At last our living room is back to normal after the last day of testing the lighting. Day 3 proved to be the most useful, as it was quite systematic playing with the camera settings to use (full manual control), then looking at different arrangements of lighting.
Benjamin stayed asleep for the whole of it so Tini was the subject. I’ll post some images just as soon as Tini has decided which ones she’s happy to be posted. The combination of lighting being tried and different poses, means that there are not so many images which have a nice pose in the right lighting. Not to mention the number of images in which Tini goofed around. Actually these make good poses, but Tini is a little conscious of them being published so I’ll be nice :-)
Lastolite 6’x7′ HiLite background set up in landscape with acrylic floor/train.
6 studio lights one set each side (left and right)
Lighting the subject 2 x Elinchrom Bx 500 Ri’s (Set A). Using umbrellas (rather than softboxes) and triggered by a Skyport radio transmitter (the 500’s have a built-in skyport receiver)
Lighting the front of the Lastolite HiLite 2x Elinchrom RX600s (set B), triggered using the eye-cell
Lighting the inside of the Lastolite HiLite 2x Elinchrom RX600s (set C), triggered using the eye-cell.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II ]
I won’t go into the full trial and the various combinations that we tried as unless you are insomniac it’ll bore the socks off you. However, in Day 2 I used a shutter speed of 1/200 and although the on camera images seemed to be okay, when viewed on a larger screen all the images had faint but distinct vignette on one of the long sides (typically either the Right hand side in portrait and bottom in landscape). A bit of internet research determined I was not the only one to suffer this problem which was due to flash synchronisation speeds particularly with studio lights. Dropping the shutter speed to 1/160 resolved the problem.
For this size of Hilite we found we could successfully use only 4 lights. 2 lighting the subject (Set A) with 1 light (Set C) on a high power lighting the inside of the HiLite and the second light at a lower power setting directed on the front of the HiLite (Set B) from the opposite side. The light directed on the outside of the highlight washes out the join of the acrylic floor to the HiLite backdrop which saves on editing later and a lot of my shots are full body or of family groups and children.
And yes I have the power settings written down, but I’m not quite ready yet to hand out a recipe and spoil all your fun of finding out for yourself :-) Besides which the figures are for those specific flash units and it’s quite likely I won’t be buying RX600’s. So I’ll need to find the settings for the units. Although it’s possible to work it out based on the total power output and what the settings equate to…
But its all set now for a serious upgrade in lighting from the current setup and greater opportunity for nice shots.