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Portraits in the garage - one backdrop, many uses
Posted By: hamidlmt, 04-08-2008, 10:47 AM

I shot with Trista last night. You can do a lot with a single gray backdrop, a couple hot lights, a couple hot-shoe flashes and some gels.

I used the K10D with various lenses.... FA 31mm 1.8 Limited, FA 50mm 1.4 and DA* 50-135mm 2.8.









Last edited by hamidlmt; 04-08-2008 at 10:54 AM.
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04-08-2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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very nice series! who needs back drops when you got gels!
04-08-2008, 11:13 AM   #3
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I really love #3. She seems like an apparition floating in space. Great lighting. The rest are great also.
04-08-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
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Dang don't those things hurt her nose!!!
Great shots by the way. I like the third and forth ones the best.

Jim

04-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #5
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Excellent work. I like the last one with the rim light on her.
04-08-2008, 05:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
very nice series! who needs back drops when you got gels!
Gels are certainly cheaper than rolls of paper and muslins! I only have a few so far.... it'll be fun to get more!

QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn Quote
I really love #3. She seems like an apparition floating in space. Great lighting. The rest are great also.
Thanks! That one was lit with a single louvered softbox.

QuoteOriginally posted by jbrowning Quote
Dang don't those things hurt her nose!!!
Great shots by the way. I like the third and forth ones the best.

Jim
I can't imagine how it must have hurt to put in those nose rings! Ouch!

QuoteOriginally posted by Techiechick Quote
Excellent work. I like the last one with the rim light on her.
Thanks! That was my first real attempt at doing a rim light... I have some ideas for fine tuning the next session.
04-08-2008, 06:16 PM   #7
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yeh, these are awesome shots mate.. very well done. portraiture is something i am yet to try.. i think ill leave it to the pros... il stick to street.

04-08-2008, 06:29 PM   #8
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Effective and stylish. Your style of protraits are quite evident here. I really like her poses in the first few. The last stance is a little bit different. Was that her own pose or what you wanted her to do?
04-08-2008, 07:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by distorted_vision Quote
yeh, these are awesome shots mate.. very well done. portraiture is something i am yet to try.. i think ill leave it to the pros... il stick to street.
Thanks!

With your creative eye, I'd love to see your take on portraits... maybe one day...

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Effective and stylish. Your style of protraits are quite evident here. I really like her poses in the first few. The last stance is a little bit different. Was that her own pose or what you wanted her to do?
Thanks! I feel I'm still developing a style... sometimes I sorta know what I'm doing.... and, then it passes and everything is better.

The last shot.... it was both of us in a way. I hoped up a step or two onto a ladder and asked her to love over a bit so the flash was fully behind her.
04-08-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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Just wanted to share the setup

Here's the basic setup...

Main light: 1000 watt Photoflex Starlite in a medium softbox. The softbox has louvers on it. This is a continuous hot light.

I also have another 1000 watt Starlite in a 3 foot Octodome softbox, but didn't use it much this time around. I find the control (ie less light spillage, more directional) I get with the louvers to be invaluable. UPS just dropped off a grid for the Octodome, which will give me a similar amount of control.

Background light: Nikon SB-25 with a blue or red gel.

Rim light: Pentax AF-540 with a 3/4 CTO (color temperature orange) gel... the CTO gel helps match the color temperature of the flash to the continuous light. It has a red gel in the samples below.

Other times I've used the CTO gelled flash as a fill.... fired into an umbrella above and behind the camera to ensure I caught some catch lights in the eyes.

Both hot-shoe flashes were fired wirelessly with Cactus V2 triggers.

The background is a light gray seamless paper roll. The gray seems to take to any color.

I usually take the studio down part way so I can park my car in the garage. But, I have several shoots lined up this week.

Sofie wanted to help me illustrate....




Last edited by hamidlmt; 04-08-2008 at 10:05 PM.
04-08-2008, 09:36 PM   #11
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thats an awesome set up mate.. if my garage wasnt full of engines and tools, i would love to have something similar to that... thanks heaps for posting up the pics and going to the trouble of describing ure set-up.
ps- nice dog!! very cute!
04-09-2008, 07:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by distorted_vision Quote
thats an awesome set up mate.. if my garage wasnt full of engines and tools, i would love to have something similar to that... thanks heaps for posting up the pics and going to the trouble of describing ure set-up.
ps- nice dog!! very cute!
I spent the last 4 years with the garage totally unusable. I had moved into my parent's home (my childhood home) after they passed. There was round after round.... taking stuff out of the house into the garage where it would sit for a bit until we'd take it to a charity or sell it.

Now, the garage is finally clear enough to create a makeshift studio. The paper rolls up and the light stands are placed near the backdrop stand so I can park my car inside. Takes probably 30 minutes or less to set up and tear down.
04-09-2008, 07:54 AM   #13
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Nice! Love the third shot!

I'm thinking of getting a gray backdrop and some gels to lighten my load with a ton of backgrounds (I work as a traveling photographer with my mobile studio stuffed in the back of my van!) .

How did you get the low key effect with a gray background? Also, is one speedlight with gel "enough?" I'm thinking of using a similar (but smaller) setup with pet portraits... any tips? Thanks!
04-09-2008, 01:36 PM   #14
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every gel under the sun for .$01!.....they're out of stock now though...I bought two a while back. shipping was, like, 200 times as much!
04-09-2008, 02:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
Nice! Love the third shot!

I'm thinking of getting a gray backdrop and some gels to lighten my load with a ton of backgrounds (I work as a traveling photographer with my mobile studio stuffed in the back of my van!) .

How did you get the low key effect with a gray background? Also, is one speedlight with gel "enough?" I'm thinking of using a similar (but smaller) setup with pet portraits... any tips? Thanks!

You can get pretty decent coverage with a single gelled flash. But, if you really want background to be very even, you might want a second flash.

I do quite a few dog portraits too. That's why my main lights are continuous sources... so the flash doesn't scare the pups.

The low key effect was lit with a single soft box with louvers. It was one of the Photoflex Statelites... not a flash.

QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
every gel under the sun for .$01!.....they're out of stock now though...I bought two a while back. shipping was, like, 200 times as much!
That's a keen find! Just the right size to place over a hot-shoe flash!
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