A simple lighting set up for portraits

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by kevinparis, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    found this little tip form diyphotography.net - a site worth bookmarking for tips and inspiration

    Gorgeous Soft Light With One Speedlite | DIYPhotography.net

    thought I would give it a try this afternoon with the OMD set to manual and shooting at 1/160 at iso 200 and Contax 85/1.4 and the kit zoom, along with an old Oly FL50 set to manual on the OMD.

    seems to work quite nice....excuse my ugly mug

    12-60

    [​IMG]
    P9130063 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    contax 85/1.4@ 2.8 i think


    P9130012 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    k
     
    • Like Like x 11
  2. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nice ... but I come from the 'cantankerous Scotsmen need hard light" school.
     
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    ha ha... I am from the 'cantankerous scotsmen look their best in no light at all' school!!!

    K
     
  4. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    A nice, simple tip, thanks!

    In fact, using a single flash together with a reflector is one of my favorite techniques, esp. if somewhat more dramatic effects are desired (vs creating soft light).

    I can post a photo to show what I mean, if it's alright.
     
  5. rkell

    rkell Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Aug 7, 2012
    Well done! But the catchlights in the eyes are a bit strange and distracting, especially in the first example.
     
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    go ahead on post... more examples of simple lighting techniques always welcome

    K
     
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    agree... i was just experimenting... the reflection in the catchlights is from the camera/tripod/flashgun...taking the flash off the camera and adjusting its position should alter this. I have a simple ebay wireless trigger that I will try next time

    my key takeaway from the original article is that a big white wall makes a great reflector...and that impressive lighting can be achieved with a simple setup

    it isn't a solution for every situation... but a good one to have in your head

    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    nice shot....

    flash plus reflector has lots of potential... but what i liked about the original tip was the idea that a great reflector might be anywhere around you... even behind you.

    playing with this set up is a great introduction to how working with flash can work. I was using a FL50 which is a pretty powerful flash.. I was using it manually on pretty low power .. yet it gave me more than enough light at iso 200 to get a 'studio' look

    my white background was a simple bit of foamboard from an art supply store... it is another bit of the equation, as the spill form the light will also light the background.

    K
     
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  10. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    Thanks... the point is that you can take advantage of a percent of light from the flash too, use other modifiers (like flashbenders), etc. As you say, you can position the reflector(s) anywhere.
     
  11. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Question for any PEN owner/strobists reading this thread - what's your preferred setup for triggering off-camera flash? I've got an FL-36R so I know about the Olympus wireless trigger function using my on-board flash, but that relies on line-of-sight and I can imagine situations where the flash is hidden behind an umbrella/softbox. Is there any way to use the VF-2 and a radio trigger at the same time?
     
  12. rkell

    rkell Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Aug 7, 2012
    Not a direct answer, but while RC mode can be a bit finicky and generally requires line-of-sight, in a studio setup, you'll often find that it can read the pre-flashes just fine when they are bounced. If you are going full manual slave mode, you have a lot of leeway and the flash just generally needs to see a reflected/bounced flash from somewhere (even from another remote flash). Experiment a little and you might find that radio triggers are not necessary...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Played around yesterday with another setup - using the same principles of bouncing flash off of walls for a soft light

    Used the OMD with the supplied little flash acting as RC controller and the little fL300 mounted on a tripod.

    Seemed to work well - though the on camera flash - even when switched to off does produce an annoying catchlight

    lens is the 45/1.8 wide open... camera shutter triggered by cheapo wireless remote

    [​IMG]
    P9140123 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    P9140126 by kevinparis, on Flickr


    P9140184 by kevinparis, on Flickr


    K
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    kinda surprised this thread hasn't generated more traffic.


    i know people are little scared of flash... but it seems to me that there are some interesting possibilities with minimal equipment and a little thought.

    maybe I am preaching to the converted or maybe my little experiments dont wow others like they wow me..

    let me repeat these are the results of shooting at 200 iso in a dull room at 160th of a second. Looking at the LCD in these setting all i could see was a dark blob!!!

    learning flash isn't hard and can surprise you at what you can get out of your existing camera and lens.

    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios

    There are scores of highly experienced strobists in this forum. It's safe to assume they have long gone beyond basic techniques and setups. The thing with your OP though is the emphasis on experimentation, even having basic/limited equipment. Light is light. And sure, recipes will work most of the time (have seen a lot of pros, firsthand, relying on "lighting recipes" alone), but nothing beats trying whatever lighting approach comes to mind and see what gives.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. hankbaskett

    hankbaskett Mu-43 Regular

    155
    Aug 21, 2012
    It's definitely a nice result, and I agree with you that there are interesting possibilities with minimal equipment and a little thought.

    I'm just getting into shooting with flash, and am waiting on up a couple of cheap Yongnuo 560-IIs to go along with my FL-36 (and kit OM-D flash), and couple of cheap lightstands, umbrellas and reflectors to mess around with (total cost, ~$300). I have no real particular use for any of this stuff, I'm not planning on setting up a studio or shooting a bunch of portraits, but I'm strangely fascinated by experimenting with strobes to achieve different lighting effects. Anyway, I digress, but thanks for the post.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thanks hank


    may i recommend a simple purchase from you local art store that I have found useful when experimenting... I call him harry the head....he never moans or gets bored when I am trying to set up lighting

    4890534873_bc48611389_z.
    Kevin and Harry - Born to stroll by kevinparis, on Flickr

    K
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I love seeing new lighting possibilities, particularly those that I can use in lots of different situations - a second flash is easy to carry around(I have a Nissan for :43: and a Promaster I used with my Canon gear) and you can usually find a wall to bounce off of. Nice! :thumbup:
     
  19. jetta-the-hut

    jetta-the-hut Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Sep 14, 2012
    Southport,NC
    So i assume Kevin that you aren't using the diffuser screen behind you? I cant see spending 80 dollars on a white screen. I have often thought about how to set up a 1 umbrella set-up. I guess when i finally pick up a fl-36 i'll dive more in depth on it. Any recommendations on other ttl flashes that work well that dont carry a 100+ dollar price tag that will work on the pen series?
     
  20. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I've been following, but unfortunately can't contribute much to the discussion..I've been meaning to pick up a basic flash, but I always seem to find a reason not to..