Author Topic: Lighting Opinions Wanted  (Read 4115 times)

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Chris333

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 04:12:01 PM »
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This is with the room lights off and just a screw in about 1' away with paper over it for 5 sec:

I like this one, but wish I could get the deck to look a more "woodish" color.

Jason's and David's photos have a background that gets darker. Mine always seem to get brighter and wash out. I must still be doing something wrong.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 04:14:57 PM by Chris333 »

wcfn100

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2008, 04:15:36 PM »
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Here's sort of an example of what I'm talking about. I set the f-stop to 16 and took two pictures. One with the focus on the left repoting marks, and the other with it 1/3 of the way down.





The most dramatic difference is the lighting change that happens by just refocusing, which doesn't show up as well here as it does full size on an 18" monitor.

I can take the same shot at f36 to get the full focus and the blue background becomes more saturated (maybe a bit on the green side).  I can't for sure that I see that much less detail.



I guess the bottom line is that no one has said there is anything inherently wrong with really any of the photos posted, just some preferences.  So I shouldn't get hung up on this any more and just go ahead write and submit without worry.  I've looked through past magazines and have seen the type of photos that are used for modeling articles.  I think I can compete with most of those.

I hope someone wants to publish CGW stuff...

Jason

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2008, 04:21:53 PM »
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Click up a few spots to lengthen the exposure past what the meter says.  These are still dark.  The meter is going to register all that background instead of knowing that you want a photo of the dark thing in the center.  This will help wash out some of the background too.
Mike

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wcfn100

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2008, 04:31:34 PM »
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It's funny that you mention that because I hadn't reset the exposure compensation back to what I had been using earlier.

Here's +0.7 and +1.0 respectively.  I assume this is essentially the same effect you're looking for by lengthening the exposure?






Jason

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2008, 06:16:23 PM »
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This is with the room lights off and just a screw in about 1' away with paper over it for 5 sec:

I like this one, but wish I could get the deck to look a more "woodish" color.

Jason's and David's photos have a background that gets darker. Mine always seem to get brighter and wash out. I must still be doing something wrong.

Chris, you've got a classic "problem child" here that would have a photo studio working for an hour or more to get the light balanced (when you can do it in photoshop in a few minutes), putting up "snoots" and making custom kicker reflectors, etc... The problem is a strong contrast between the light wood deck and the dark frame. You may need to place the key light a lot lower, so that it shines more directly on the frame and rakes across the wood. Also, bringing the light in from more of an angle helps the background fall off more quickly. I tend to aim the lights at 45 degrees or even harder from the sides for more "drama," more than most people prefer to do. You might even cheat just a little and place a high fill light aming down on the deck, and tint the light with a slightly warm filter to bring up the wood tones. (Ah, I feel like I'm back in the old studio again...)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 06:19:56 PM by David K. Smith »
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wcfn100

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2008, 06:24:50 PM »
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Chris, I just read a bit of my manual and it suggests that it is useful to compensate the exposure when you have a dark subject and light background.  It seems to have worked for my gondola (which is pure coincidence as I read that after the shot).

I'd try a +0.3, +0.7 and +1.0 or higher so to see if it helps at all.  I'd be curious to know as well.


Jason

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2008, 06:36:27 PM »
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Messing around:

F8 1-2sec light 1' away.
Color of the deck look OK to me and I can see the background (tan construction paper),  but the car itself seems like a big block of black with no detail.

By the way, monitors make a huge difference as well; unfortunately, no two people will be seeing the same image. I happen to like this first one; the car is dark but I can easily make out the rivets, details and trucks on my monitor...
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Chris333

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2008, 07:28:10 PM »
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I like that first one best as well. I just wish I could get better.

OK the camera is a Canon S2. In manual mode I can control the shutter time, but not the exposure. I found some other mode that would allow both.

The background is better I think. Still no warm brown deck, oh well.

DKS

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2008, 09:17:21 PM »
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I like that first one best as well. I just wish I could get better.

OK the camera is a Canon S2. In manual mode I can control the shutter time, but not the exposure. I found some other mode that would allow both.

The background is better I think. Still no warm brown deck, oh well.

Chris, you said the background was tan construction paper. This could be fooling your camera to overcompensate with white balance and suck the warm tones out of the image. I pushed a little of the warmth back in, and also did a very slight dodge-and-burn on the dark frame parts to punch them up a bit. Is this closer to your reality?

"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Chris333

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2008, 09:22:38 PM »
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Exactly!

I doubt I can do the "dodge and burn", but can you say how it was warmed?

DKS

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2008, 10:15:22 PM »
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Exactly!

I doubt I can do the "dodge and burn", but can you say how it was warmed?

I just pushed up red and yellow tones just a little (same as pulling down cyan and blue), which was just a real quick-and-dirty way of fine-tuning the color temperature. I kept my eye on the white lettering, and assumed it really was white; if you look at the original image, the lettering ran on average RGB 212, 233, 254, which is quite cool, as if the camera thought the tan paper was white; after warming the image, the lettering ran more like RGB 244, 249, 255, which is still just very slightly cool, but way closer to true white. Taking it any further actually made the the whole image look sepia-tone.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 10:44:34 PM by David K. Smith »
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wcfn100

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2008, 10:19:58 PM »
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Some of that blue could be from your white balance still being off.  Here's what happens when you forget to take the florencent setting off and go outside.




Jason

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2008, 10:47:51 PM »
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The problem with the canned white balance settings is that there is no one single "fluorescent" color temperature--the lamps vary wildly from brand to brand and type to type, and they also vary over time as they age. Auto white balance may not be perfect, but I find it's usually better than the canned settings.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Chris333

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2008, 11:35:22 PM »
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Thank you.  My program only lets me adjust red, green, and blue. I just tried taking the red up a hair and blue down a bit. Left green alone. The result was pretty nice, not as good as your, but a big improvement for me.

tom mann

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Re: Lighting Opinions Wanted
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2008, 05:17:20 AM »
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As a side note, I've never seen a camera that nails auto white balance.  Have a white piece of paper handy, and manually set the white balance each time you shoot.  Or if your environment is constant, just directly set it.