Lighting experiments 01

I bought the Smith Victor KT500 lighting unit about a month ago, and started doing experiments with the lights in my basement. I had a pretty clean wall for the background, in deep red color. I set the lights up, assembly was a breeze, the umbrellas that came with the unit are decent sized for a portrait.

Soon I set up my D40 on a tripod, and am all set, except for one thing. Since I was doing this with timer shots, there was no good way that my D40 would auto focus once I press the shutter and run and stand in the spot…I had to focus on **something** to press the shutter, and then when I ran into the spot, it wasn’t focusing on me obviously.

I put a table-lamp on the spot where I would stand and pre-focused on that, switch to Manual Focus and then continue. I thought that setting the focusing to AF-Continuous, it would track me and focus on me. But that was not the case.

So, only way to get the focus was right to switch to manual and pre focus to the point where I would stand.

Once that was nailed down (to some extent), I started doing various shots with various angles. I had the following lights at my disposal:

  1. 2 Continuous lights from Smith Victor, shooting through the umbrella.
  2. One SB-600 flash, remotely fired using a Gadget Infinity trigger

The setup above had the 2 lights on either side of the camera.
The light on the left is shooting up at an angle, and the light on the right is pretty close to the camera. Both lights shooting through the umbrella.

What’s wrong / not desirable above:

  1. The bright spot on the back. This is due to the camera right light, almost next to the camera. It is this light that causes the reflection on the wall.
  2. Dull shadows. Not so evident but look between my and Mehar’s head…there is the darker region. This is our shadows on the wall. Not desirable.

There are simple lighting placements to avoid the above 2 problems when working with off camera lights.

I will talk about these in the next post.


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