Monday, March 16, 2009

Foholics Studio Session

For those who do not know, I'm an ardent supporter of Fotoholics - Melbourne University's Photography club. I also lack experience in studio photography because I lack equipment to do so.

We had a studio session in Union House last Sunday. The model needed some pics for her CV, so we were invited to shoot some pics.


The 'thinking man' pose. This is called 'butterfly lighting' - One main soft box in front of the model, to evenly light the front of her face.

Another aspect is to set the camera at Manual exposure. My settings were 1/125 sec at f6.7. Iso 100 was used to give the best dynamic range and noise-free pictures.

The strobes were triggered wirelessly using pocket wizards. While this may be a worthwhile investment for studio equipment, I've been considering the use of an Olympus FL50R flashgun as it is the wireless variant of the FL50 that I am currently using.


In studio photography, catchlights are quite important to give a 'spark' to her eyes. Its usually done using reflectors, or any small source of light directly in front of her. You can see here that I've forgotten to do so, hence the 'lifeless' look in her eyes.


Now the softbox is now placed to the left, resulting in one side of her face being lit while on the other side, a reflector was used to lighten the shadows.


Its always important to pay attention to how the model looks before you press the shutter. You can see here that the hair on the right side of her face is a little uneven. Of course, post production can be done to correct this, but it is much easier to get this right in the camera.



Usually, models bring a few outfits to try, and some props are also good to give interest (eg. sunglasses). Again, I did not use a reflector here, so the shadows under her eyes are quite pronounced, in addition to the lack of catchlights.



We tried a coloured gel effect by putting flashguns to her left and right, and placed blue and red transparencies on them.


Of course, the pocket wizards had to be shared among the rest of the members, so in the meantime, I utilised the 35-100's large f2 aperture to get this picture. Of course, I had to use a higher ISO to get this shot rather than my earlier manual settings(1/90sec, ISO 800, f2) which results in reduced dynamic range and more noise.


I spotted this new dude munching on a packet of wedges and kindly requested him to 'lend' them for the shoot.


Towards the end, we decided to 'bathe' the model in light with the addition of another large softbox to the right. This results in the even distribution of light around her whole body, so the use of a reflector is not necessary at this stage.

Of course, the over-use of flash has its own consequences:


I'd also like to introduce the fotoholics committee:

Michelle Lim - activities officer. She plans most of the activies for the club, eg. Moomba fireworks outing.

She is shown here coveting Stanley's milk bottle (70-200 2.8)

Yet again, her eyes are in the shadows, even with the use of a reflector. Hmm.


Asking her to look at the soft box eliminated shadows on her face.


This is my good pal, Chang Yang. He manages the IT department for the club.

He is depicted here with Roger's 50D and 85 f1.2 mark 1 lens. He would've been happier taking a picture with his new milk bottle (the IS version), but I reckon this looks fine.


At my request, he has kindly obliged to photograph me with my 35-100 on his 450D.

Just to deviate a little; I still prefer the skin tones produced by the Olympus sensors, which look more natural than the straight out of camera RAWs produced by Canon or Nikon. This is one reason why I do not see myself acquiring a Canon system in the foreseeable future.


Roger Sun - Activities Officer No 2. Having recently acquired a 50D, 24-70/2.8 and a 85/1.2, I'm sure he can clearly see himself with a 5D quite soon. (the 5D he's holding now isn't his)


A total Canon gear freak, but a really nice guy to mix with. You will often see him around with his 5D mk2 + 35 /1.4 L and 40D + tokina 11-16/2.8

Here he is featured unglamorously munching through a Dominoes pizza.

The angle of the softbox replicates Vemeer-like north light; light from a large window without direct sunlight.


Oh yes, he has the compulsive addiction of wrapping his lenses and flashes with gaffer tape to reduce the probability of scratches appearing on them.


Last but not least, Stanley ,the current fotoholics president with his 1-week-old 5Dmk2 prize.

In hard times like these, its a wonder that some people still have cash to spend on camera gear.

Others aren't so lucky, unfortunately.

6 Comments:

Alvin said...

hahahaha quite a session you guys had there. if you want gear, let me know. i have a flash kit. 3x 500W heads. but i have to say, this a good afford this is, but next time, be abit more prepared with props and stuff. ie, the chair. it'll change the whole look of the photo!

p/s: hey, u've got to introduce me to some of these guys from fotoholics! ;)

changyang1230 said...

Haha I got my new milk bottle thanks to you and James :D

ven said...

Melbourne Uni photography club, neither of the members look aunthentically Australian to me =P

By the way, from your photo with your giant of a lens, it didn't look all that huge if the lens hood isn't there.

brandon said...

alvin: next time got activity, I'll tell you, no worries.

ven: this is the committee of the club. there are authentic aussie members too, and they take pretty darn good photos!

yes, my 35-100 doesn't look that substantial without the hood, but at 1.6kg, its heavier than the canon and nikon 70-200/2.8 equivalents, which is pretty darn heavy!

ven said...

Well, 1.6kg vs 1.3-1.4kg does not make much of a different actually. But f2 vs f2.8 does make some difference. Anyway, it's out of my reach.

brandon said...

yes the lens is f2, but its only an f4 equivalent in full frame terms, unfortunately. a 70-200 2.8 on a 5d or d700 still yields a narrower DOF than the 4/3rds system.

 

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