above described photos with more permanent liks:
above described photos with more permanent liks:
Don't forget the basic rule that there should be one dominant light.
Therefore —at least in terminology— you shouldn't call your kickers key lights.
Just because they're stronger than the light on your models face, they are still "effect" lights. Which brings up a second point:
Your kickers are too strong and your fill —which functions as your key light, in this shot — is too weak. Your model has "hidden places" all over her face. Don't be afraid of flat lighting. Hollywood portraiture wasn't only hard spotlighting (especially fo women). Go back and look at Hurrell's work again.
Also —as long as you're messing around with Photoshop—, why not retouch skin, like a real Hollywood shot? Hard lighting brings out wrinkles and skin texture. IMHO, they are detracting from the quality of your work. In the absence of this retouching (and unless you're looking for a deliberate effect), you'd be better-off lighting your female models with a softer light source, such as floodlighting. (I'm not what you mean by white cloth reflectors ... are these covering your lights or are your lights being bounced off of them?)
By the way, I'd guess that the true APUGer way of retouching such a portrait would be by pencil or dye & brush on the negative itself (I've forgotten ... are you even using film?). Try it. It's fun and alot quicker than Photoshop anyway!
. . . . . .
i just tried a venetian-blind gobo insert in my ETC Leko. it started emitting smoke, and when i pulled it out, i could see that the "blinds" had begun to melt.
i'm using a 750W bulb, and the Leko has "750" stenciled on its side. can i use a bulb of lower wattage, and, if so, does anyone have a recommendation for what wattage i should use to keep from melting the gobo?
update: i spoke with Big Apple Lights, the vendor of the venetiian blind pattern. they said all "gobo" patterns eventually melt, especially the venetian blind patterns, because they block so much light that there's a big heat buildup.
i spoke with a sales rep at GAM, the manufacturer. he acted as if this was the first time in the history of the world that this had happened. he said that GAM uses thicker stainless steel than the competition and that their patterns can take 2000 deg F. but, he said if i mailed it back to them and they decided it was a manufacturing defect, they would send me a new one.
i wound up calling Rosco regarding their glass patterns, which can take higher temperatures than stainless steel ones (but they cost $85!).
a techie there told me that the stainless steel patterns emit some smoke the first time they're used because their enamel coating is burning off, they turn brown because of oxidation (a fancy word for burning), and that some stainless steel patterns last for many months with hours of daily usage, and some don't, depending upon a number of factors.
he also suggested that perhaps my Source Four Leko's light field wasn't flat, and that instead of focusing on the subject to be illuminated, it was focusing on the pattern, thus not only shortening the life of the pattern, but the life of the bulb as well.
i then called ETC to find out how to flatten the field of the Leko. i was directed to this page on their website:
the tuning of the light field was simple. i'm kind of annoyed that the "User Manual" that came with the Source Four didn't include this information, or at least a reference to the web page.
In your colored photo, the double kicker lights hit both sides of the nose which is unflattering to female in most cases. You should move the kickers at steeper angle from the back or use barndoors to avoid the light hitting the nose if your studio space is not deep enough.
Steel gobo shouldn't melt unless you use it not properly..maybe it is not inserted correctly causing ventilation problem. It also happened to me that lamp or barndoors emitted smoke when they were used in the first time becuase of vaporisation of the paint varnish.
BTW I am not a big fan of steel gobo and focusing spot to create patterns; I got Dedo gobo spot attachmnet and never use it to produce the pattern becuase the effect is too "articifial" for my taste; there are much better ways to create natural patterns.
Remmeber that Source four is a very hard light source...the size of the light source is the size of the projection lens which is quite small. If you use very hard light source as key, it is necessary to use soft and broad fill light to reduce the harshness. The function of the key is provide modeling of the facial structure and the fill light is to open up the shadows.
A major part of my "pay" in co-writing that book was the billing, so I'm not at all ashamed to remind people that I'm the co-author, having contributed a major part of the technical information that the book is, afterall, mostly known for.
"Hollywood Portraiture" by Roger and Chris is a fantastic book.
I love the book by Hicks and Nisperos - an absolutely wonderful way to learn lighting.
and a note to Chris: in the book, you refer to Toby Wing (pages 64-5) "concerning whom our researches have proved lamentably deficient." I'm sure that by now you've heard more of her, but if not, here is a link to her bio. She was an interesting lady.
Thanks again for the enlightment (no pun intended!),