How many lights for a sitting of 5 people?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by GrailKing, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. GrailKing

    GrailKing Guest

    We decided to have our children and nices take a group photo, the
    photographer used only two photo lights with diffusers about 10 feet
    from and to the right and left of the group, we got the proofs today
    and we are disappointed, two of the kids have major shadow problems
    and they are also to dark in the faces. The photographer said she
    could either lighten them up in the computer or we can do another
    sitting, my question is how many lights?

    Of Course The Address is Munged

    GrailKing, Aug 26, 2003
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  2. GrailKing

    Todd Walker Guest

    It isn't how many lights are used as much as how they are positioned,
    their power relative to each other, how they are diffused, etc. A two
    light setup can work just fine for a group of 5 people if the
    photographer knows what he is doing.

    Todd Walker
    Canon 10D:
    My Digital Photography Weblog:
    Todd Walker, Aug 26, 2003
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  3. I've seen it done with one very good overhead light and two very
    nice side lights on stands before. All used diffusers.

    The top light had a wide elliptical enclosure and was positioned
    atop and slightly in front of the place where you would sit.

    The two side lights had round enclosures that were positioned
    facing slightly up from their stands towards the subject seating
    area. This helped eliminate shadows from underneath and above,
    allowing for a full lighting coverage.

    For me, lighting is a very hard thing to figure out, depending on
    the subject and the area that I'm in. I'm just not that good at
    "staged portrait" shots - never have been I guess. :)
    Paul D. Sullivan, Aug 26, 2003
  4. GrailKing

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: [email protected]!
    The problem is the photographer, not the number of lights. Two would be enough
    if done properly.
    Bill Hilton, Aug 26, 2003
  5. I've done 'em with just one VERY powerful light pointed into the
    corner of a room. But usually used to the side and one by
    the camera with a pretty flat lighting ratio.
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 26, 2003
  6. GrailKing

    smitty Guest

    One to hold the bulb, and 4 to turn the chair around to screw the bulb
    smitty, Aug 26, 2003
  7. GrailKing

    Patrick L. Guest

    I would use two studio strobes diffused. The key light high and off to the
    right a bit, and the fill light high behind the camera.

    I would meter the key light to F/8, and the fill light to F/5.6 and use a
    cable release. I've shot about this many people with this exact lighting
    with good results, though I don't have a digital copy of the shot, it was
    done with 120 film.

    Patrick L., Aug 27, 2003
  8. GrailKing

    JK Guest

    Why strobes? It is more difficult to visualize than constant lighting.
    I could understand the use of strobes so one could use daylight
    balanced film, but why use strobes for a portrait with digital?

    Oh, daylight film. That explains the use of strobes.
    JK, Aug 27, 2003
  9. Why strobes? It is more difficult to visualize than constant lighting.
    It's not polite to have lights blaring in the customer's face just
    because you're too stupid to know what your lights are doing.
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 27, 2003
  10. That is why studio strobe have modeling lights. Good ones have
    Even with out modeling lights of any type, a professional should know
    what his lights are doing.
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 27, 2003
  11. GrailKing

    JK Guest

    Blaring? How slow are your lenses?
    LOL! Flash shots tend to have an artificial look. Of course with good diffusers,

    they can look somewhat more natural, however constant lighting is much
    easier to control.
    JK, Aug 27, 2003
  12. GrailKing

    JK Guest

    I find being photographed with flash to be much more annoying than
    sitting under constant lighting.
    JK, Aug 27, 2003
  13. GrailKing

    Tom Monego Guest

    In article <>,
    [email protected]! says...
    I've had to do this with one light, strobe into umbrella (hand held or
    studio, just make sure it has some pop not your standard camera top unit), it
    would be more interesting with two, but hardly necessary.

    Tom Monego, Aug 27, 2003
  14. GrailKing

    Tom Monego Guest

    So what are you going to use fluorescents? By far most portraits are done with
    strobe, including guys like Josef Karsh, and Arnold Newman. I've always
    thaught these were good acts to follow.

    Tom Monego, Aug 27, 2003
  15. GrailKing

    JK Guest

    Of course, but that was in the days of film. Many used strobes so
    they could use daylight film.
    JK, Aug 27, 2003
  16. GrailKing

    Tom Monego Guest

    Even with digital the white balance on fluorescents still looks sick. So use
    halogens? I was photographing a half dozen oil painings this AM with 2
    Totalights and I was sweating by the end of the session. Strobe works well
    when used properly, and does keep your subjects cooler. With the halogens on
    those painings I was using 1/4 at f8, with EI 80 film 1/8 at 5.6 or 1/15 at f4
    is still to slow for portraits. Wouldn'd use a digital cam on portraits at any
    EI other than 100 due to noise. We can even see the difference with a Kodak

    Tom Monego, Aug 27, 2003
  17. GrailKing

    George Kerby Guest

    Actually, fluorescents are the up and coming choice of both pro photogs and
    video folk.

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    George Kerby, Aug 27, 2003
  18. GrailKing

    George Kerby Guest

    Among other reasons: Daylight film is more stable than tungsten. Tungsten
    filaments change color over time. Exposure time varies reciprocity effects
    in color and other factors. ISO of non daylight film varies from emulsion to
    emulsion. And hot lights are just nasty...

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  19. GrailKing

    Patrick L. Guest

    One does not need daylight balance film for strobes, only tungsten lights
    require daylight balanced film. For digital, strobes work great, and you
    don't need a Polaroid proof, just look at the image in the viewfinder, or
    take a second to upload to the computer.

    I like strobes because floods are hot to work with, i.e., strobes generate
    no heat, since it is flash photography.

    Patrick L., Aug 29, 2003
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