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Help with lighting.
I have four alien bees and just was wondering if someone could get me started..

I have used them several times however, I was wondering where do I start with the settings? I have tried playing around with it but not the look that I am wanting. There are still a little underexposed. Help point me in the right direction...

Comments (9)

A little under exposed? Uhm, have you tried upping the output a little , or having them nearer the subject, or opening up a bit. Perhaps you could experiment. Especially if shooting digital, it costs nothing you know.Jules.

Sha74 wrote:.

I have four alien bees and just was wondering if someone could get mestarted..

I have used them several times however, I was wondering where do Istart with the settings? I have tried playing around with it but notthe look that I am wanting. There are still a little underexposed.Help point me in the right direction..

Why can't you blow bubbles with chewing gum?..

Comment #1

First and for most do you have and use a hand held meter???? If you don't have any than you just need to get one as setting ratios on GN in 21 century is just silly.Mironvhttp://mironv.smugmug.com/.

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Comment #2

Mironv. Why do you need a light meter when the result on the LCD of your camera is better than a light meter?.

We shoot professionally in the studio six days a week and our meter hasn't been out of the cupboard since we changed from film to digital some years ago..

The image from your camera will tell you more than a needle or LED display on your flash meter..

Hence I suggest to the OP....Look at what you have just shot and adjust accordingly. It's not rocket science to get a good exposure nowadays, especially with controlled lighting.Jules.

Mironv wrote:.

First and for most do you have and use a hand held meter???? If youdon't have any than you just need to get one as setting ratios on GNin 21 century is just silly.Mironvhttp://mironv.smugmug.com/.

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Why can't you blow bubbles with chewing gum?..

Comment #3

JulesJ wrote:.

A little under exposed? Uhm, have you tried upping the output alittle , or having them nearer the subject, or opening up a bit.Perhaps you could experiment. Especially if shooting digital, itcosts nothing you know..

Yes. .

Apart from just increasing the exposure by one or other of the methods indicated by Jules (above)......

........ when working with studio flash it is also VITAL to set your shutter speed correctly..

Set your shutter speed to the 'X' sync speed of the camera, and NO HIGHER. This 'X' setting is typically 1/250th second, but can be as low as 1/125th with some cameras. See your manual..

Note: Setting a speed which is too high (above 'X' sync) can result in shadowing of the image from the shutter curtains, which the untrained eye may mistake for too little exposure...... so if increasing the exposure with aperture, power setting of flash or moving light closer does not work....it could be that exceeding 'X' sync speed is your problem.Regards,Baz..

Comment #4

Sha74 wrote:.

I have four alien bees and just was wondering if someone could get mestarted..

Seriously. Get the hang one one before worrying about multiples..

When using strobes you set your shutter speed to around your camera's maximum sync speed and adjust the amount of light reaching the sensor by changing the aperture. A light meter is really handy..

So, set up one light in the key position you desire, start off at probably half power and f8 on the camera and take a test shot. If it is overexposed, you can either lower the power output, stop down the aperture, increase the distance between the light and the subject, or any combination of the three. (Reverse for underexposed.).

Once you get that exposure right, add a reflector to bounce a little light back in for fill light. Or, add another light near the camera axis and adjust it to provide just enough light for fill. And so on with the others..

Now this sounds like a lot of trial and error. And in the beginning, that's the best way to learn. (After reading a good book on lighting, like "Light: Science and Magic") But with a good flash meter, you can set up a shoot in a couple of minutes and only make minor tweaks after a couple of test shots..

I have used them several times however, I was wondering where do Istart with the settings? I have tried playing around with it but notthe look that I am wanting. There are still a little underexposed.Help point me in the right direction..

Just remember that the shutter speed has little effect with strobes. (It does, but that would only confuse things at the moment.).

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #5

You are coming from a perspective of doing this a lot. A beginner could benefit from doing it the hard way during the learning stages. I rarely use my light meter anymore either, but having it when I was trying to figure out lighting rations and learning to "see the light" was very helpful..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #6

Mayb chef but compare it to this situation. you make some soup. How do you know if it might be a bit too hot and burn your mouth. Do you just carefuly take a very small sip and see how hot it is. Or do you get your thermometer out and see what the tempurature actually is. Then consult your manual as to acceptable temperatures low enough to drink and not hot enough to burn?Get my drift?.

But by all means let the beginner use a meter. Maybe something extra will be learned.Jules.

ChefZiggy wrote:.

You are coming from a perspective of doing this a lot. A beginnercould benefit from doing it the hard way during the learning stages.I rarely use my light meter anymore either, but having it when I wastrying to figure out lighting rations and learning to "see the light"was very helpful..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Why can't you blow bubbles with chewing gum?..

Comment #7

Hang on a minute Chef, you are now advising exactly what I suggested without using the meter and doing it by trial and error!!!! Lol. I am confused.Jules.

ChefZiggy wrote:.

So, set up one light in the key position you desire, start off atprobably half power and f8 on the camera and take a test shot. If itis overexposed, you can either lower the power output, stop down theaperture, increase the distance between the light and the subject, orany combination of the three. (Reverse for underexposed.)..

Comment #8

JulesJ wrote:.

Hang on a minute Chef, you are now advising exactly what I suggestedwithout using the meter and doing it by trial and error!!!! Lol. I amconfused.Jules.

Eh...ya got me..

Just above that I did say that a light meter was a handy thing to have. Here I was assuming that they didn't have one. Above I was responding to your statement that they weren't needed..

I think they are needed, but as you say not as necessary once you have the hang of it..

Hope that clears the confusion.Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #9

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