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Old Apr-20-2012, 05:27 PM
#1
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Modeling Light ?
This week I have been preparing to take first holy communion photos. Testing light, setting up two flashes with umbrella and softbox, TTL vs Manual, Commander mode vs Triggers, etc.

One thing I have not figured out is how to get good focus on the subject when ambient light is poor prior to the flashes triggering?

15 young kids, indiivdually, will be posed about 4 to 5 feet in front of a beautiful stained glass window. There is a sizable overhang outside over the stained glass. The stained glass faces southwest. The time of the shoot is 3:00pm to 4:00pm. So light is not shining directly through the glass.

I have tested lighting and decided to use TTL and commander mode using two Nikon SB700s. The results look good, BUT I don't always get a real shart image on the test subject when the subject is in low light on a cloudy day.

So, do I use some kind of continuous light, like a 5000+K CFL bulb and direct it at the subject just to put a enough light on the subject so I can get a clear focus?

Is that a modeling light?

Thanks
Phil
Old Apr-20-2012, 07:27 PM
#2
ziggy53 is offline ziggy53
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A "modeling light" is typically an incandescent light, positioned in the same fixture as the flash, which allows a modeling preview of the light and shadows as they fall on the subject. (You use it for positioning the flash.)

A "focus assist" light is a light either built into the camera or built into an external hot-shoe flash, possibly also casting a pattern as well as illumination of the subject. The patterned light is extremely helpful with subject matter which includes curved surfaces (like human subjects) or flat and featureless subject matter.

Depending on the Nikon camera body you may be able to enable the built-in focus assist lamp, but an external flash with a focus assist projected patterned light is much better. A Nikon SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander is another (relatively expensive) option for focus assist.
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Old Apr-20-2012, 07:58 PM
#3
Nikolai is offline Nikolai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeinfocus View Post
This week I have been preparing to take first holy communion photos. Testing light, setting up two flashes with umbrella and softbox, TTL vs Manual, Commander mode vs Triggers, etc.

One thing I have not figured out is how to get good focus on the subject when ambient light is poor prior to the flashes triggering?

15 young kids, indiivdually, will be posed about 4 to 5 feet in front of a beautiful stained glass window. There is a sizable overhang outside over the stained glass. The stained glass faces southwest. The time of the shoot is 3:00pm to 4:00pm. So light is not shining directly through the glass.

I have tested lighting and decided to use TTL and commander mode using two Nikon SB700s. The results look good, BUT I don't always get a real shart image on the test subject when the subject is in low light on a cloudy day.

So, do I use some kind of continuous light, like a 5000+K CFL bulb and direct it at the subject just to put a enough light on the subject so I can get a clear focus?

Is that a modeling light?

Thanks
Phil
No, it's called "AF assist" light.
However, feel free to call it whatever you want, as long as it does what you want. However I would at least put it on a very low power, so it doesn't interfere with the beautiful ambient light from the tinted glass. Even more so, I would turn it on, focus, lock the focus, turned the light off, and only then shoot.
And, IMVNHO, using any version auto TTL (whatever it is called) in your environment is a quick recipe for disaster. What you really want is full manual setup.
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Old Apr-21-2012, 01:49 AM
#4
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
No, it's called "AF assist" light.
However, feel free to call it whatever you want, as long as it does what you want. However I would at least put it on a very low power, so it doesn't interfere with the beautiful ambient light from the tinted glass. Even more so, I would turn it on, focus, lock the focus, turned the light off, and only then shoot.
And, IMVNHO, using any version auto TTL (whatever it is called) in your environment is a quick recipe for disaster. What you really want is full manual setup.
Thanks for both your answers. I will try manual again. I had a difficult time in using manual in balancing the light so that it did not overpower the stained glass and provide sufficient light on the subject.

Thanks again, Phil
Old Apr-21-2012, 04:41 AM
#5
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy53 View Post
A "modeling light" is typically an incandescent light, positioned in the same fixture as the flash, which allows a modeling preview of the light and shadows as they fall on the subject. (You use it for positioning the flash.)

A "focus assist" light is a light either built into the camera or built into an external hot-shoe flash,
Thanks, I have done some more research - reading. Modeling illumination will work when the flash is on the camera but not when using my triggers - Phottix. I assume it does not work with triggers or I need to find a compatilbe trigger.

Thanks
Phil
Old Apr-23-2012, 03:35 AM
#6
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Shoot Results
The photo shoot went well. I ended up using manual. Two flashes - one with umbrella, the other with an octodome. And I added one CFL 5500k light on an old tripod as hair light - amazingly that worked well.

I reread through my flash user manuals and figured out a few things - like Zoom, which I had not used before. That was a big help and I reconfigured my settings on my Nikon so my AF Assist would work - that was a big help.

I have some more processing to do and then I will post one of the photos.

Thanks again for your support guys. Big help.
Old Apr-23-2012, 05:41 AM
#7
angevin1 is offline angevin1
Performs as designed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeinfocus View Post
The photo shoot went well. I ended up using manual. Two flashes - one with umbrella, the other with an octodome. And I added one CFL 5500k light on an old tripod as hair light - amazingly that worked well.

I reread through my flash user manuals and figured out a few things - like Zoom, which I had not used before. That was a big help and I reconfigured my settings on my Nikon so my AF Assist would work - that was a big help.

I have some more processing to do and then I will post one of the photos.

Thanks again for your support guys. Big help.

Nice! Can't wait to see your result~
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Old Apr-27-2012, 09:09 AM
#8
Nikolai is offline Nikolai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeinfocus View Post
Below is the photo that I like the best from the First Communion session.
No image
Please consult with http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=18703 about how to attach/embed images correctly.
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Old Apr-27-2012, 11:43 AM
#9
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
No image
Please consult with http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=18703 about how to attach/embed images correctly.
http://www.lifeinfocusexpressions.co...mmunion-XL.jpg

Phil

Last edited by lifeinfocus; Apr-27-2012 at 12:38 PM.
Old Apr-27-2012, 12:38 PM
#10
Nikolai is offline Nikolai
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You probably disabled sharing in your SM gallery.
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Old Apr-27-2012, 12:41 PM
#11
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
You probably disabled sharing in your SM gallery.
Unfortunately, I did because there are young kids and unless all the parents give permission i hesitate enabling it.
Old Apr-27-2012, 12:51 PM
#12
Nikolai is offline Nikolai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeinfocus View Post
Unfortunately, I did because there are young kids and unless all the parents give permission i hesitate enabling it.
Understandable.... I suggest creating a copy with faces blurred or blocked and share that...
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Old Apr-27-2012, 02:10 PM
#13
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
Understandable.... I suggest creating a copy with faces blurred or blocked and share that...
I removed the photo after being reviewed and given valuable comments.

Last edited by lifeinfocus; Apr-29-2012 at 03:47 AM.
Old Apr-27-2012, 03:53 PM
#14
Nikolai is offline Nikolai
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Lighting's fine, kid's cute, but your vantage point is no good:-(
You're *way* too close to your subject... Her supposedly teeny-tiny-girly palms look gargantuan compared to her face.
In portrait photogrpahy, unlike street/urban/landscape, the rule of thumb is "if you don't like what you see, you're too close"...
__________________
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Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
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Old Apr-28-2012, 12:28 AM
#15
lifeinfocus is offline lifeinfocus OP
Phils Imaging
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
Lighting's fine, kid's cute, but your vantage point is no good:-(
You're *way* too close to your subject... Her supposedly teeny-tiny-girly palms look gargantuan compared to her face.
In portrait photogrpahy, unlike street/urban/landscape, the rule of thumb is "if you don't like what you see, you're too close"...

Good points. Thanks, I will keep that in mind for my next one.

Phil
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