User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  6
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Beginner Portrait Photography: Lighting in the evening

  1. #1
    Member Noisysprite's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Nov 2010
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    74
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Beginner Portrait Photography: Lighting in the evening

    Good evening all,

    This is my first post back after breaking the promise to myself that I would do what it takes to become proficient with my new toy.

    I'm ashamed to say that I allowed my "focus" to wander and life took over. I love this site and am hoping that you will forgive my lapse and offer support for my return.

    What brings me back is the frustration of never quite knowing what to do when the big moment arrives and I scramble to respond with my camera. And just lately, it has been portrait photography that has been exposed as my biggest weakness (which is not to say that every facet of my photo taking is not weak - lol)

    My family have asked me to take portraits for a couple of different reasons, and each time I plan to take them outside, later in the day so that I can take advantage of natural light. And then for one reason or another we end up inside at night time under flourescent lighting.

    I have the basic Canon 1000D and no lighting other than the flash. I have a floor lamp that can provide directional light, but not much else. Oh - and my technique is not that great either. now that I am back, I will bury myself in the fantastic resources available.

    However, any thoughts on getting OK lighting on a budget would be appreciated.

    Thanks for having me back.

    Regards

    Julie
    Last edited by Noisysprite; 24-09-2011 at 11:48pm.

  2. #2
    Member Cullen's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Mar 2011
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Julie,

    Unfortunately I have no wise words for you as I'm in entirely the same boat! Just had friends over today and picked up my camera or the first time a month! I'm looking forward to you getting some answers that I can use too!

    Great thread to start, thanks!

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    28 Aug 2008
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,913
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think before moving onto purchasing lighting sources like an external flash, you should try to master and further understand the camera's functions and exposure settings.

    For example, I would set the camera on Av mode (aperture priority) but on auto ISO, so the camera will adjust the shutter speed and ISO according to the scene, with you controlling the aperture. Then review your photos later on the computer and check the ISO values and shutter speed etc, that way you can see what the 'optimum' settings were for those scenes and then try to emulate it after.

    As for white balance indoors, you could try shooting in RAW to be able to change the white balance later in post processing, if you had to use JPEG then your 1000D will have a variety of white balance presets - such as incandescent lighting or tungsten lighting which will make the photos look more 'correct' and less warm. But it really depends on what lights the room has.

    So master the camera and natural light first, otherwise buying a flash now will only serve to bamboozle you further with its functions and settings.

  4. #4
    Member
    Threadstarter
    Noisysprite's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Nov 2010
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    74
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks JM, That is exactly the kind of response I was after. Am not wanting lighting hardware, just looking to optimise what I have when I don't have natural light available.

    So what you are suggesting (that I know deep down that I should already have done) - is take a heap of photos in the conditions available and work out exactly what settings get me the look I'm after? I will take note of your suggestion andwork from there.

    The kind of photo I end up with - shiny faces - because of the flash under low lighting?. Turning the photos to B&W seemed to help a little in reducing the effect of the shine.

    Cullen, Looks like we need to recruit models and get to work!

    Thanks

    julie
    Last edited by Noisysprite; 25-09-2011 at 2:24am. Reason: Sorry, realised I wasn't supposed to post photo's here - have done the right thing and put them on the CC forum - thanks

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    31 Oct 2009
    Location
    Vic in Oz
    Posts
    46
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Agree with JM Tran, if you shoot in RAW you can adjust white balance later (but you need software to manipulate this - eg Lightroom or Photoshop).

    In respect to ISO, I'd try experimenting at say ISO 800 and maybe even higher. That gives you more light sensitivity, with hopefully not too much decrease in quality. If you have a nifty fifty - if you shoot at say F2.0 at ISO 800, with as low a shutter speed as you can go and still remain sharp - you will have pretty good light sensitivity.

    Having said all that - if you aren't happy with the outcomes - you are looking at a flash to boost light. Some chepaies around eg Yongnuo - which are not too bad.

  6. #6
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Nov 2010
    Location
    magical Mudgee
    Posts
    18,803
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by screamer View Post
    ..., if you shoot in RAW you can adjust white balance later (but you need software to manipulate this - eg Lightroom or Photoshop).
    Digital Photo Professional, the software that came with your camera will do this if you have no other software. RAW gives you more options.
    Quoting you Julie "...., and each time I plan to take them outside, later in the day so that I can take advantage of natural light."
    That sounds like a good plan.
    Good luck.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

  7. #7
    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban mandab99's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Mar 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have you ever used a greycard? This will be a big help with your white balance as you can set a custom balance against it. I only use natural light also and have found you can take some beautiful shots inside beside windows with the natural light coming in. Meter for the subjects face and open up a stop or two as in camera metering will expose for mid grey and skin is not a mid grey tone so will be underexposed. Even better us a greycard to acheive correct exposure. Portraits in my humble opinion are best taken in AV mode with a shallow DOF which brings out the subject. Enjoy experimenting!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    10 Jul 2010
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    6,346
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Forget the Grey Card, Just shoot RAW , Simple, I've been out with hundreds of Photographers, And only once did I see a guy set his white Balance, And that was on grass
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In a studio setting I always use a grey card, outdoors I also always shoot cloudy

    Both raw

    William, it's all good to use raw, but if the wb is wrong how do you set the wb to the correct value without a reference point ? That takes experience and a good eye without it
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
    Please support Precious Hearts
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    10 Jul 2010
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    6,346
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Canon auto WB does a pretty good job most times , In lightroom you can put the eyedropper on a Neutral colour , Or just go from memory and use the WB slider , On water shots The neutrals in the White water work well also , But maybe it's just experience unless your trying for the Artistic effect , Which I do sometimes

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the "problem" though with autowb is getting a consistent WB across multiple shots. Say a portarit session where one shot has a lot of grass, move forward to just get a headshot etc

    I think most NTP find judging WB very difficult and it only takes a moment to shoot a reference shot and you're away laughing, especially where skin tones are important
    Last edited by kiwi; 02-11-2011 at 5:53pm.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    10 Jul 2010
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    6,346
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good point Darren, Thats one area of Photography I don't deal with much, I have done Weddings , But just fixed in PP after shooting RAW , I agree, Skin tones are another story!! , Funny enough , I do have a grey card

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •