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Studio Notes, Take Two

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by JamieW, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    I've decided to start a new thread detailing the new setup since I was using LED Lighting in the first thread and ended up returning them.

    The new setup:

    [​IMG]

    (2) Alien Bees B800 (Rim Lights), each equipped with a 22" Beauty Dish and a 30 degree grid
    (1) Alein Bees B400 (Key Light), equipped with a 22" Beauty Dish
    (1) Interfit 300i, background light
    I also picked up the Vagabond Lithium for remote work which will be a big part of my services in the future. I'd rather work with two AB800's in the field than multiple lower powered hotshoe flashes.
    I use a .06 (2 stop) ND filter and I just received a 1.8 (6 stop) ND filter for use with prime lenses wide open (thinking about the 75 1.8 and 45 1.8 here), but haven't tested it yet.

    From here, when I need to add or replace lights, I intend to go with a ProFoto pack system.

    My current workflow is to shoot tethered with the Canon 6D to Lightroom using the Auto Import feature on the watched folder, however, I hope to try out the EyeFi Pro X2 this weekend on the E-M1. Once I get a bit more comfortable with the new setup and don't need to tweak as much I'll be using the E-M1 exclusively. I get many more keepers using the E-M1's Face Detect focusing for portraits vs the 6D's "Nose Priority" Auto Focus system.

    Images get copied to a working directory on the workstation, with a second copy going straight to the new USB 3 HDD Dock automatically on import so I have an immediate backup of all RAW files. I'm going to start making very liberal use of the Reject function to keep my galleries more manageable in the future.

    I'm also evaluating Capture One Pro, as it now supports the E-M1. I've repeatedly heard that people prefer the skin tones out of C1 over LR and other tools, and I have to admit I haven't been overly excited about the skin tones under studio lighting in LR so far with the latest LR 5.3 profiles. I'll post more on this later.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the new lighting setup. We're going to be doing our first shots for the new portfolio over the next couple of weekends, and I'll post edits when I have time.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. PatrickVA

    PatrickVA Mu-43 Veteran

    264
    Jul 31, 2012
    Central Virginia
    No questions yet, but please keep posting. This is interesting stuff - I'm slowly trying to learn flash and off camera lighting.
     
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Well, I really want to see the results of the setup more than anything else :smile:

    I did have one question though - why choose B800s for the rim lights and a B400 for the key, any particular reason?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    I had a project studio years ago and the AB400 and Interfit 300's are left overs I never managed to sell, just in case. I knew I wanted some 800's for some location work so I decided to go with a bit more power. I actually wanted a set of Einsteins which can be turned down to 2.5w (the 800's have a minimum setting of 10w), but money being what it is, I had to budget for all the other stuff I was still missing.

    In general though, I'm working on a different lighting style from my past work where the rim lights are brighter, and the key light is used as a fill. I don't have a great example at the moment because I just started redoing my LR catalogs, but here's a really bad picture of my son from a few weeks back, about 30 seconds after he woke up. :)

    [​IMG]

    Aside from the obvious bed head and dirty clothes, the key light is misplaced so the catch lights aren't great, and I didn't have a fill reflector in place so the shadows are really dark, but it should give you an idea of where I'm headed. We've refined the lighting quite a bit since then. I'm planning on getting a proper shot of him for the site tomorrow.

    BTW: That's a white background behind him with the background light turned off. The grids on the rim lighting help with the light spill, and the ND filter allows me to turn up the lights enough to overpower the ambient light in the room.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    My buddy came by last night to loan me his Eye-Fi card. I wanted to try it out and see how it worked in the studio. He sat down in front of the camera, so I snapped this photo. Didn't think anything of it at the time. The lights weren't even set up for an adult so the catch lights aren't great. We fired off a few more and went to dinner.

    When I came home I decided to play around with the photo to see if I could get anything useful out of it. I got a little carried away I think. I grunged up the skin tones a bit using clarity in LR. Replaced the background, gave him a black eye, and and added the text in PS. Not something I'd put on my web site, but a fun little project.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
    I reeeealllly want to read that HD vs. Burgman article!! My money's on the Burgie :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    HAHA, my buddy (the one in the photo) owns an '87 Goldwing, but is wanting a Harley. I traded in my Triumph America earlier this year because it wasn't great for longer road trips, and bought a Burgman. Everyone thought I was nuts. I love it. Smooth on the highway at 80 MPH with a lot of overhead if I need it, quiet, faster acceleration than the HD, better gas mileage, more cargo space, COMFORTABLE over long trips, and 1/3 the price.

    The only thing I was missing was the radio, so I got a headset bluetooth system. I still want another triumph (a Scrambler this time), but the Burgman is my go-to for multi-day trips.
     
  8. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    Very nice. I got a good laugh out of the Burgman teaser.
     
  9. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    There comes a time when you have to say "good enough", stop buying things, and just start shooting. Over the weekend I did 6 separate photo sessions in my new home studio. I've still got a bit of tweaking to do both in the lighting and the workflow, but it's coming together. This was the only adult I shot this weekend. I'm pretty excited about how the kids photos turned out because the parents let me get creative with their shots. I'll post them soon, spaced out every couple of days to make it look like I'm staying busy, and not staying in bed all week trying to shake the flu. :)

    E-M1, 12-40, bunch of lights

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    E-M1 / 12-40

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. mkee

    mkee Mu-43 Regular

    122
    May 9, 2012
    Long Beach CA
    Your lighting is really stunning great work!
     
    • Like Like x 1