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02-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #16
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I wouldn't worry about what the meter says unless you want to jot down some notes, after you get it all set up the way you want it. If you were going to use the same setup again, notes and meter readings might save you some time. On initial setup though, you're just guessing. You do that with some test shots and your LCD.




02-19-2011, 08:32 AM   #17
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Start with all lights turned off.
Now turn on your main and adjust it's output to give you the f-stop you want to shoot at.
Now turn on your fill and adjust it until you have the lighting ratio you want.

For example, you adjust your main to give 5.6, then if you want a 1:1 ratio you would adjust your fill until you have f-8 (adding one stop).
If you want a harder ratio, then you would adjust your fill to give you less light than f-8.
A 2:1 ratio would be 1/2 stop over 5.6 for example.
Once you have that ratio set, you can start bringing in hair lights, kickers and background lights.
Hair light can be fairly bright, in our example above you could bring the hair light in at f-5.6 to f-8 if you wanted a solid hair light (female subjects with big hair). OTOH, if you are photographing a bald man, you may want to turn the hair light off, or at least WAY down (f-2.8).
Background lights will be all over the place depending on the effect, but generally you don't want them excessively bright, probably around the same or a little dimmer than the main (f/4 in our example).
It isn't enough to just pile a bunch of lights in, take a reading and set the aperture. Each light needs to me measured and controlled individually to give the desired result.
02-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It isn't enough to just pile a bunch of lights in, take a reading and set the aperture. Each light needs to me measured and controlled individually to give the desired result.
This is valid but I would have written:
QuoteQuote:
It isn't enough to just pile a bunch of lights in, take a reading and set the aperture. Each light needs to be controlled individually to give the desired result and then, maybe measured, but only for the collection of empirical data for the purpose of repeatability or your own amazement or to justify the 150 bucks you just spent on a light meter.
I'm compulsive. Using a DSLR gives me a virtual Polaroid back. Win!
02-19-2011, 09:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gashog Quote
This is valid but I would have written:


I'm compulsive. Using a DSLR gives me a virtual Polaroid back. Win!
Respectfully, I disagree completely with your modification.
If you can determine a lighting ratio by looking at a review screen then you are better than 100% of the studio photographers I've known over the past 40 years.
A review screen on a DSLR is not a replacement for a light meter when trying to control multiple studio lights (nor is a Polaroid for that matter).

02-19-2011, 10:54 AM   #20
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Duly noted.
02-20-2011, 07:03 AM   #21
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now I know why I have been around here for 5 years.... because of helpful people like you guys!
thanks so much.... great starting point... getting on optical slave this week for the old vivitar and once my sigma comes back I am hoping to rock my tiny living room
now if my kids would only co-operate...


cheers and thanks for the great advise, all!

randy
02-20-2011, 07:36 AM   #22
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Have you checked YouTube?
There are many many videos on lighting. Video and still.


[YT]http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?xl=xl_blazer&v=6lsRu90jE88[/YT]
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