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how would you do this?


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#1 Craig Agee

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 11:57 PM

alright so im shooting a girl friend of mine downtown at night,just messing around she finds a glass window with all these jars with random things in it,she loves it and wants me to photograph her with it,i am an alright photographer but this posed a very challenging lighting scenerio (to me anyway)...dark night,very well light background and subject in front of it,i didnt want to fire the flash from the camera because i knew the reflection on the glass would be hideous and obvious so the closest and best idea that came to me was to put my sb600 flash directly below and in front of her and fire it wirelessly,this obviously created nasty shadows,esspecially her glasses as you can see in the attatchment,anyway,sadly this is the closest i came to the shot,wondering what anyone else wouldve done in this situation with limited gear,i was using a digital slr with one sb600 speedlight.thanks

the link to the picture is: http://imagebin.org/4932
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 01:33 AM

Either get the flash off-axis to the reflection (which is what you did), or get the reflection off-axis to the lens. In other words, move the lens to a slight angle from the glass, and then you can flash more frontally if you like.

You could have simply moved the flash unit more to the side or from above more, provided you had a stand or something to hold it in place.

It's not a bad pic, even though her specs cast some shadows. There's something so clinical about the jars on display and the oblique angle, you could have held the flash unit very close to the lens so she became lit in the same clinical fashion, and the reflection would have been blocked by her head. You still would have had the flash refelection in her glasses, though.
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#3 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 05:30 AM

i would have bounced the flash off a white surface above her, probably a little to one side. and i would have tried to warm up the flash too. not easy with limited gear but a piece of half cto is good to always have taped to your flash.

here's a similar shot. it's hdv and he's behind the glass but i had the same problem. just a small camera light and a nasty window that reflected everything. i handheld the light in a position where i liked the shadows on his face and where it didn't reflect in the window. it's not a great shot but it worked and made its way into the finished film.

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/matt
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#4 jdtranetzki

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 06:26 AM

that's not a bad picture at all. you could even use sepia tones on the flash to blend the light with the background. a nice yellow diffusion on her face.
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#5 Robert Aldrich

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:02 PM

alright so im shooting a girl friend of mine downtown at night,just messing around she finds a glass window with all these jars with random things in it,she loves it and wants me to photograph her with it,i am an alright photographer but this posed a very challenging lighting scenerio (to me anyway)...dark night,very well light background and subject in front of it




I would have put the window at an angle to the camera and lit her from above and behind the camera. No reflecton from the window that way, and anyway a flat image doesn't always look as interesting as does one shot from an angle. (gives more feeling of depth, diminishing lines, etc.)
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#6 Andrew Roddewig

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 10:24 PM

A simple trick that i like to do my self is to diffuse my flash. It would have helped on the harsh shadows. I like to tape some opal over the flash or in a pinch a piece of bar napkin ( something i find myself doing to my friends little digital cameras when we are out drinking.)
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#7 Chris Cooke

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 03:53 PM

A simple trick that i like to do my self is to diffuse my flash. It would have helped on the harsh shadows. I like to tape some opal over the flash or in a pinch a piece of bar napkin ( something i find myself doing to my friends little digital cameras when we are out drinking.)


You have to remember that diffusion is "the degree of wraparoundness". As light wraps around an object, it appears more diffuse. Put your hand right up to the lens of a naked fresnel and see how soft the light is. Then move about 10 feet back a see how hard it has become. The primary reason why putting opal or a napkin in front of your flash makes the light appear more diffuse is that it knocks the light level down so that the shadows made by the flash are filled a little more by the ambient lights in the room. Since the source hasn't become any bigger in relation to the subject, the actual amount of diffusion will not increase very much because it's not wraping around your subject much more than it was before you put the napkin on. If you put a bigger napkin a couple feet from the flash, it would end up diffusing quite a bit more but it wouldn't be as handy. Yours is a good trick nonetheless, I'm just getting technical for those who care.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 04:10 PM

The interior lighting in the shop seems bright enough that you could have taken an available light photo of her looking into the shop window, so you get her profile rather than straight-on. Would have been a more interesting photo too, with her doing something, rather than just looking into the camera lens.

Lighting an actor from below is classic "horror" lighting --- usually not attractive.
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