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8

I've done a lot of this work in the past and tried enough different methods to be sure that there is no quick way to do it that gives good results. You can have either quick or good, but not both together. I'd love to be proven wrong on this as I imagine I'll have to do a lot more of this work in future. Here are the three main methods I use: Manually cut ...


7

When I did a studio photoshoot, part of what was included in the basic package was a large fan unit. I suspect that a leaf blower is giving too direct a jet of air that is mainly being attenuated by the model's face (hence unable to keep eyes open) and then little kinetic energy is transferred to her hair. The unit at the studio was a very large fan (...


6

I know your question specifies "in photoshop", but it really does bear repeating that if you can get this right in-camera you can save a load of work in post. (Obviously, you know this!) I have found this out the hard way :( I'll have a stab at a few suggestions to help get this right in-camera: make sure the background is clean easier with muslins (...


6

The standard gray card is 18% gray. Take a sample gray card with you to the paint store and have them custom mix. The reflection readings are: 0.75 red 0.75 green 0.75 blue 0.75 via the yellow visual filter. These values are the reflection densities of the gray card.


6

Neutral, usually black or white depending your needs. Assuming that your backdrop will be separate (paper roll). White: Walls can be used as reflectors. But, can be difficult to control stray reflections when you don't want them. Bright and cheerful for your subjects. Black: Allows more control of light. Reflectors, if you need them, will need to be ...


5

Simple You will probably want to think about 3 things (assuming you have a camera already!) I'm concentrating on low-cost options. Background A white-painted wall is a great start Lights A single strobe with a stand and a shoot-through umbrella is a good start here. You will need a way to trigger it - a cable is functional and cheap. Props Something ...


5

While not a collection of exercises, I would suggest the title "Light: Science and Magic" by Fil Hunter, Paul Fuqua, and Steven Biver. It's a classic book that discusses how light moves around a scene to better understand difficult lighting challenges. There are several examples to follow if you want to recreate for your own education. Your local library ...


5

Of the "big two" for photography, muslin is often desirable for transport and storage because you can fold it up nice and easy, toss it in a bag, and it's lighter in weight. It's also less expensive, a prime consideration for the more frugal shooter. On the other hand it wrinkles, but that's also a positive for texture purposes, and it's also easily smoothed ...


5

You don't need a dimmer bulb, you just need to disperse it properly so that it is more evenly distributed throughout the room. Rather than placing the bulb where it is shining directly on your monitor, place it in a fixture and bounce it off the neutrally colored walls and/or ceiling so the light is fairly uniform throughout the room. The standard (ISO norm ...


5

Some reasons: 1) Sharpness. 2) Size... If you have a 80Mpx image you need point 1 first. 3) Dynamic range improved dynamic range seems unimportant using controlled lighting Seems unimportant..., unless you need it. If you are taking a photo of a well known actor or actress, you want to squish the more information you can get from your image. A medium ...


5

Historically, product photos were taken with large format cameras so that perspective distortions could be corrected by bending the film plane with respect to the image plane. Nowadays we can easily correct for keystone distortions using software. Additionally, distortion correction requires enormous depth of field. Apertures of f32 and smaller also mean ...


5

I don't understand why the 2nd image wouldn't be correctly exposed as the Speedlight fires normally (this is what triggers the 2 x Studio lights), even if the studio lights were having no effect! Sounds like the studio lights are firing at the wrong time. Are you using ETTL mode? With ETTL, the camera fires a pre-flash to judge the exposure, and then takes ...


5

Low key photography is about using less light than you would usually do to correctly expose a shot and thus creating a darker image. Low key photography can be done outside of a studio(and you can achieve interesting results) but based on your question I guess you are more interested in the studio aspects of low key photography. A low key photo doesn't ...


5

Lighting in photography is about ratios, not intensity. You can pretty much expose anything to make it low key but I understand that what you want is to have a darker background than your subject. The first and easiest way is simply to move the background further. Light does travel at 300,000m/s and will eventually reach your background but it also falls ...


4

Yes - Personal experience has shown me that, in particular "speedlights" (IE on-camera / battery powered flash guns) have very differing characteristics in 2 main ways: light spread and uniformity Colour and wavelength content I have found that cheap (what i like to call Chinese eBay specials) tend to be inferior in both, as they are designed to a price, ...


4

The short answer: You need more light on the background so that you can intentionally blow it out without blowing out the product. Then expose so that the background is on the verge of blowing out. In post-processing push the exposure for the highlights up until the background is pure white. This has been covered many times here in the past: How do I ...


4

Some ideas from others: Several people note the significant drying effect on the subject's eyes. A number suggest turning wind off except when actually taking photo. A suggestion that sounded good is to add a shield in the middle of the airstream (they used a plastic plate) to create a low velocity area for the eyes. A number of people suggest these - ...


4

Complementary to the other answer (by @b-shaw), which focusses on creating this effect in post processing, I'll try to explain how you can achieve this effect "in real life". Your camera captures light (fotons). So you need a light source (in your example at the right side, above the field of view of the camera) and something the light can reflect upon. ...


4

Two reasons that jumps right out at me are size and weight. A 70-200 is pretty big, especially with a hood. To a new model, I bet it's downright intimidating. Hold that 70-200 for long, and you'll start to feel it in your hand and wrist, too. An 85mm easily solves both of those problems, assuming you want to shoot at 85.


4

Those types of continuous lighting sets work, but aren't great as beginner gear for portrait photography, simply because they lack much power/light output, and the more you have, the bigger the lighting ratios are that you can use. And lighting ratios are how you get that "studio look" with off-camera lighting. In addition, the light stands may not be air-...


4

This is a "tent" lighting setup. The idea is to place above the subject a diffuser. Lamps are aimed so as to evenly illuminate the diffuser. Such a successful lash-up delivers highly diffused light to the subject. This method is preferred when the subject has a high polish like metals, glass and jewelery etc.


4

Make sure that the light of your strobe doesn't reach you background There are several ways to achieve a dark background. When you look at them are pretty obvious. Each light on my diagram is just an example, of course on a low key photo you would not use that many lights. Use a dark background. Point your strobe in a way it does not illuminate the ...


4

It wasn't at all unusual for small, local portrait studios to print using the direct contact method during the time in which Disfarmer worked from about 1915 until his death in 1959. Most small studios that concentrated on producing family portraits for the people living in the immediate area around the studio probably did not even have the needed enlarger ...


4

I can think of two reasons to keep some distance between studio lights and a ceiling: Reflection, if the studio lights have so much spread that the light reflects against the ceiling, this can cause problems. Solution: use some frame to reflect the light, of change the direction of the lights more downward. Fire hazards .. studio lights can get very hot and ...


3

I used to hire a lot of diferent types of studios! it depends obviously on whats being shot, who your client is, what the budget is etc. Having a studio with a large up and over infinity cove for cars and trucks is great but you must keep it busy for obvious reasons, could also have small table top studio as well, changing rooms for models, office for ...


3

I'd second the suggestion of "Light: Science and Magic" it's an outstanding technical manual for how light behaves. If you find that kind of technical explanation too dry or to abstract you may also want to read something a little more hands on. Scott Kelby's "Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It" is good read. I also liked Kevin Kubotas Lighting Notebook. ...


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