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Old October 10th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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Lighting Setup Critique

Hey guys. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who contribute to the forum and help out the upstarts like myself.

I just wanted to throw out my latest lighting set up to get some feedback as to the setup and if, to your more professional eyes, I have made some improvement, and where I have room to improve. Hit me with it...

McKinley Goodger - Barrel Racer By Mike Watkins On ExposureRoom




For a bit of history on where I started, please see this thread and all of the suggestions in it.
critique my lighting

It's great to have a resource like you guys.

Thanks,

Mike Watkins
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Old October 11th, 2009, 12:04 AM   #2
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From a pro editors perspective (30 years) I gotta say I like your lighting. Nice modeling on the face. Nice fill. Good hair separation from bkg. The only critiques would be have a little more distance between her and the bkg. Then you could throw the bkg a little more out of focus (just a touch) and a little powder on her face to reduce the bits of shine .Nice job.

Last edited by Tom Daigon; October 11th, 2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #3
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Everything Tom said x2.

Looks great, now tweak it.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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Mike: Looking better each time!

a few very minor suggestions:

1. Maybe just a little less intensity on the hair light.
2. Rather than giving the fairly even wash of light on the wall of belt buckles, also experiment with bars or slashes of lights, or a gobo-type effect, with random patterns of light spread across the background.
3. If you are stuck in a tight room, I've been having some pretty good luck with moving my softbox (Chimera) key in fairly close, and adding a layer of neutral density, so as to get the camera lens irised pretty much wide open. Really helps narrow the depth of field, and separate the subject from the background.
4. I know she has a wild mop of hair, but I'll sometimes gently suggest an "ear tuck" of the hair on the key side, so it doesn't cast that hard edge shadow on her face.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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Wow, what a huge improvement! I remember reading your original post where you used your wife I think(I didn't bother to re-read your link, just looked at the photo.)

I would have lowered the intensity of the back light some, but that's about it.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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Tom,

Thanks for the input. I really wanted to get some separation, but when I showed up to the shoot, I found it was a very confined living room. Tried to powder some of the hotspots, but there was quite a bit of makeup already applied...

Thanks again for the compliment.

Mike W.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #7
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Thanks Shaun!

I'm feeling like I'm tweaking every time I shoot. Don't know if it's a good or bad trait.

Thanks again.

Mike W.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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Bill,

Thanks for the great suggestions. I'll see that I use them in my next shoot.

Mike W.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #9
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Thanks Eric,

My wife is glad someone else is in front of the camera. However I've finally wore her down to where there's no fight getting her to stand in for lighting..:)
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Old October 19th, 2009, 11:46 AM   #10
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Mike:

I'm going to cautiously weasel on one of those suggestions. I should have said: I had been having luck with my big camera and its 2/3-inch imagers. I spent a great deal of time last week trying to replicate the same look with the much smaller chips on my Sony Z1U HDV camera...without much luck.

There is just too much depth of field with the smaller chips to affect the bokeh primarily using the iris. Even with a lot of linear feet to deal with, I had a very difficult time getting the background even faintly soft.

Keep on experimenting...some of the best looks are found by accident!
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