Portrait photography - information and gallery from the evening 5th December 2018
A simple set up of two soft lights to give flattering (but not creative) lighting. Enables portraits similar to school portraits. It's old (25 years), cheap and triggered by on camera flash or a flashgun. The background is mottled brown/blue. It's all very portable, easy to pack into a very small car boot.
With this easy set-up you can get pleasant (as opposed to dramatic) results, and is ideal for beginners to studio flash.
Lencarta Elite Pro 2 300w flash heads, which are now discontinued, but were rebranded Godox make. The current equivalent would seem to be the Godox SK300II.
Godox XT-16 triggers and receivers. The newer Xpro transmitter now supersedes this on a slightly different frequency but has the advantage of being compatible with Godox speedlights as well. I also have Godox speedlights.
The advantage of a better transmitter/receiver combination is that you can adjust the lighting power from the transmitter rather than having to do it on the flash.
Stands and modifiers were all from Lencarta, and are probably rebranded Godox make.
Set up no. 1
2 lightstands with flash brackets, 1 with a reflective umbrella and one with a shoot through umbrella. The shoot through one gives a soft light and the reflective one a harder light.
The triggers were Yongnuo RF 602 these are sold in different versions for Canon and Nikon but the difference is the cable which if used lets the set-up be used as a remote control for your camera. We didn't need that and so used the same one for Canon and Nikon, with Sony some cameras have a different hot shoe. 2 more light stands with a crossbar were used to hold up the backdrop.
The backdrop was a cheap roller blind. The benefits of a roller blind are 1) cheap 2) light 3) just roll up so no creases 4) easy to store.
Flashes were 2 Canon EX580 mk11 (now discontinued).
Put a mark on the floor so the model knows where to stand and it's always the same place. This means that once the flash power is set correctly it doesn't need to be changed.
Model stands 8ft (min) away fom BG to avoid light reaching it so it looks black.
Lights about 6-8 feet in front of model and about 8ft apart.
Set camera to "flash" white balance and 200 ISO, using 200 ISO instead of 100 means the flash power required is only 1/2 what it would be at 100 ISO so less battery is used per shot and batteries give more shots per charge, also they are ready to take the next shot in 1/2 the time.
Flash output was set to manual, flash power to 1/2 and zoom to 24mm so as to fill the umbrella.
Shutter speed set to 1/125th to 1/180th of a sec The triggers can not sync with the camera at speeds higher than that. Lower than that and there is a likelihood that the ambient light will affect the result.
Set the fstop to f8, if the picture is too bright change to f11 if to dark f5.6
As above except the BG was a collapsible one leaning against the wall and stood on chairs to get it a bit higher. Also one extra flash on a low stand/tripod and pointing at the BG to make it pure white in the photos.
Flash power set to 1/2. Flashes Canon EX540 Really old, cheap and good for this sort of use. Not for use on camera.
One 60" parabolic reflective umbrella On stand with flash bracket, flash Canon EX580 mk11 at full power
For those who are interested to learn more have a look at this blog: Lighting 101.
Links from Howard to all the reasonably priced on-camera-modifiers:
Neewer 5 in 1 Portable 24 x 36"/60 x 90cm Round Collapsible Multi Disc Photography Studio Photo Camera Lighting Reflector/Diffuser Kit with Carrying Case, Great for Photo Shoots and Taking Pictures in Accurate Lighting
Phot-R Telescopic Reflector Holder with Swivel Head Grip, 66-175cm (26”-69”), Extendable Rotating Boom Arm Support Clamp Bracket Mount for Pop-Up Backgrounds, Backdrops & 5in1 Reflectors 5-in-1 for use with Light Stands
Read the portrait photography evening press release here.
The Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club Portrait gallery