Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Problem lighting a group
If you want to reply, then register here. Registration is free and your account is created instantly, so you can post right away.
Nov 26, 2018 05:41:01   #
lovelylyn
 
I’m not sure how to evenly light a small group and still make the photo interesting. In this picture it looks like there is Rembrandt lighting on all the subjects, and it’s hot on the left. I had a mono light on the left set at 1/8 power shooting into a reflector black/white umbrella a speed light on the right with a shoot through umbrella set at 1/2.
As I’m typing this I’m thinking would it have lite evenly if I had used a 42 inch reflector instead of the mono light on the left? Or maybe had the mono light high angled down behind the camera? Looking forward to you alls advice.


(Download)

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 06:22:38   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
I wouldn't call it a bad photo, but if you had even lighting, it would be better. I'm not a lighting expert, but even lighting from all angles would eliminate shadows. If I was paying for that portrait, I would be happy with it.

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 06:34:27   #
CO (a regular here)
 
Shooting into a reflective umbrella is fine. I've done that a lot with both silver and white reflective umbrellas. There's stronger illumination on the young man on the left than on the young man on the right. If you back away that strobe/umbrella, you can get a more even level of illumination on all of the guys. Of course, that results in a smaller relative light source, but because of depth of light, you can get a more even level of illumination across all of the guys. Also, I think the strobe on the left is too low. That can be seen in the catch lights in the eyes of all of the guys. Having catch lights in the 10 and 2 o'clock position is best. There are also two catch lights in the eyes of all of the guys. It would be better if you could eliminate the center catch light.

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 07:08:28   #
d2b2
 
Completely even lighting could reduce the depth and flatten the photo. I don't know. I like the difference, but it depends on what you (and your client) might want.

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 07:10:38   #
Dannj (a regular here)
 
I think the kid in the front is providing enough light with that smile😊

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 07:15:31   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
lovelylyn wrote:
I’m not sure how to evenly light a small group and still make the photo interesting. In this picture it looks like there is Rembrandt lighting on all the subjects, and it’s hot on the left. I had a mono light on the left set at 1/8 power shooting into a reflector black/white umbrella a speed light on the right with a shoot through umbrella set at 1/2.
As I’m typing this I’m thinking would it have lite evenly if I had used a 42 inch reflector instead of the mono light on the left? Or maybe had the mono light high angled down behind the camera? Looking forward to you alls advice.
I’m not sure how to evenly light a small group and... (show quote)


The inverse square law will illustrate why the light falloff is so great in your image. It looks like you are in tight quarters, and your subject on the left side is pretty close to the light.

There are several approaches to fixing this.

1. If you have the room, is to move the key light further away from the group. This will have two effects - a lower rate of decay on the light, but your shadows will become harsher and deeper. You will need to use either a large softbox or a much bigger umbrella. I would put a kicker as a hair light in the back to create some interest and separate the child on the right from the darker background, put a small, wide angle light on the background, and possibly a reflector on the right to soften the shadows.

2. You could use a large reflector - I use beadboard insulation from Home Depot, and use the monolight on that - the large surface will create the smoothest, softest shadows, and still provide some directionality.

I would definitely have each of your subjects dressed with clothing that has similar light reflection - putting the guy in the white shirt closest to the light is creating problems for you.

I like the Rembrandt lighting - it works nicely here. But you could use some fill and accent lighting.

Here is a link to making a reflector like the one I mentioned above:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJO9IZPQnKM

You can get some tips here, if you have the patience to endure this guy's presentation skills:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAcY5ob2UnE

Another approach is to get a large 5 in 1 collapsible umbrella, like this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov-CyVRIVCA

Because you are dealing with a group, bigger is better - which is why I like the beadboard approach - even indoors. The light is nice and even and very controllable.

If you decide to stay with an umbrella, I'd suggest you get a much bigger one - maybe like this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078XT7VSM/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B078XT7VSM&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=21517efd-b385-405b-a405-9a37af61b5b4&pd_rd_wg=VVB9R&pf_rd_r=VG50AHPCWF8J6W0CS4G0&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_w=JcUrN&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pd_rd_r=0da5d78d-f175-11e8-bed5-7dcfcd74da26

Hope this helps.

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 07:57:17   #
PCB_smv
 
So would I, the background alone is very busy and distracting. Good job under the circumstances.

| Reply
Nov 26, 2018 07:57:45   #
PCB_smv
 
So would I, the background alone is very busy and distracting. Good job under the circumstances.

| Reply
Dec 8, 2018 14:52:15   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
This is a good shot! When you light a group there has to be a compromise- it's unlike lighting a single subject in that each member of the group is going to be at a differet angle to the main light source. So...if you want perfect even lighting it may me too flat and of you move the main light, latterly, too far off the camera/subject axis, you may get very uneven lighting or even throw shades from one object onto another. The compromise is gettin modeling AND even lighting at the same time. If you place the main light somewhere between 20 and 35 degrees to the camera/subject axis and carefully feathered to even out the lighting pattern will do the trick. The ligh has to be high enough to enable depth of lightg but not to high where the eyes become under lighted and lack in shadow detail.

Since everyone will not be at the exact same angle to the main ligh in a typical group some folks will seem to have "Rembrandt" lighting, othere may show as "butterfly" lighting or Modified butterfly (loop) lighting etc. The more dramat the effect and the high the lighting ration, the more challenging it is to get even density. Feather and careful lighting placement is required.

Another factor is skin color or complexion. In any group there are going to be variation in complexion. Minor differences are natural and sometimes just a bit of dodging or burning in in processing will compensate.

Pullin the main ligh further away from the group may help to even out the lighting but the further the light is form the subject the "harder" it gets. Softness has to do with distance and size. If the size f the light source is 'large" relative to the subject the effect is softer. The closer the light the softer. So... if you need the distance to distribute the light, you should use a larger source- this is another compromise. I have photographed large groups with smaller parabolic (16") lights but the lighting technique needs to b extremely precise.

The background in this image is OK- after all, it's a casual portrait and a Christmas greeting theme! Good expressions! Sometimes it helps to brig the subjects closer together. This shots need just a a bit more space around the group.

| Reply
If you want to reply, then register here. Registration is free and your account is created instantly, so you can post right away.
UglyHedgehog.com - Forum
Copyright 2011-2019 Ugly Hedgehog, Inc.