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Old April 11th, 2012, 06:46 PM   #16
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Nice pics on your link - like the lighting as well.
Who needs a 5D...??
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Old April 11th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #17
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Thanks Chris!
Can't afford a 5D anyway : ? )
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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:36 AM   #18
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

ha ha yeah i've got GAS for a long time now!!
Great camera ok even tho it wont take video, everything else i own does, even my phone :-)
considered the 5D II when it came out but got a 7D as a alternative. I'd rather get a new EF 85mm f/1.2 L II lens than a new camera at present although that wont happen unless fortune smiles on me.

btw like the portraits - good job

R
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Old April 12th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #19
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Rob,
Haha.....I would say everyone on this forum has GAS at one level or the other. Just too many gadgets out there to wet our whistle.

Im trying to wait 30 days before making any sizable purchases...maybe by then I will have talked myself out of it. ha.

I think the best thing for me is to keep the GH2, learn how to use "it" first. By next year I should know how to take photographs and how to effectively use a DSLR.
Maybe the 5Dmk2 or 3 will be my next cam.

Im OK for video now with my little canon XA10 and the GH2.

Thanks for the kudos on the pics....
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Old April 13th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #20
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hinson View Post

My GH2 attemps at portraits.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...portraits.html
thanks for the advice,
Jeff
Jeff, two things pop out at me on these. You seem to be using "broad" lighting on most, this kind of lighting will tend to draw attention to full round faces. Remember the old saying "the camera adds weight"?

Well, it's not the camera, it's the lighting. Do a Google search on "short" lighting and on "broad" lighting and study any samples images shown. I used to be able to take the appearance of 60lbs or more off some really heavy folks with a combination of camera angle and "short" lighting.

The other thing is what looks like over reliance on black background. Sometimes that treatment is called for and it does at first glance seem to make the subject "pop". But some of best done studio portraits have always had a "background presence". A "controllable" background light can make a big difference here. "Dialing down" the power prevents "blasting" the background with light. The idea is to put just enough light on the background to work with the lighting mood you're trying to create.

Just some ideas that may help you.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #21
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Bruce,
Thanks so much for the tips, and I will do the google search on short lighting.

The samples I posted were mainly shots of my music students. I used the black background on all so that they would all have the same look....which was intentional. Ive now have a couple of different muslin backgrounds I can use. Ive yet to try all white...which Im sure will offer some other challenges. My problem is getting someone to set for hours while I adjust light. ha My friend suggested a manikin would be helpful.

You're correct I only used broad lighting. I have two broad light boxes, each using a 500 watt photo lamp. I got those with a green screen kit I ordered...really cheap. I also have a reflector to experiment with for fill, since I have no flash units except the one on the GH2. I have no idea yet how to control the flash yet.

Anyways, Im having fun learning using the GH2 in full manual using my 3 lenses and editing the pics in post software. (PaintShop Pro 4, and SilkyPix)

Again, thank you for the tips.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #22
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Hinson View Post
You're correct I only used broad lighting. I have two broad light boxes, each using a 500 watt photo lamp. I got those with a green screen kit I ordered...really cheap.
Broad lighting in portraiture is totally different from "broad light boxes".

Imagine a vertical line from the top of the forehead, down the bridge and tip of the nose, and continuing down across the center of the lips down to the point of the chin. This line bisects the face into two identical halves (well somewhat identical as features can often be not symmetrical).

Now turn the face slightly away from the camera (about 30 degrees, no more). The side of the face towards the camera is now broader in aspect than the side on the other side of the nose. Light the face from the "broad" side and you have "broad" lighting and this tends to make the face (and the person) look "heavier".

But light from the other side (which is "shorter"), and you draw the viewer's eye away from the broad side of the face and towards what now appears to be a "slimmer" view of the face. In many cases you have taken the appearance of some "weight" off the person.

In most cases you won't want the light to "divide" the face right at that line, you want a bit of light to "spill" over the nose (from higher than the person's head) to create a triangular highlight on the cheek of the "broad" side, with the nose shadow just hitting the corner of the mouth.

This creates a pattern on the face very close to the "Rembrandt" look.

On the other hand, "broad" lighting is often appropriate for folks with a rather "gaunt" look.

Your light boxes should work very well for what I've described above. Part of the key is to use the "main" or "key" (the one that establishes lighting direction) light in fairly close, you'll get good lighting "wraparound" and very soft edged shadows.

The one you use for "fill" should be as close to the camera axis as you can manage.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #23
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Jeff, here's a bit more on lighting that should help you.

The "fill" light (from as close to the camera axis as you can manage) establishes minimum scene brightness, and should provide a "gentle wash" of light across the whole scene. It should be:

1. Non directional (cast no shadows of it's own)

2. Non specular (should be a broad soft light)

3. Non evident. Casting no shadows, once other lights are added you should see no real evidence of it's use, except that there are no deep shadows.

The fill light should provide minimum barely printable exposure. A picture done with only a "fill" light will look very flat and be unexciting.

The "main" light (or "key" light) establishes lighting direction and adds a bit of dimension to the picture. It should be roughly 1 stop to 1 and a half stops stronger (brighter) than the "fill" and together this will give a 2:1 lighting ratio or so. This works well for most portraiture.

Now, once I established the working distances for these two lights that gave me a good working ratio and good exposure, I tied strings to the lights with a knot tied at just the distance that gave the desired results.

So with the subject seated in front of the camera all I had to do was hold the string on the "fill" out to the subject to insure proper distance (drop that string), move the "main" light around the subject until I had the desired pattern effect, use it's string to move the light in or out to proper distance (I often used this light at 3 to 4 feet) and "done".

No fiddling around, once you know what you want to "see" on the face it only takes seconds.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 03:02 AM   #24
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Thanks so much Bruce....

haha....prior to your last post, I did google broad and short lighting techniques.
I had thought the term "short" light meant "spot" light haha.

So now, thanks to you, Im straight and glad to hear I don't have to buy more lights. ha.

Im wondering if I should purchase a light meter rather than use the GH2 meter. The Sekonic L-308DC seems a good choice for my budget since it is designed for both video and photography.

Have a great Sunday,
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Last edited by Jeff Hinson; April 15th, 2012 at 03:39 AM.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #25
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Yep, you learn something every day. Going to give the broad lighting a go on "weight-challenged" subjects. Nice tip - thx.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #26
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

What I learned Chris...is that I'm glad I don't do weddings.
They are great tips Bruce!
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #27
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hinson View Post
Thanks so much Bruce....

haha....prior to your last post, I did google broad and short lighting techniques.
I had thought the term "short" light meant "spot" light haha.
Until someone shares that info with us or we get it in a workshop/class/article we don't know these things. I'm glad that info can help you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hinson View Post
Im wondering if I should purchase a light meter rather than use the GH2 meter. The Sekonic L-308DC seems a good choice for my budget since it is designed for both video and photography.
In looking at the B&H description on that model it works with fps, shutter angle, and some other things related to film motion picture and not needed for video. The colored models of the 308 cost less, still have some cine features but I'd be tempted to go just a tad more than the 308DC and look at the L-358 for only $30 more.

I've just had my GH2 for a few weeks and so far it looks like the built in meter is pretty accurate, but I'll see. I just TODAY found my old Sekonic L-28c, selenium cell incident meter based on the old 1950's Norwood Director. I bought it on the way back from VietNam in 1970, kind of as a reward to myself for surviving a combat tour. It served me well over several decades as the medium format cameras I used for weddings and location portraiture had no built in meters.

It never let me down. Had a hemispherical "collector" to simulate 3 dimensional subjects, a flat white disk for measuring lighting contrast and ratio's, and a "Lumigrid" for reflected light readings. It seems to work but I'll have to start testing it tomorrow to see if it is still accurate after 41 1/2 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hinson View Post
Have a great Sunday,
I did. Showed off my GH2 at our photo club meeting Sat morning and one of the guys managed to "reconfigure" the danged thing. Took me about an hour of "fumbling" through menus but I finally got my configuration back.

In answer to your original question, try using your GH2 for portrait work. Not a thing wrong with it. I have a Canon 60D, Olympus Pen e-P3, and the GH2; I wouldn't hesitate to use any one of them. It's the artist makes the portrait.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #28
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Nice post Bruce,
Thanks for the info.

Seems we are about the same age. I got out of the Army in '69. I taught fire control systems for Nike Hercules and Hawk Missile during a 3yr tour at Ft. Bliss. Some of the best pics Ive taken was with a Yashica 35mm (sp) viewfinder cam I bought for $15 at a post "thrift store".

I will check out the light meter you suggested. Im sure there's not much difference between the light meter and the on cam meter, but Id like to check it out anyway...should learn something by fiddling with it.

Have a great week, and thanks again for the post,
Jeff
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #29
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

I'd recommend a light meter for portrait work also Jeff. I don't use one for video because I rarely have time to adjust much, but stills are different.

Borrow a meter some time, take readings on the camera and then put your light meter under the subjects chin. You'll be surprised.

FWIW I'm still using my 60's light meter too. Light's Light!
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Old April 17th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #30
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

@ DON...

Im ordering one tomorrow...will be interesting comparing the two meters.
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