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Speedlights and soft boxes

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Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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    Posted: May/18/2018 at 08:38
After much discussion with Ted, a speed light was something I added to my arsenal of shooting gear. 
Playing around with them, I discovered I could sync them and remotely operate them via radio signal. 

Ace was a good sport. Sitting next to me, I called him name and said stay, be looked up at me alert and held that position long enough for me to get a shot of him. 


Now this has me thinking, when shooting a subject, how do you cut down on hard shadows caused by the flash?




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RifleDude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2018 at 18:33
Nice photo! To cut down on hard shadows, use a diffuser/soft box, use multiple lights with soft boxes, and/or also try "bounce flash," where you aim off axis (usually straight up) from your subject, letting the light reflect off ceiling and walls rather than aimed directly at the subject. Also, moving your subject further away from the background reduces the shadows and allows you to reduce distracting detail of the background by taking it out of focus using a wide aperture.

If you're doing indoor portraits a lot, there's really no way around the fact you will need to get a multi-light setup with soft boxes and reflectors to truly get professional looking results. A single speed light just won't get you what you need. This is why it's much easier to get good portrait results outdoors where you have natural light and your flash/speed light is then just used as "fill" flash.
Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2018 at 18:40
Very good depth and shadowing in that photo, for me.    I like it. 
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Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skylar McMahon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2018 at 23:30
What is the user has three speedlights? Two on tripods and now has diffusers?



End result? Big improvement I think. 



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koshkin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2018 at 23:54
General rule of thumb is that the larger the light source area the "softer" the light and the less harsh are the shadows.

The smaller the light emitting area of the light, the "harder" the light is and the harsher are the shadows.  

Harder light is often useful for dramatic looking portraits, but for most portraits a softer diffuse light is a better way to go (and it makes the skin look a little better).

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skylar McMahon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2018 at 16:35
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

General rule of thumb is that the larger the light source area the "softer" the light and the less harsh are the shadows.

The smaller the light emitting area of the light, the "harder" the light is and the harsher are the shadows.  

Harder light is often useful for dramatic looking portraits, but for most portraits a softer diffuse light is a better way to go (and it makes the skin look a little better).

ILya

Great advice Ilya, as always sir. You and Ted are gifted and knowledgeable individuals.  
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koshkin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2018 at 18:46
Ted is a much better photographer than I am. I am mostly a camera geek.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2018 at 14:30
Where I work, I have a group of professional photographers who take our "onsite" photographs.  They give me hints and suggestions that I would NEVER presume to pass on... not qualified.  I take better than average photos when I "try", but have no intention or desire to enter into the professional category.  I take photos to provide evidence of what I see... to family, friends and sometimes to contemporaries.  I like taking decent pictures...sometimes... don't have the time or the will to explore the "professional" aspects. I do enjoy, and can appreciate, seeing the results of others' efforts...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2018 at 17:19
Who said anything about being a "professional?" You don't have to be a "professional" or even aspire to be to learn new things and pass along what you learn to others. That's what the photography forum is for. I'm certainly no professional, nor even close. I enjoy the art of photography. I enjoy learning new things and trying new techniques. To me it's fun to apply things you learn and see improvements in your skill set as a result. Just like any other hobby or endeavor, you never stop learning, and that journey is part of the fun of it.
Ted


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