All creative aspects of photography (digital and analog).
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Mark Johnston

Creative lighting with strobes and a cry for help...

Sounds fun Mark.

If you are going to be doing large group outdoor portraits I have a trick that I used, it takes several assistants, but it will get rid of the dark shadows under the baseball caps.

First, don't shoot on a bright, harsh light day if don't have to. Pick an overcast day. If you are shooting out of doors and have the ability to do so pick a day just after a light rain. The rain washes everything and brightens the colors of the surroundings.

Go to the hardware store and get 2 7 ft. lenghts of stair rail. It is basically a large dowel with a flat side. Then go to the fabric store, preferably one that specializes in appolstry fabrics. Find the widest bleached muslin. It's very inexpensive and washable. I usually did about 15 yards or so. Use heavy duct tape the entire length of the raw ends. Then take the ends of the fabric and duct tape them to the flat side of the stair rail and then use a staple gun to tack it well. Wrap the fabric like a scroll/ roll of film making sure that you wrap it straight and even. The easiest way is to hammer large headed nails in the ends of the stair rail and hang it by eye hooks with a length of wire and rings on the end at shoulder height and then roll. This makes it easy to store. I used to have several different colored dyed ones that I used for seamless backgrounds and as light reflectors. When you are out in the field you can have assistants roll out as much length as you need to bounce light into your setting. I used to do a lot of site work with stainless steel products and needed to avoid reflections of surroundings and color casts so I came up with this for shoots. It will pay you back the first time you use it and lasts forever. If you unroll from one end you can just roll up the soiled fabric on the second roll. When you get done you can remove it from the rails, wash, dry and reattach. If you take the time to wrap it right it stays pretty wrinkle free, and what wrinkles you get can be removed quickly with a little hand steamer.
20.04.07, 22:46
Sounds fun Mark.

If you are going to be doing large group outdoor portraits I have a trick that I used, it takes several assistants, but it will get rid of the dark shadows under the baseball caps.

First, don't shoot on a bright, harsh light day if don't have to. Pick an overcast day. If you are shooting out of doors and have the ability to do so pick a day just after a light rain. The rain washes everything and brightens the colors of the surroundings.

Go to the hardware store and get 2 7 ft. lenghts of stair rail. It is basically a large dowel with a flat side. Then go to the fabric store, preferably one that specializes in appolstry fabrics. Find the widest bleached muslin. It's very inexpensive and washable. I usually did about 15 yards or so. Use heavy duct tape the entire length of the raw ends. Then take the ends of the fabric and duct tape them to the flat side of the stair rail and then use a staple gun to tack it well. Wrap the fabric like a scroll/ roll of film making sure that you wrap it straight and even. The easiest way is to hammer large headed nails in the ends of the stair rail and hang it by eye hooks with a length of wire and rings on the end at shoulder height and then roll. This makes it easy to store. I used to have several different colored dyed ones that I used for seamless backgrounds and as light reflectors. When you are out in the field you can have assistants roll out as much length as you need to bounce light into your setting. I used to do a lot of site work with stainless steel products and needed to avoid reflections of surroundings and color casts so I came up with this for shoots. It will pay you back the first time you use it and lasts forever. If you unroll from one end you can just roll up the soiled fabric on the second roll. When you get done you can remove it from the rails, wash, dry and reattach. If you take the time to wrap it right it stays pretty wrinkle free, and what wrinkles you get can be removed quickly with a little hand steamer.
137 clicks
Ken Piros

Freezing motion in low light?

That's a good result, Ken.
I have both pictures up on my screen to compare them - you can really see the improvement in the light from the streetlamp (left edge), the lit area of the sidewalk (lower left corner) and the smaller buildings in the background (right, lower edge).
You didn't lose too much detail ... the ironwork on the railing below the bike is still sharp!
The red lights on the left skyscraper are brighter - that is from the "sharpening" settings on the program.

One tip that you may find useful - if you load the program as a "plug-in" to your editing software, then you can apply the noise filter to just parts of the image. For example, you could select the central figure, cut it out, apply the NeatImage to the rest of the photo to control the night time noise, then re-insert the figure which has not been filtered.

Good job! Happy photo-ing ...
196 clicks
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