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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:46 pm 
Hello all,

For several months now i've been doing free portrait shots for friends and contacts to build my portfolio. However, I've had an experienced model ask me to do a set for her. Shes an old friend. This is all well and good except Im having trouble finding or thinking of a location to do the shots as I don't have a studio and don't know of one to rent. The shoot is coming up early next week. Can anyone suggest a good idea for location?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Find something white or gray ;)
A wall will do, or even a blanket. Just blow it nuclear with a flash, and you're done. This picture was taken in my bathroom, the tiled wall behind me overexposed with a flash:

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:32 pm 
I agree, get a background like the one Marijn suggests, and blow it up with a flash, so as to loose the background texture.

If you can't overexpose the background by flashing it, you could eventually take the pics and blowout the background in photoshop, by doing an extra layer, overexposing it, and doing a mask to blend everything in neatly. That would take much more work though...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:37 am 
Wow... quite simple but very effective! Thanks a lot guys. So I should be just firing my flash at close to full power.. even with a diffuser or should I be going for that harsh light. I just dont want any shadow cast if I try to achieve this.

You guys have inspired me on this shoot. I'm thinking of doing a high key set and a low key set. The low key set using ambient light from a window just like Bert Stephani here :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbKa38Vv9cY&feature=channel


Thanks again guys for the help.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:02 am 
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Just a quick Google of Windsor Ontario and here are some location ideas for you...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor,_Ontario
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parks_in_t ... r,_Ontario

And what looks like a potential studio space, Mackenzie Hall
Quote:
Originally a courthouse & gaol, Mackenzie Hall is now the cultural centre for the City of Windsor, with performing space, theatre, art galleries, meeting facilities and a ballroom for private rentals and special events. See our Room Rental section for more information and photos of each room.
http://www.citywindsor.ca/000219.asp

In terms of a theme for the shoot does your model have any message she is trying to get over or a target market for the shots? Why not have a brain storm with the model before the shoot use things like books or films as inspiration to give you a script to follow.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:28 am 
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Dump the diffusor if your flash shoots wide enough, otherwise you will just lose 1 or 2 precious stops.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:40 pm 
dump the diffusor, you dont want light spilling around everywhere. all you want is the wall to be white.

A white bedsheet or something similar (just tape it on the walls with gaffer tape, works fine) makes life a lot easier too in my opinion - it's much flater and pure white, so it's easier to blow it out completely

watchout for enough distance between your subject and the background - otherwise the light will bounce back from the wall and spill on your subject, that's not pretty.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:55 pm 
Wow what an amazing response you guys. Thank you so much for the advice.

I have e-mailed the model and she says she has some ideas she would like to throw by me in terms of theme and location. Im just awaiting her phone call.

I've also looked into Mackenzie Hall as keystrokesuk has mentioned. I've e-mailed the city for permission to shoot there. It will make an excellent location for the shoot if need be. Thank you keystrokesuk.

Cituspers and Nostrum. Thanks I'll dump the diffuser as you suggested and simply set my flash a bit wider in manual. If it doesn't work out with the local hall im definitely doing the high key, low key thing. A bed sheet would keep the image far less seamless and make things easier.. especially if the wall is painted with high gloss paint.

Still, I guess Ill wait and see what the model has in mind.

Thanks again all for this awesome response. I promise to post my results.

p.s Cituspers, that picture is tack sharp. Id love to know your workflow! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:55 pm 
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I'll post it tomorrow, okay? :)
As far as light spill back on the subject: this can create a nice wrap, if not overdone (look at the edge of my face for instance, might be a bit overdone for female models though).

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:08 am 
Thanks ... cant wait :D

One last thing.. what do you mean by "spill back on the subject"?

Could I accomplish this by setting up 1 off camera flash towards the white backdrop at a very low setting and use my on camera pop up flash as the front fill light?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:05 am 
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By light spill, I mean this:

The light first hits the blanket/white wall behind your subject. It then "spills" to the subject's back, and a bit of his/her side. As you can see in my photo, my left cheek is brighter than the front of my face.
Light spill will add a bit of "glow" to your subject.


Can you pull it off with the popup flash?

I think so. General rule is to overexpose the background by 2 stops, so find out at which power your flashes are equal, then set the background flash 2 stops hotter (from 1/4 to 1/1 for instance).

My picture was taken with popup flash off, it only sent out a burst of infrared light to trigger the other flash ;)
I did have a pretty tight white-ish room though. If you have a red ceiling and carpet, your model might turn red too.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:19 pm 
Citruspers wrote:
By light spill, I mean this:

The light first hits the blanket/white wall behind your subject. It then "spills" to the subject's back, and a bit of his/her side. As you can see in my photo, my left cheek is brighter than the front of my face.
Light spill will add a bit of "glow" to your subject.


Can you pull it off with the popup flash?

I think so. General rule is to overexpose the background by 2 stops, so find out at which power your flashes are equal, then set the background flash 2 stops hotter (from 1/4 to 1/1 for instance).

My picture was taken with popup flash off, it only sent out a burst of infrared light to trigger the other flash ;)
I did have a pretty tight white-ish room though. If you have a red ceiling and carpet, your model might turn red too.


Good info another lesson learned


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:25 am 
Ok thanks I understand now. Ill have to do a mock setup this weekend to see what kind of results I get.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:06 am 
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Citruspers,

The info is good and the shot is ultra sharp, what lens did you use?

Cheers

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:03 am 
the sharpness of a web-sized image is 70% the product of good postprocessing, 20% product of a well placed focus and maybe 10% a matter of the lens if you ask me ;)

the spilling effect works in your photo citrus, but I dare say it doesn't in most cases.


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