1. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Damen
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    Hi

    Im going to be doing a photoshoot with my niece for her birthday, I have a seamless paper backdrop roll in artic white, photography stand, ill be using a Nikon d3300, I have an external flash which im more than capable of using without issues, lens wise I have 35mm 1.8, kit 18.55 and 70-300vr.

    I don't have any soft boxes unfortunately as I cant afford them at the moment.

    could I have advise on what settings you would use?? and how far away from the backdrop background should she stand?? is it ideal to use 18-55 or 35mm prime?

    ill be using a room in my house that lets lots of natraul light in.

    thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  2. Harlequin565

    Harlequin565

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    Ian
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    (Not a professional)

    What sort of images are you after? The 70-300 will be better for headshots but not brill (esp inside unless you're in a mansion) for full body. My immediate thought is that if you have no diffusion for the flash wouldn't it be better to use the natural light in your well lit room?

    You asked what settings I'd use so... For headshots, I'd perch the model next to the window (making it a huge softbox) and depending on available space, would try some images at around f4 with the 35 - head & shoulders, maybe upper 3/4 stuff, then swap to the 70-300 for headshots. I'd drop the aperture to f4-8, make sure the shutter speed is no slower than 1/250 (1/125 if you're steady) and let ISO balance things out. Window sills can be great for perching on or leaning against so you can try a variety of poses rather than the relative difficulty of standing someone in front of a backdrop and getting some life out of them. I'd leave the flash in its box. Same for the 18-55. For full body I'd use the 35 if I could - again around f4-8 and again using a main window as a giant softbox. If the 35 is too long, I'd probably get the kit lens out.

    In terms of distance from background... If it's plain white, all you'll be worrying about is a nasty shadow - which I suspect an un-diffused speedlight is going to be desperately trying to create. I'd probably do some test shots with my wife to see what distance I needed to have to avoid any shadow. Shooting in natural light will probably make this much less of an issue.

    That's probably what I would do :)
     
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  3. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Thanks for your reply thats great, i understand what you mean, in terms of the window sill etc i would have to use a wide apperture wouldnt i so that i blurr the background making sure there is no distractions.

    I understand what you mean about just standing infront of a backdrop though, my room i use it floods light in and because i have big french doors its really open, the room is probly 13ft by 7 ft wide.

    Im unsure weather to try and get her “serious posing” or try to get her smiling etc its something i havent really tried or thought about
     
  4. Harlequin565

    Harlequin565

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    Think about it. Having a plan will make the session go much better for you and her. You'll come across as knowing what you're doing which will give her confidence. You could try serious poses as well as smiles. Don't have to restrict yourself! These are they types of photos I do a fair bit. And for me - it's about creating family memories. I like to just have a bit of fun and try and avoid the corporate headshot looks. It's not a paid job - you have the freedom of the amateur to please only yourself so have fun.

    This is kind of an accepted view. However distance (to subject and from subject to background) and focal length can both create shallow depths of field as well as aperture. Blurred backgrounds are less distracting, but as long as you watch out for bad lines you should be fine. At 35mm your background is going to be much sharper than at 200mm (with the same distances and focal lengths) which is one reason why (for headshots) I'd recommend the 70-300. For family photos, backgrounds add more to the photo as they can provide a little insight into the person and the homeowner. For a professional shoot, this would possibly absolutely be a no-no, but for a family shoot it can add to it.

    Once you've got your settings right, it's all about interacting with your subject and getting some nice expressions and poses. Good luck!
     
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  5. realspeed

    realspeed

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    Bazza
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    Why restrict the shoot to indoors? would be my first question.
     
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  6. Phil V

    Phil V

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    This.

    You’ve set off with technical restrictions you don’t understand*.

    Take her to the park and shoot her being naturally happy.

    * inverse square law; if your niece is 6ft from the window and 6ft in front of the backdrop, and she’s properly exposed, the backdrop will be 2 stops underexposed. You’ll then try to fix it in post, it’ll take ages and will either ‘prove me wrong’ cos you managed to get something you were happy with, or your PP skills won’t cut it and you’ll be disappointed.
     
  7. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Thanks everyone.

    Its what she said she wants, id be happy to do both for her
     
  8. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    how old is your niece ? serious quetion.. I am guessing everyone presumes a young child.. But you give no indication.. is she a teenager? If so my advice would be to run a mile...

    JustSayin :)
     
  9. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    thats easy to answwer........ Do both.. and anyhting else you can think.. then choose aftre what you want to present/keep
     
  10. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Shes 16 haha
     
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  11. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Ok then, but you need to understand how difficult a ‘clean white background’ shot is to do well.

    If you’d gone to the studio thread and asked how to shoot that you’d have lots of advice saying that 13ft is fine for 3/4 length, not long enough for full length. You could get away with the daylight for your subject but you’ll need 2 lights for the background, and if you’ve no experience mixing daylight with flash, that’s not simple.

    The preferred option would be at least 4 lights, easier to control, there’s loads of help available online.

    But if she’s 16 I’d go for the graffiti walls and other ‘urban’ backgrounds on Marshgate, we did a shoot with the kids down there a few years ago. (Sunday morning there’s no one about) my Mrs has an album of the shots on FB if you want to have a look.
     
  12. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    Nightmare age and I am probably a bit too old fashioned... some of the poses.... I did a couple of shoots for family and friends and deleted a lot of poses ..... the problem for me was people will see a pic of a teenage girl and know i took it.. they wont know the background or who else is in the room.... yeagh the poses... you will see haha :)
     
  13. Brazo

    Brazo

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    I normally use a flash to light my backdrop should I have it at +2 stops to the model?

    Best results I get is shooting through my backdrop as it’s semi transparent but still get an under exposed backdrop.
     
  14. Phil V

    Phil V

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    No, but that’s a common misconception, my example had the background at twice the distance from light source as the subject, I was explaining that the ISL means the background only gets 1/4 the light (2 stops).

    A white bg actually requires exactly the same amount of light as your subject, but more ofthat light will be reflected back to the camera. But that’s complicated by how people measure lighting etc.

    A backlit background should be easy to get bright enough, but hotspots can be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    Brazo likes this.
  15. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Please phil that would be great, where about at marshgate down where the bike shop is? Didnt realise there was some grafetti walls down that way, could you pm me your mrs name so i can have a browse please :).
     
  16. Phil V

    Phil V

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    PM sent with details, but if you’re into graffiti, Sheffield City Centre would take a week of quiet mornings to cover well.

    IMHO if you’ve got some great lighting tools, then a home studio is great fun and can produce some amazing work. But if you’re stuck with one speedlight, no modifiers and a white BG, you’re painting yourself into a corner where you’ll only end up with crap photos. Whereas, outside you can find tons of interesting locations, you just need to look at the world differently.

    I’d guess Damo that you’ve passed those locations hundreds of times, other ‘interesting’ locations in Sunny Donny are down at the old cattle market, Wheatley Hall Rd, the old blood stock sales, still a few disused factories, etc etc, then more traditionally lakeside, lots of woods and some rural footpaths. So there’s lots of different locations to suit particular personalities.
     
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  17. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Thanks phil, i forget about all these types of places to be honest, i think of donny and boring lol
     

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