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Thread: Am I prepared - First Studio Job

  1. #1
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    Default Am I prepared - First Studio Job

    Have my first studio job this weekend (Don't normally do studio work) at the Dunedin Armageddon Expo. Basically people pay to get there portraits taken with celebrities. I managed to track down some photos by the company that normally does this for them, as you can see they aren't expecting works of art:







    I have a 3m backdrop stand set and a 2.8x3 backdrop, textured dark and light grey. Also have two light-stands with cheap IR triggers and two 3 in 1 umbrellas.
    I currently have a 480ex flash, and have a 600ex in the post, it's estimated time of arrival is today, but don't have tracking to confirm this. (Anyone in Dunedin who can lend me a flash in case this doesn't arrive in time? Can offer some $ ). Have four sets of four AA NiMh rechargeable and a 15 minute quick charger for them, as well an extra set of AAA's for the triggers, also have an 10m ETTL cable as a back up in case the triggers decide not to work.

    I'm pretty familiar with all my gear, except the 600ex when it arrives, had a quick play yesterday in my bedroom with just one light to check everything is still working. Here is a couple, sorry about the un-inspiring expression, I'm not much of a self-portraiter :P I get to set up the day before so hoping some the creases in the backround will come out. Probably will place the second light in same position but on the right at 1:1 ratio as I don't think fancy lighting is appropriate here.











    Any comments, advice, critique or experience welcome.
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  2. #2
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    Looks good, maybe a little less shadow. I find a fully charged set of metal hydrides goes the distance quite well so you should be fine there, especially if you give them a top up charge in morning.
    Canon 5DmkII Canon 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200L, Canon 580EXII, JINBEI Studio strobes, Samyang 35mm, F1.4 Fuji X100S, ISKRA Medium format rangefinder

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  3. #3
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    On lighting:-
    Yeah, you are demonstrating Rembrant lighting quite well here, and it's is too artistic for these sorts of photos, these people will want happy snapshots rather than works of art as you have said, so closer to 1:1 would be useful, do you have a reflector or a piece of large white foamcore that someone can hold for you? This could act as a fill if one of your lights dies, or you find you need it for something else (like lighting the background).

    On location:-
    The background, both the original shots and your background make me feel a bit nauseous. Have you scouted your location? Is it possible to shoot against white, or black or a brick wall? If not, get the subjects further forward to reduce the light fall -off onto the backdrop and make it less obvious.

    On the gear:-
    With these sort of jobs, you want reliability and reproducibility. Speedlites and rechargeable batteries always make me nervous for a volume of work, do you have someone to help you If so, task them with recycling and recharging the batteries.
    What sort of IR triggers do you have? do they have rechargeable batteries as well? If not get some spares, if your triggers stop working, then you are screwed and certain types of triggers (I find) eat batteries if left 'on' (as they are constantly awaiting a signal and don't go to sleep).
    Last edited by Paul.; 27-02-2013 at 09:47 AM.


  4. #4

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    Flashes also have a tendency to overheat and die so being prepared to loose one is a good idea.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  5. #5
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    I'd recommend renting some studio strobes and have your speedlites as backup.
    How are you delivering your photos? Cut to disk on site, print on site, or email/download later? If delivered on site you will need a very slick workflow sorted out and all settings pre-set (WB, colour settings, lighting, camera settings, etc) to minimise processing time.
    Lighten up!
    I shoot with Canon EOS 500 & 6D, EFS17-55 f2.8, EF35L f1.4, EF135L f2, Speedlites 580EX II & 430EX II.

  6. #6
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    Iron out the wrinkles if possible. Get the subjects away from that backdrop as much as you can, then use a large aperture to make it blur a bit, also saves the life of your batteries. Use a medium tele if you have the space so you don't run out of backdrop behind them. Even lighting across the group is a must for this type of stuff, you may be going from one person to a group of 10 in half a minute, so keep it all simple and safe.

  7. #7
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    I'm with Sooshee on this one. You need to hire some powered studio strobes rather than trying to do it with speedlights. This is production line photography where you need consistency. You are not going to get that with lights that depend upon batteries. You need a very fast and consistent recycle rate and light colour.

    When you get to the location work out the best lighting position and mark the floor with tape. Again that helps keep the lighting consistent and it is a lot easier for people to line up on.
    Cheers

    Paul

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys, a lot of good stuff here, as this is just a one off, so proper studio strobes are not really practical. I should only have to do 2-3 photos for each shot just to make sure eye's arn't closed etc, and there planning on 50-100 people each day over 3 hours so hopefully that will reduce the strain on the speedlites.

    My 600ex hasn't arrived yet so looks like I'm going to have to borrow one.

    If I do get more jobs like this is using multiple speedlites with the dual or triple light brackets to reduce the power/wear on each light, and use of the external battery packs to increase recycle rate and lessen battery changes practical?
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  9. #9
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    Is this like an actual studio setup or more like a mall/hall where you put up a backdrop for punters to stand in front of and photographer pops a shot . Is it a day or night event..if it's day is there a possibility of getting some natural light in ?

  10. #10
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    The mall type setup would be closest, not a tonne of natural light, there's a small amount of natural light mixed with tungsten bulbs, and it's during the day. Got a call from rubbermonkey (where I bought my 600ex from) and they have overnighted me a rental speedlite for free as mine hasn't arrived yet. Not sure how likely it is to get here as our airport is closed at night for some maintenance atm.
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  11. #11
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    So first day all over, rubbermonkey sent me a rental 600ex as mine still haven't arrived. The courier showed up as I was walking out the door so didn't get a chance to have a play or read the manual. Once there I couldn't for the life of me get the 600ex to work with my trigger, so ended up using at on camera set quite low (1/16th) with my 480ex on a single umbrella. A little bit of light fall off on the left but I think they turned out ok. The event organised was very happy with them and I didn't hear any complaints from the customers. The 2-3 person shots turned out a lot nice then the larger group shots. Here is a couple of the results:












    Took the last photo about 1.30pm and got home, the photos edited, down to harvey norman and printed then back to the event at about 2.50pm, all by bicycle! The speedlites all held up fine, didn't even ahve to change the batteries once.
    And the same all over again tomorrow!
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  12. #12
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    Well done. Nothing wrong with those pics, perfect for the task at hand.
    Canon 5DmkII Canon 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200L, Canon 580EXII, JINBEI Studio strobes, Samyang 35mm, F1.4 Fuji X100S, ISKRA Medium format rangefinder

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  13. #13
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    Have a photo of the setup on my phone, it's sure to make you all cringe if I can work out how to get it onto my computer.
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  14. #14
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    A thing of beauty:

    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  15. #15
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    Actually Riley i think they look great and you did damn well. Not to much light reflection on the glasses that girl is wearing either. If the setup works don't sweat it , who cares how it looks. Have fun tomorrow !

  16. #16
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    Looks great! Looks like the red bull helped with the speedy delivery too.
    Canon 5DIII | 7D | 16-35mm f2.8L II | 17-40mm f4L | 24mm f1.4L II | 50mm f1.2L | 85mm f1.2L II | 70-200mm f2.8L II | 300mm f2.8L IS II | 1.4x III | 2x III | 580EX II

  17. #17
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    Looks great! All the best for the second round!
    Lighten up!
    I shoot with Canon EOS 500 & 6D, EFS17-55 f2.8, EF35L f1.4, EF135L f2, Speedlites 580EX II & 430EX II.

  18. #18
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    Cheers guys, right after I finished that redbull some promo girl from "V" dropped a 24 pack of V at my feet :P Good thing to as I did 10pm to 7am shift last night :P
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  19. #19
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    Okay trust me to add some critique
    Love the back drop, would like ne like that myseld, but it has some lines in it.
    Guess they might be seams.

    Maybe stretch it wider and hand some weights to keep it a little more taut, maybe.

    I like the shots as far as a beginner like me can tell it is well balanced.

    I hope the two to the right are not Booth Bunnies

    Good show at making a fist of it and getting involved, I felt that you were over cautious and juste need to get down and do it to find out how you coped.
    Well Done
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  20. #20
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    BTW No1 she is a cutie
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  21. #21
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    If your after a backdrop like that it cost me $79 from photoshack. The lines are from it being folded, bought 8 little spring clamps today and put the background on sideways instead.

    All wrapped up, have a bunch of other photos from walking around the booths and cosplay etc: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rileyba...7632903229628/
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by riley989 View Post
    If your after a backdrop like that it cost me $79 from photoshack. The lines are from it being folded, bought 8 little spring clamps today and put the background on sideways instead.

    All wrapped up, have a bunch of other photos from walking around the booths and cosplay etc: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rileyba...7632903229628/
    Well I am ashamed to admit I recognized quite a number of the SiFi themes portrayed, thank god I didnt recognize any of the Cosplay ones.

    On a different subject, if your involved in that scene down there have you run into Anthony Baikie, he is an IT specialist with an interest in this area
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  23. #23

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    Shots look great,the 3 soilders shot with back drop works well imo.

    You found the flash worked ok at 200mm?I thought it would have run out of reach at that distance?

    Looks like a fun event
    6D = 40mm f2.8 = 50mm f1.8 = 70-300 f4-5.6 Tamron = 400mm f5.6L = Flash thing = P.O.S Tripod.

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  24. #24
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    The new 600ex's zoom into 200mm.

    All in all I only made about $150-200 due to the numbers not being as high as they said (36 total paid photos instead of the 50-100 they indicated). The airsoft club I play in had a stand, they were really busy the whole day, lots of people wanted photos holding one of the guns etc, so next year probably going to set up with them and charge $5-10 for a photo with a gun/helmet and webbing, I'm sure it will make a tonne more then the Hobbit photos.
    Canon 1Dx | Canon 6D | Canon 24-70 f2.8 L ii | Canon 16-35 f4 L | ii Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Gitzo Basalt Explorer 3 | Canon Speedlite 600EX's ST-E3-RT|

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthurhh View Post
    Okay trust me to add some critique
    Love the back drop, would like ne like that myseld, but it has some lines in it.
    Guess they might be seams.

    Maybe stretch it wider and hand some weights to keep it a little more taut, maybe.

    I like the shots as far as a beginner like me can tell it is well balanced.

    I hope the two to the right are not Booth Bunnies

    Good show at making a fist of it and getting involved, I felt that you were over cautious and juste need to get down and do it to find out how you coped.
    Well Done
    The best way to get rid of background seams is to exposure them out (for white or black backgrounds) or blurring them out works for any BG - you appear to have plenty of room so get them to stand further away from the BG
    Canon > 5DIII | 17-40 L | 35 L | 24-105 L | 70-200 f/2.8 IS II L | 100 L | 400 f/2.8 IS II L | 600 EX-RT | 1.4x TC III | 2x TC III

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