Portraits - on camera flash


paulcliff

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 13:36
Hi All,

Took some photos of my son on his birthday last week, just looking for some feedback on them. this is my first time doing this so its all very new to me.

I used a Sigma EF610 DG ST which was on the camera, pointed behind me slightly up and to the left. As you can see this has resulted in a nice overall look to the face but there is a shadow visible behind and to the right of the head.

Is there anything I can do to mitigate this without buying another flash and a flash stand?

Also just after general comments on the composition etc.

Thanks!



f4 | 1/180s| 45mm | 100 ISO



f4 | 1/180s| 50mm | 100 ISO
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/cliffo88/513746

pschlute

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 14:18
I think they are both lovely portraits of your happy boy.

I think you have achieved a soft effect with the lighting by bouncing the flash. As far as the shadow to the right of the head and his left arm another flash off camera would fill that, but perhaps you could instead allow more ambient light from a window help to fill the shadow. Or use a reflector placed to the right of your boy to reflect back some flash or ambient light.

If I can be critical of the framing of the first one , I would say that the visible strip of wall above the sofa cushion is a bit distracting.
Peter



My Flickr page
Last Edited by pschlute on 12/05/2017 - 14:19

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paulcliff

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 15:10
Thanks Peter, I'll try by a window next time.

And yes I agree about the wall above the sofa.
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/cliffo88/513746

smudge

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 15:19
Very nice relaxed expression on both shots, which is the most important thing.

With a single flash you could minimise the shadow by pointing the flash straight up to bounce off the ceiling but this would give less modelling to the face. A better solution would be to sit your son on a stool some distance from the background.
Regards, Philip

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Chrism8

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 15:22
Might be easier to use a different location where the subject is further away from the background, its the closeness of the boys head to the back of the sofa that's causing the shadow, if you pump a load more light in that area, its likely to blow out / over-expose.

Chris
Chris

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vic cross

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 16:37
I go along with Philip and Chris. the simple solution is move him away from the wall or anything close behind. Back in the days when I did weddings people would gather beside a wall so I just moved them away. also all I had was my hammerhead flash pointed at a "hopefully" white ceiling. OR/AND hand held off camera.
CHEERS Vic.
P.S. he's a good looking lad. Does he take after his mother?????
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.
Last Edited by vic cross on 12/05/2017 - 16:39

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McGregNi

Link Posted 12/05/2017 - 22:07
Lovely smiley shots, they're bright and cheerful looking!

A 50mm at F4.0 is quite challenging focus-wise I think, and I feel you'd get a sharper result with something more like F8 .... This shouldn't affect the exposure or steadiness of the shot at all, so long as you maintain the 180th sec shutter speed.

I believe the shadow lines are the result of too much direct, front-on flash .... this is caused by not having a great enough angle to your bounce position (so not acute enough), and there is light spilling from the flash head going forwards. You really need at least a full 90deg turn away to prevent light coming forward, and if light is bouncing down from a corner and ceiling behind you then still some can be hitting the face from a front-on direction. The best way to avoid this is to use the 'flag' type modifier (like the one I showed in my 'A Flag, A Flash ...' thread) to prevent any light spilling forwards, and then use a strong angle to reflect the light off a surface that brings it back from the side and a little above.

This technique will increase the contrast across the face giving that 'form' and modelling effect. If you had a longer focal length also then you could shoot some closer in head and shoulder shots with the exact same settings and lighting very easily.

Of course we all know that Vic is wrong .... (about who he takes after that is ! )
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08tiger

Link Posted 15/05/2017 - 08:41
Could the pre flash be the cause of that shadow?
C&C welcome.
Don.

cardiffgareth

Link Posted 15/05/2017 - 09:27
Agree, move the subject away from the background. This will cause any shadows then to be softer and to disappear, as the closer to the background you are, the harsher the shadows so increasing seperation distance will sort that. Also with the flash, as said, if possible bounce straight up onto the ceiling. This is great if the ceiling is white as the flash hits it, bounces off and scatters so it's a very natural diffused light BUT it only works if your ceiling isn't 10 metres high or not white!!

The downside is that this can cause shadows then under the eyes, nose and chin so a reflector is a must to fill these areas in. You can buy a proper round pop up reflector or pop to Hobbycraft and but A2 card for a couple of quid
Gareth
Welsh Photographer

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paulcliff

Link Posted 15/05/2017 - 09:44
McGregNi wrote:
Lovely smiley shots, they're bright and cheerful looking!

A 50mm at F4.0 is quite challenging focus-wise I think, and I feel you'd get a sharper result with something more like F8 .... This shouldn't affect the exposure or steadiness of the shot at all, so long as you maintain the 180th sec shutter speed.

I believe the shadow lines are the result of too much direct, front-on flash .... this is caused by not having a great enough angle to your bounce position (so not acute enough), and there is light spilling from the flash head going forwards. You really need at least a full 90deg turn away to prevent light coming forward, and if light is bouncing down from a corner and ceiling behind you then still some can be hitting the face from a front-on direction. The best way to avoid this is to use the 'flag' type modifier (like the one I showed in my 'A Flag, A Flash ...' thread) to prevent any light spilling forwards, and then use a strong angle to reflect the light off a surface that brings it back from the side and a little above.

This technique will increase the contrast across the face giving that 'form' and modelling effect. If you had a longer focal length also then you could shoot some closer in head and shoulder shots with the exact same settings and lighting very easily.

Of course we all know that Vic is wrong .... (about who he takes after that is ! )

Thanks, I'll invest in a flag flash reflector.

As for sharpness, the jpeg exported from LR that I'm looking at on my desktop is pin sharp, but for some reason doesn't look that sharp at all on the forum, must be compression or something when it's uploaded.
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/cliffo88/513746

paulcliff

Link Posted 15/05/2017 - 09:45
vic cross wrote:
I go along with Philip and Chris. the simple solution is move him away from the wall or anything close behind. Back in the days when I did weddings people would gather beside a wall so I just moved them away. also all I had was my hammerhead flash pointed at a "hopefully" white ceiling. OR/AND hand held off camera.
CHEERS Vic.
P.S. he's a good looking lad. Does he take after his mother?????

how very dare you sir.

But yeah, he totally does.
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/cliffo88/513746
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