Birmingham Comic Con

plloydie

Well-known Member

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Nicely done Sir! - you might want to have a look at the WB on the 1st couple mind you (not sure if the wall background in #2 and #5 was white or not but I do think that at least the Troopers should be "more" white :))
 

plloydie

Well-known Member
thanks and a good point regarding the WB i'll take have another go in LR when I have the chance.
 

plloydie

Well-known Member
Well done Paul. Though I have to say #2 is incredibly noisy.
Agreed, back to LR later to try and sort. May have oversharpened a not very sharp image.
 

plloydie

Well-known Member
Last edited:

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
You not got LR ? - if so I usually just use the WB "Dropper" tool...
 

plloydie

Well-known Member
LR5.7 Mrs plloydie is getting me a guide on how to use Lightroom properly for Xmas. I simply do what looks right to me until peeps comment on obvious things like "storm troopers should be white" which I completely miss and besides I don't use 1/2 the available tools in LR.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
If there is something in the shot which you know to be white then the dropper tool is by far (I find at least) the easiest way to setup the default WB as you just selcet the tool in the Develop Module and clisk it on an area of the shot which you deem to be "white" and it adjusts everything else accordingly - you can of course then adjust/tweak further to your hearts content :)
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Good effort. Echo the comments above re WB. How did you have your flash/lighting set up? I see most of the shots are at 70mm, do you wish you'd had a longer focal length?
 

plloydie

Well-known Member
Thanks for the replies. My flash set up was my flash unit on camera and set to ITTL as I have next to no experience of using the flash (I guess I should have practised before hand) What I was hoping to achieve but never was "flash fall off" where by I'd illuminate the subject but not what was behind them.
As to the focal length yes I would have taken a longer lens if only to get closer upper body/head shots. Some of the make-up & masks were amazing and these would have made good shots IMO. The one problem is that space is very limited with a very large crowd. The best costumes/make-up characters had a stream of people wanting to get their photo taken with them so although I could get a shot of the characters there was nearly always some one else in the shot. The Starwars characters had background set up as can be seen in the shots but that was the only prop otherwise it was shots with the public as the backdrop.
I do understand that this event is not set up for photographers but with so many people in great outfits wanting their photo taken maybe a small corner of the vast building could be set aside for this reason.
I wonder did Dancook took his own background screen or was the black backdrop done PP?
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies. My flash set up was my flash unit on camera and set to ITTL as I have next to no experience of using the flash (I guess I should have practised before hand) What I was hoping to achieve but never was "flash fall off" where by I'd illuminate the subject but not what was behind them.
As to the focal length yes I would have taken a longer lens if only to get closer upper body/head shots. Some of the make-up & masks were amazing and these would have made good shots IMO. The one problem is that space is very limited with a very large crowd. The best costumes/make-up characters had a stream of people wanting to get their photo taken with them so although I could get a shot of the characters there was nearly always some one else in the shot. The Starwars characters had background set up as can be seen in the shots but that was the only prop otherwise it was shots with the public as the backdrop.
I do understand that this event is not set up for photographers but with so many people in great outfits wanting their photo taken maybe a small corner of the vast building could be set aside for this reason.
I wonder did Dancook took his own background screen or was the black backdrop done PP?
Yeah, it's never going to be easy to get that perfect shot at an event like this. Regarding the blacked out background using flash you need to underexpose the ambient light (usually by 3 stops or more) by increasing your shutter speed and if this goes above your flash sync speed you'll have to use high speed sync. You can underexpose the ambient light by dropping ISO too, but this will also affect the light from the flash. Basically what you're trying to do is let the flash perfectly expose the subject whilst deliberately underexposing the ambient/background. Obviously you'll need some distance between the subject and the background so that the flash doesn't light some of the background up too.

These are far from the best studio shots you will see as this was a tutorial looking at the effect of flash and so not trying to achieve the best shots in the world (plus this was my first time at portraits, studio and using speedlights), but the first shows a shot exposing for ambient light (including bounced flash) and the second shot was using high speed sync flash, notice the 1/4000 shutter. The model was a few feet away from the white wall so that the flash didn't light the wall.

DSC_0760 by TDG-77, on Flickr
DSC_0771 by TDG-77, on Flickr


You're much better using the flash off camera coming in from an angle so that you don't get the 'rabbit in the headlight' look from the flash. Also, if you can diffuse it so that it's nice and soft that's even better. Those above were using undiffused flash, the ones below wer using a very large softbox

PA243484 by TDG-77, on Flickr
PA243449 by TDG-77, on Flickr
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
I wonder did Dancook took his own background screen or was the black backdrop done PP?
As Toby says, just under exposed the ambient light and made up for it with the flash.

I moved around the hall which has all the stands in it, trying to chase people through the crowds when I see someone I want a photo of. A backdrop would not have been very practical - but then nothing really was.
 

plloydie

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the info. I was using ISO down to 160 & I was using a stofen flash diffuser and either pointing direct or angled to try and underexpose the background. As said there were so many people that rarely I had the subject isolated. Your first two shots clearly show what can be achieved using the flash correctly..I'm going to give your info a go over the weekend if time allows and get some practice in. Thanks again.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the info. I was using ISO down to 160 & I was using a stofen flash diffuser and either pointing direct or angled to try and underexpose the background. As said there were so many people that rarely I had the subject isolated. Your first two shots clearly show what can be achieved using the flash correctly..I'm going to give your info a go over the weekend if time allows and get some practice in. Thanks again.
Yeah, it definitely take practice and that tutorial I went to was very useful indeed. I forgot to mention the shot with the high speed sync flash was actually using 3 flashes hence the even light on the face and the hint of backlighting but the principle's the same ;) The shots of the girl with the blond hair were using one light source hence the shadows.

The Understanding Flash Photography book by Bryan Peterson is very useful, although he does bang on about letting the flash choose aperture etc but is only really useful if you have the Nikon SB900/910 as other Nikon speedlights don't have this feature :rolleyes: Of course, as I use TTL most of the time I don't have to worry about this anyway ;)
 

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