash. Did you say that there was aluminum foil inside there? Is it lining the walls for better output or what does that accomplish? Is the stand something DIY or a proper flash stand of some kind? Are you using those Gadget Infinity radio triggers I've read about? How has your experience been with them? I'm new to off camera flash photography, but I'd like to get in on it cheaply to explore it and this sort of work is very very inspiring. It also helps me convince the Mrs. that it can be done without breaking the bank. Oh yea, almost forgot, nice shot of Revelation 6:8!

Thanks again!
11-21-2007, 08:12 PM   #8
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The foil if more reflective than plain white (the color of the cardboard) so it boosts the amount of light reflecting around inside. Short answer, more output. It is on a cheap, small, used light stand that I think I paid $20 for. The radio trigger I have is not labeled with the same brand as the Gadget Infinity units, but it might as well be, it looks identical. I have two of them, one did develop a problem and is being replaced by the dealer, the other has been working great for about a year.

You can put together a complete lighting kit with a couple strobes with stands, light modifiers, triggers and such, for about $100.

Here is the reason for the Revelations page photo...... my version of the rider of the pale horse. I also have two other riders, but am missing one.



11-21-2007, 08:23 PM   #9
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Hi David,

Thanks for sharing that info and for the new photo, it's great. It took me a while to realize he was robed/hooded and then I liked it even more. I was curious if you had any recommendations on flashes that can get the job done for portraiture and don't break the bank. You mentioned the Vivitars in this post, are they at the top of your list? I'm also currious as to what the ambiant light is like in the room when you shoot these photos. It looks so dark, but I know the camera has to have enough light to focus. Also, do you have to worry about the color temperature of your strobes and your ambiant lights matching or do the strobes overpower it enough to not be a problem? Thanks for the help!

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11-21-2007, 11:12 PM   #10
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My very first flash was a Vivitar 283 and have owned several of them, including two right now. I also have one 285HV. What I like about them is that they are quite powerful and available used for very little money. A lot of the newer strobes don't have connections for attaching sync cables so older units are great for off camera flash.

Ambient light is standard room light. The shot of Lisa and the one of Death were both shot in my garage with a basic household bulb in the ceiling. Color temp doesn't matter because the ambient light produces a completely black exposure without the flash. Exposure settings for these are usually around the following: ISO 100, 60th to 180th of a second, f5.6 to f11.
11-22-2007, 01:13 AM   #11
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Hello Davemdsn & Anthrop,

As a fellow DIY'er I just thought I would pass on a product that I have used for creating the sides / lining in my homemade softboxes. I purchased several vehicle front windshield sun blocking reflectors. You know the kind that you see people place in their vehicles front window to keep sunlight out and reduce the temperature of their cars interrior while parked. I found a dollar store that sold them ($1 each). They are easy to work with. Some dollar stores also sell white nylon hampers that look amazingly similar to the diffusing tents that people use for shooting small product shot. I ended up purchasing several items (white plastic table cloth that looks and feels like cloth - large easy back drop, or could be cut up to make white reflectors for fill light etc, various clamps, etc. And all for just a $1 each.

Davemdsn - like the photos and the darker images you bring to the forum. The goth bride, etc. That close up facial (of Lisa I believe it is) is very interesting. I played around with it in Photoshop (softened, light blur on the facial skin, kept the eyebrows, eyes, lips, hair hightlights, razor sharp. It definately would please the model in the beauty sense and be what some would go for, but I personally find your unmodified original to be most intriguing.

Spyglass
11-22-2007, 11:38 AM   #12
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$ stores should be a photographers best friend. You have found some fantastic tools. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I'm headed to my local $ stores after Thanksgiving.

Lisa just got signed to a modeling agency so, yes, she will want her skin softened just a little. Too much modifying will anger the next photographer that works with her because she won't look like her photos. Just enough to give it that beauty look. I always remove temporary blemishes, like acne and such, but rarely remove distinguishing features.
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