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Which lighting option....

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by 5tatman, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. 5tatman

    5tatman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 10, 2014
    Ashton Under Lyne
    ok here goes A little background to hopefully let you understand where I'm coming from. At this moment in time I have absolutely no intention of making money from Photography, so with that in mind I don't need recommendations for high end pro equipment.

    ok - I've been asked by my mother in law to take some group photo's in her house for her 70th B'day. It's in Hatfield (i'm in Ashton-u-lyne), and with the 4 of us, plus luggage plus backdrop etc, space is limited in the car. I have 2 light units (softboxes) these heads take 5 energy saver lamps each - so needs a bit of space, so I would rather not take these, for space issues. I use a Panasonic G5 with Olympus FL360 Flash unit. I have a backdrop I would like to take. The main room isn't particularly bright. I will probably be using my 20mm f1.7 prime lens. I don't want to spend if poss, but don't mind if it's right for me, as I do family shoots at home usually for Mothers day with the kids etc. so it'll get used again.

    As I won't be able to go and practise before hand, what would you recommend of the following options or make a suggestion.

    1 - Go with what I have and make do. Make it work.
    2 - Make room for both light units
    3 - Make room for 1 light unit.
    4 - Get some Home studio flash units
    5 - Upgrade the flash gun I have to 560 or equivalent
    6 - Get a pair of matching flash guns and run wireless. (thinking of the Yongnuo YN-560 III *2 + trigger)
    7 - your suggestion.

    Other equipment in my signature plus a couple of different size reflectors.

    The ceiling is low, and it's a rectangle room so one end will be blocking out any light with the backdrop etc. It's just as I don't get a second chance at this, and i don't want to mess up, I thought I'd ask for some help and pointers.
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Is the ceiling suitable for bounce flash? If so, ditch the hot lights and modifiers and just use bounce flash for key. If you feel the 360 is too low powered (you might need to go to ISO400/800), get a single YN560 and use it as an optical slave key (bounced) with the 360 as fill, either on or off camera, all manual of course.

    Most importantly - turn up a bit early and set up, do through a trial run to check your settings with a stand in.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. 5tatman

    5tatman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 10, 2014
    Ashton Under Lyne
    Agreed don't really want to to take the lights. The ceiling is a light colour but low. I was thinking of either getting 1 or 2 full power flashguns with trigger. I can put lower down on stands, and have a more even spread of light as bouncing light is limited.
     
  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've got a low white ceiling (2.5m maybe), and my YN560 can light almost the whole 6m across room bounced from the ceiling when placed on the floor at 1/4 power, ISO400, f/2.8.

    You might want another one to be safe if you need to stop down for a group shot, but I'd say you're probably fine with a single YN560 and your FL360L off camera, using the pop up on the G5 to trigger. You can also use a reflector for some fill.

    I'd recommend not overcomplicating it though, the more light sources (which includes reflectors) you add the more tedious it's going to be to set up and perfect.

    Are you sure the 20mm is going to work? If you have a normal zoom I recommend taking it just in case. I always find framing group shots in a constrained space a bit of a pain without a zoom... you're probably going to be shooting stopped down anyway for a group shot so you don't necessarily need a wide aperture.
     
  5. 5tatman

    5tatman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 10, 2014
    Ashton Under Lyne
    Again agreed - I don't want to over complicate. I mentioned the reflector as it's something I have, not that I particularly want to use. space, time etc...

    How would I set up a the 560 and 360 off camera? I haven't used wireless triggers before and as they are 2 different makes/models and the Oly 36 doesn't have a reviver built in. It sound confusing to set-up in my head :hiding:
     
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oh, my bad. Didn't notice that you have the discontinued FL360 (FL-36R), not the FL360L (FL-600R). You will be able to use that as on camera fill or add a bit more ceiling bounce light (and still trigger the YN560 optically), but won't be able to take it off camera unfortunately.

    The YN560s are pretty flexible as optical slaves - you can either use them in S1 mode which triggers from a single manual flash pulse or S2 mode which will ignore TTL pre-flashes and still trigger off the main pulse. You can get a wireless trigger for the YNs but they aren't required for indoor optical triggering.

    I guess you have a choice:
    a) get 2 YN560s off camera
    b) replace the FL360 with the big brother FL360L which can go off camera
    c) try and wing it with the FL360 on camera or with a remote chord

    In the long run, an FL360L would probably be more flexible, but the cheapest surefire option is probably 2 YN560s. You can trigger them with a manual flash pulse from either the pop up flash or the FL360.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Be wary of putting your light sources too low.
    Light tends to occur naturally from above, such as the sun or ceiling lights. Having a light source too low can appear unatural or possibly create the "evil scientist" look.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. 5tatman

    5tatman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 10, 2014
    Ashton Under Lyne
    Well it is the Mother-in-law :laugh1:
     
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  9. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Well, you're out of luck :)
    You'll likely be in trouble no matter what!
     
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    765
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Since you are going to be in a house and I assume will have AC outlets available to you, one cheap easy to use option is something like Adoroma's Flashpoint (their house brand) studio kits like this one...
    Flashpoint Budget Flash

    Comes with everything you need, packs very compactly, & they can be optically triggered from your on camera flash. Just use your FL360 and point it up at the ceiling and turn down the power so it is enough to trigger the monolights. Set up the two lights to either side of you aimed at your subjects from the traditional 45° angle and to Mr. Sewell's point, set the stands all the way up so the umbrellas are touching the ceiling and aiming down on the subjects. For even lighting simply set both monolights to the same power setting.

    I have some of these 160Ws monolights and they are plenty powerful enough for this sort of indoor home shooting. I rarely need to crank them up much past 1/4 power and certainly I don't think I have ever had them at even half power. I bet the 120Ws ones would work just as well for this task if you want to save a few more bucks. I assume you don't have a light meter so you will have to do some trial and error shots with a test subject and be sure you go by your histogram, not just the LCD display. Being AC powered they recycle very quickly. The umbrellas can be used as reflective (as shown on the web site) or shoot through.

    I like these because they are great for those of us who are hobbiests who want some decent lighting at home every blue moon but don't want to spend a lot on high end equipment that is only going to be used once every blue moon.

    Just remember to bring a couple of cheap extension cords because the outlet will not be close enough to one light or the other. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  11. 5tatman

    5tatman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 10, 2014
    Ashton Under Lyne
    Will have a look into that. cheers. I'm a wedding DJ by trade, so power cables etc are no issue. And yes, fully agree about the pro end equipment for 2/3 times a year use. :th_salute:
     
  12. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    765
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    • Like Like x 1
  13. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    buy yourself a more powerful TTL flash if possible. If you don't want to spend $$$ just get a cheap capable manual flash for those indoor "posed" group shots.

    This is extremely easy lighting so don't sweat it.

    For quick cheap nasty modifier use a white piece of paper as an index card. This way you can bounce light forward (catch light) and then hit the ceiling and wall simultaneously so that you can get some form of directional light. If you want to be safe just bounce the flash upwards.


    4279126885_b01a00eb2b.jpg

    If you shoot manual flash you will get consistent exposure as you stand stationary. This is the ideal as long as the subjects do not move. If your running and gunning in the house you should bounce flash using TTL (if you have a flash capable of TTL)

    If you stop down your lens to f/5.6 that's more than enough dof to have sharp faces when there's two rows.

    If you have a nice wall behind you this can work as a massive soft light panel. If you aim behind your head but in an angle you will get a beautiful soft wrap around light.

    I was traveling out of town to visit family. I had 2 speedlites (not my M43 system) regardless I triggered the two flashes. 1 flash on the side wall (my left) and the other I shot the flash behind my head on the ceiling/rear wall. The photos turned out like I took it in my home studio. I used manual flash settings.

    With one flash you can get great results no problem.
     
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  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    A powerful flash with a good modifier is probably going to be enough light unless you have a really large group. Another cheap and cheerful solution is an LED bar light. Small ones tend to put light into those spots where your flash might not (like the edge of a large group photo). Be sure to shoot raw for a bit of extra cushion, and a tiny bit of extra exposure (without blowing out highlights) is always better than underexposure). I was "asked" to shoot a wedding two years ago and eded up using a couple of Lumiquest modifiers with my Oly 600 flash. I found them to be more useful than most "flash tupperware", but there are some other good solutions out there to help you control your light.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  15. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    A lot depends on the size of the room, how many people in your groups, and how far you will be from them.

    I often shoot in very dim rooms up to about 20’ (6m) x 20’ (6m) x 10’ (3m) ceilings with just a FL600R flash, about the same power as your Olympus FL360. I start with TTL +1.0 FEC. I bounce flash into corners of the walls and ceiling or to the left right or behind me. I get a lot better images than using any kind of bounced off of an attached modifier - but will resort to one if I have to.

    Camera settings are Manual, ISO 800, 1/30, f/2.8.

    I try to stay closer to the walls or corners than from the center of the room and try to keep the subjects a fair distance from walls. I’ll lower my ISO or raise the shutter speed if the room ambient light is easy to see in. Sometimes I'm in rooms where I really need to use a filter to match the ambient light, or if my bounces distances increase; I then change to a FL-50R.

    Practice a couple of time in your living room - don't like it then try an alternative.

    It can be easy to overlight in small rooms. I do quite few events and I pretty much just use Olympus or Metz flashes designed for use with M4/3s for use in smaller spaces. TTL flash in changing circumstances can be a tremendous assist. I like simple and using multiple manual flashes and syncs just add to possible problems that have to be resolved on the spot - however there are definitely times for these.
     
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  16. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    I have to re-affirm @Clint@Clint's comment regarding overlighting small rooms.
    This is a fundamental mistake made by a lot of photographers, as over lighting will leach any ambience from the images, making the subjects appear stilted if dancing etc, and yet the room is bright with no indication of coloured lighting from the DJ etc.

    Your clients will have their own memories of the atmosphere within that room, and that memory is heavily influenced by their perception of the lighting they were aware of. If overlit, that atmospheric lighting disappears, and the captured image can become divorced from the evenings events as the client remembers it.
     
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  17. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    Michael,

    What your describing is so true. However if the person behind the camera properly exposes the subject the photo should be fine for "group shots". This isn't a "romantic candle light setting" where you shoot ambient available light to capture the moment. This type of photo the OP is after simple standard group shots properly exposed destined for computer viewing and possibly prints.

    The scenario's your describing about removing room ambiance is not something the OP should be concerned about. In home if your taking group shot portraits you want the people properly exposed. This is where the "ambiance" of the home is at the mercy of "it is what it is...." from your bounced flash.

    Michael I can see in your work you sculpt light. That's fine if you use remote flash or bounce flash as you run and gun for events. In home group shots you can bounce flash getting directional light. I'll do that any day vs pulling out my 7 foot octadome with a strobe for wrap around light :)

    If i had preference to become a hardcore available light photographer I'd be using shooting ISO 12800 or 25600 with my other camera system ;) this way your guaranteed 100% that you will capture ambiance. I incorporate available light shooting as well as your typical bounced flash and remote flash work.

    The fact that the OP wants to use a backdrop this indicates the total elimination of "room ambiance".

    The use of a backdrop is NOT ideal in anyway because there will very unlikely the backdrop will be 6 feet behind the group. This is where the group should be posed using the furnishings of the home as a "setting".

    This is a good example when to use a 5 foot photoflex shoot through umbrella with remote flash (triggered either radio or long PC cord) behind the photographers head. This will be a beautiful light bomb with soft light for both subjects and backdrop.

    This type of scenario rated on the technical side of being very simple. OP I strongly suggest buying a shoot through or a large umbrella box.
     
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  18. 5tatman

    5tatman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 10, 2014
    Ashton Under Lyne
    Thanks guys, you've all definitely given me something to look into and think about. Will let you know what I ended up getting and how it went. Not until October so plenty of time to get something and mess around ;) :D
     
  19. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    @AlanU@AlanU

    You're right, I lost sight of the fact that @5statman was doing a home shoot. For some reason between my postings, I had the idea it was a family gathering at a venue.
    It may have been the birthday thing that threw me.

    Meh!
     
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  20. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    I think the op will do just fine
     
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