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  1. #1

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    take pity on a novice: lighting advice for evening outdoors...

    hey,

    i am doing a shoot outdoors on a basketball court. i want it to feel "gloomy" so i am thinking of shooting around dusk.

    i have a flash. but i worry that it will cast a too warm light on my subject (I am having a person pose). I also would like as much detail of the background/surroundings visible as possible. cracks in the concrete, hoops in the distance, etc.

    i am a student, but i am assuming most of the equipment a photography school would have needs to be plugged in. except of course reflector panels, which seems to be my only option.

    any suggestions on film type? I have 35mm format. Medium format would probably be better but I dont think i'll be able to get my hands on one for an outdoor, out of studio shoot. i plan on doing this in color, but if i like the concept, I might do black and white as well.

    i am of course using a tripod...except for an intended shot where i am on the ground looking up and the subject is looking down at me with the sky in the background.

    the evening setting will force me to use a slow shutter speed, but i worry that will cause some blurriness with the subject, and low depth of field.

    i might end up just doing it during the day after all. ahh.

    anyhoo, any insight is greatly appreciated. thanks, and take care.

  2. #2
    blansky's Avatar
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    I'm not exactly sure what "gloomy" means to you. Some of the most beautiful light there is, is the last few minutes before the sun goes down.

    To take a pictures of someone on a basketball court at this time of day you'd only need to have a shutter speed of maybe 15th, 8th, etc down to a second. People can easily hold still for that long. The problem is your depth of field will be fairly shallow.

    To get a "grittier" look, you'd be better off to do something like use a leaf shutter that is on a medium format camera and then strobe the subject and drag the shutter. This is a far more involved thing to do and it sound like it maybe beyond what equipment is available to you.

    There is a photographer by the name of Walter Looss who did great portraits of sports celebs in the kind of gritty fashion you are talking about. In all cases I think he used umbrellas of softboxes and then picked up ambient light by dragging the shutter.




    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    It really depends what kind of look you want - you say gloomy, I expect this means moody. A look that is used quite often by fashion photographers is to shoot at dusk, light a person by flash and underexpose the ambient daylight by 2 or 3 stops (if you want to retain detail in the background, make that just one stop). Photographing by ambient light alone at dusk would give very flat light on the subject but with an excessively bright sky.

    The ideal tool here would be a transportable studio flash with a modeling light and battery pack - as these are very costly (about 4 times the price of regular studio flash), your college may not have this. You could use a flash without a modeling light, you are much more likely to have one of these but controlling precise lighting effects will be more difficult.

    If this is all the equipment you have, I would suggest using an on-camera flash and underexposing the ambient daylight by one stop (ideally, shoot some tests to vary the amount of underexposure and see what you like best). This would at least produce a different look from shooting in normal daylight.

    You could of course use a regular studio flash out of doors with a long power cable or a generator (but probably your college wouldn't have this), so long as conditions are dry and there is NO risk of rain!

    Regards,

    David

  4. #4
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    There is a photographer by the name of Walter Looss who did great portraits of sports celebs in the kind of gritty fashion you are talking about. In all cases I think he used umbrellas of softboxes and then picked up ambient light by dragging the shutter.
    Walter Iooss? (Capital "i" not lower case "L"?)

    Lee

  5. #5
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
    Walter Iooss? (Capital "i" not lower case "L"?)

    Lee
    You're right, thanks.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #6
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    You're right, thanks.
    Michael
    Not trying to be the grammar and spelling police. Just wanted to make sure someone could google some image samples and get something apropos instead of, say... a Loosner's ad from Firesign Theater, which would be a different thing altogether.

    Lee



 

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