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Thread: The double flash "sandwich" look

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    The double flash "sandwich" look

    After watching this video by Chase Jarvis ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc2nY6l5cGw )
    I was absolutely fascinated by the results, the photos look incredible.

    I was wondering how much power and what light size you actually needed. It seems like he used some kind of high end profoto pack with large square soft boxes (but they were far away).

    I tried to reproduce it with speed lights for a dance performance. I had one person hold a flash on each side, slightly to the front with built-in diffuser. They were Nissin Di866 with Cactus triggers, set on manual. One of them was about 10m away and set on 1/2 power, the other was 5m away and on 1/8 power. I haven't taken them out of the camera yet, but I really liked the look of the pictures on the LCD at the back of it, it's quite dramatic. It didn't have the beautiful warmth of Chase's pictures though, but maybe I can partially work on it in post. The smaller light sources also make harsher shadows obviously.

    If I remember correctly, I set the shutter at 1/250, and moved ISO / aperture between 400-800 / f2.8 - 4.0
    The lens was the Tamron 24-70 on Canon crop body, which is equivalent to FF 38-112. I mostly used the 50mm focal length (80mm equiv)

    Does anyone have experience on this kind of set up? The more I use strobes the more I find them absolutely fantastic.

    I'll probably be processing and posting some the photos today or tomorrow.

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    Hi Patrick. i cant add to what you have written except to say that its great to see that you have had a go and tried it. would love to see the results once all done, then maybe able to add more .....
    Simon.

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    That is just a simple cross lighting set up, then using the sun as a rim light.
    He probably only had his lights about 5-6 meters apart in total, the key is the big soft boxes, move your speedlights in closer and get some softboxes/umbrellas on them to increase the apparent size of the light and you will be away and running
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    That is just a simple cross lighting set up, then using the sun as a rim light.
    He probably only had his lights about 5-6 meters apart in total, the key is the big soft boxes, move your speedlights in closer and get some softboxes/umbrellas on them to increase the apparent size of the light and you will be away and running
    I agree with this. I think the softboxes (in the diagram on the youtube vid) must be a little infront to make it less harsh and cover the faces too otherwise it'd just be side lighting. Put them 2m away and see what you get. You could add a front light source to fill too if nothing else works.
    - Tim

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    Start with a medium close up, a wide shot requires a fair bit of wattage.
    Use some white car to bounce your flashes into to get a softer look, keep them well behind, so you don't fill out the face too much. Another soft bounce above camera, to fill the face, maybe 1 stop under, also gives an eyelight. Every shot of a footy player you will ever see does this lighting, it looks good, coupled with a nice low dramatic camera angle. There some other things you could add, but that's the basic version.
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    Thanks for all your tips
    I'm looking forward to try these recommended presets out!!! Sorry I haven't posted the results from my first shoot yet, I have to get home to do it. I have a special "ausphoto" export preset in lightroom with the right size (jpeg, 1000px largest border, 250kb max) so I can't just pull them down as is and insert in here.

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    Here are a few pics
    Notice the lens flare on the first one (tamrom 24-70 2.8 VC, f/3.5, iso 800). I suspect the hood to be not very effecient on the sides with a crop body, the wider the more (45mm). In this respect, the reverse movement of the Canon version is probably superior.

    IMG_2248.jpg

    IMG_2307.jpg

    IMG_2336.jpg

    IMG_2385.jpg

    IMG_2389.jpg
    Last edited by patrickv; 23-07-2012 at 8:13pm.

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    To pull this sandwich lighting off you really need a couple of large soft boxes - at least 32" - and some serious power from your speed lights. It may be difficult to do it with speed lights against the bright sun as a rim light but you could do it in room lighting or an overcast day possibly?

    Softboxes will also allow you to get rid of the harshness of the light and also control where it goes.

    Also, I know you're just testing it out but your background really distracts. My eyes go to those little things there before anything else.

    I wouldn't mind trying this out if i get time. I only have a soft box and an umbrella to test it out with though.. but should suffice I think.

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    Thanks,
    I couldn't do much about the background unfortunately, I know it was very messy but I was already practically shooting with open...
    This is where a full frame camera would have come in handy I guess: with the longer focal length it implies, it allows to blur out the backgrounds much easier... Though my 24-70 might have then been a bit short, and I don't own a 70-200 yet.

    (5D3 and 70-200 are on my wish list!)

    I recently ordered an elinchrom mount bracket for regular flashes. I have two sizes of elinchrom mount soft boxes: 60x60 and 80x120. I don't know how practical this would be, but I can always give it a try once I receive the brackets!
    Last edited by patrickv; 28-07-2012 at 11:55am.

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    This "sandwich" lighting is also not very conducive to a dynamic scenario either.

    You really need your subjects IN the right position for the lights, situations like this where they are obviously in the action of dancing is not going to work well.

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    Patrick, seeing as you have posted these in the help and advice section and not a critique section of the forum I hope that you take advice on board with theses shots when I say that they simply do not work at all and that you need to start at the very beginning with flash use.
    As for criticising anything about your current lens or gear, I think that you are on the wrong path entirely as the mis focused, overexposed and inappropriately chosen settings demonstrate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    Thanks,
    I couldn't do much about the background unfortunately, I know it was very messy but I was already practically shooting with open...
    This is where a full frame camera would have come in handy I guess: with the longer focal length it implies, it allows to blur out the backgrounds much easier... Though my 24-70 might have then been a bit short, and I don't own a 70-200 yet.

    (5D3 and 70-200 are on my wish list!)

    I recently ordered an elinchrom mount bracket for regular flashes. I have two sizes of elinchrom mount soft boxes: 60x60 and 80x120. I don't know how practical this would be, but I can always give it a try once I receive the brackets!
    Those will do fine. use the 80x120 as the main and 60x60 as the opposing fill light.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    This "sandwich" lighting is also not very conducive to a dynamic scenario either.

    You really need your subjects IN the right position for the lights, situations like this where they are obviously in the action of dancing is not going to work well.
    So true. You need a model who is willing to stand there for quite some time while you muck around.


    Most importantly, pLease DO check out strobist.blogspot.com and do all the lighting 101 first! Even having 1 off camera light source (and natural light) can be quite difficult to start off with. So do that before you start adding extra ones.

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    Also with the set up chase jarvis did it's done during the afternoon so technically it's almost a 4 light set up, soft box left and right, sun as rim, available light fill.
    kevinLi - Melbourne fashion, advertising photographer/assistant

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    hey perhaps i can add something of value for next time

    firstly, chase's shots were outside in bright sun with the prophoto's used as a fill
    you have enough flash power here - plenty of light
    one reason you are getting ultra harsh and defined shadows - and hotspots, is because your flash was way too far away from subject, they should have been just out of frame, its kinda counter-intuitive
    you need at least a small speedlight compatible softbox too on each speedlight
    as previosly mentioned, your settings could be improved, i would have used a fast shutter speed to underexpose the background
    the flash-light has rendered your subjects ghostly white, try playing around with white balance when shooting flash to warm the light up
    as previously mentioned the positioning of the lighting was probably wrong for this subject too
    your large softboxes will work just fine with speedlights too

    regards
    Last edited by zollo; 13-12-2012 at 8:13am. Reason: added extra

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