Weekly Assignment #108: Edge silhouette

NikolaiNikolai Darth SLRLa LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
edited February 22, 2009 in Assignments
Typical silhouette is done with a well lit background and the subject not lit at all, thus making a strong black figure against the white bg. This time around we'll use black (or very dark) background. And to make our subject stand out we'll only lit its edge. This is typically achieved with one or more lights located behind the subject and turned towards the camera. You may wanna use a lot of flags, gobos and other modifiers to prevent the lens flares and the light spill on the bg.
Got edge? :wink
"May the f/stop be with you!"

Comments

  • wats005wats005 Big grins Overland Park KSRegistered Users Posts: 42 Big grins
    edited February 13, 2009
    should it be number 108?
    Erica

    Still Learning.......
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 13, 2009
    wats005 wrote:
    should it be number 108?
    Duh :bash
    title fixed, requested the lsiting update
    thanks! thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • SamirDSamirD Huntsville Car Scene.com HSVRegistered Users Posts: 3,474 Major grins
    edited February 13, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Typical silhouette is done with a well lit background and the subject not lit at all, thus making a strong black figure against the white bg. This time around we'll use black (or very dark) background. And to make our subject stand out we'll only lit its edge. This is typically achieved with one or more lights located behind the subject and turned towards the camera. You may wanna use a lot of flags, gobos and other modifiers to prevent the lens flares and the light spill on the bg.
    Got edge? mwink.gif
    This is exactly what I was trying to do in this shot from earlier this month:
    469384776_gSWze-M.jpg
    But I wasn't able to get exactly the effect I wanted. :cry What did I need to do different?
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  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 13, 2009
    SamirD wrote:
    This is exactly what I was trying to do in this shot from earlier this month:

    But I wasn't able to get exactly the effect I wanted. :cry What did I need to do different?
    Samir,
    first of all, we do not accept old shots.
    Second - you must control you light and have nothing up front or on the bg. It's not that hard, actually.
    370290887_ppdir-L.jpg
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • baldmountainbaldmountain Spur of the moment... MassachusettsRegistered Users Posts: 192 Major grins
    edited February 13, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Second - you must control you light and have nothing up front or on the bg.

    Ummm, as far as I can see both those models have plenty up front. ;)
    geoff
  • eL eSs VeeeL eSs Vee Beside himself. Outer Los Angeles.Registered Users Posts: 1,243 Major grins
    edited February 13, 2009
    This'll be fun! I'm doing a shoot tomorrow and can cover a number of assignments with it, including this one. thumb.gif
    Lee
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  • SamirDSamirD Huntsville Car Scene.com HSVRegistered Users Posts: 3,474 Major grins
    edited February 14, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Samir,
    first of all, we do not accept old shots.
    Second - you must control you light and have nothing up front or on the bg. It's not that hard, actually.
    370290887_ppdir-L.jpg
    I realized I can't participate in the assignment. :cry I was just looking for pointers.

    We had a 3200 light behind her and no light on her from the side or front. But there was a white wall behind me and the light seemed to bounce. What could we have done differently to get the proper effect like in your photo above?
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  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 14, 2009
    SamirD wrote:
    I realized I can't participate in the assignment. :cry I was just looking for pointers.

    We had a 3200 light behind her and no light on her from the side or front. But there was a white wall behind me and the light seemed to bounce. What could we have done differently to get the proper effect like in your photo above?
    Samir,
    all you need is a good light spill control.
    Unfortunately, small rooms with white walls/floors and low (8ft or less) ceilings do NOT help in that respect. ne_nau.gif
    That particular shoot was taken in a decent size room with a very high (22ft) celing, 40 degree grids on the rim lights and lot of black fabric behind and beneath her.
    If you have a light meter and can reach 4-5 stop difference in your setup - you got it. thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,747 moderator
    edited February 14, 2009
    SamirD wrote:
    We had a 3200 light behind her and no light on her from the side or front. But there was a white wall behind me and the light seemed to bounce. What could we have done differently to get the proper effect like in your photo above?

    That white wall is more than likely the problem. Any light that spills onto it will be reflected back onto your subject. You can control the spill with barn doors, a snoot or something similar or eliminate the reflection by using a large panel or something to block it (a gobo (or "goes between")) from the wall. Alternatively, you could shoot in manual and knock one or two stops off the exposure and use more lights to get the detail you want.

    If I might make a suggestion as far as reading goes. Try Light: Science & Magic.

    Another good book is The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally--less of a "how to" and more a series of examples, this shows you what can be done with light. He's got another book that should ship mid-March called Hot Shoe Diaries that covers the use of small flash units (SB600, 580EXII, etc).
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 14, 2009
    ian408 wrote:
    That white wall is more than likely the problem. Any light that spills onto it will be reflected back onto your subject. You can control the spill with barn doors, a snoot or something similar or eliminate the reflection by using a large panel or something to block it (a gobo (or "goes between")) from the wall. Alternatively, you could shoot in manual and knock one or two stops off the exposure and use more lights to get the detail you want.

    If I might make a suggestion as far as reading goes. Try Light: Science & Magic.

    Another good book is The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally--less of a "how to" and more a series of examples, this shows you what can be done with light. He's got another book that should ship mid-March called Hot Shoe Diaries that covers the use of small flash units (SB600, 580EXII, etc).
    +1 15524779-Ti.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • SamirDSamirD Huntsville Car Scene.com HSVRegistered Users Posts: 3,474 Major grins
    edited February 14, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Samir,
    all you need is a good light spill control.
    Unfortunately, small rooms with white walls/floors and low (8ft or less) ceilings do NOT help in that respect. ne_nau.gif
    That particular shoot was taken in a decent size room with a very high (22ft) celing, 40 degree grids on the rim lights and lot of black fabric behind and beneath her.
    If you have a light meter and can reach 4-5 stop difference in your setup - you got it. thumb.gif
    It was a parking garage where we staged the shoot, so the ceiling was low and probably reflected light as well. I believe we had a 10 degree grid on the light. Everything was metered to 100ISO, f8.0, shutter 125. I think I played with shutter adjustments, but wasn't satisfied with the results.

    Thank you both for the feedback. I'll look into the books for sure.
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  • baldmountainbaldmountain Spur of the moment... MassachusettsRegistered Users Posts: 192 Major grins
    edited February 14, 2009
    ian408 wrote:
    If I might make a suggestion as far as reading goes. Try Light: Science & Magic.

    +1 on Light Science & Magic. It is my favorite technique book. Really got me thinking about light.
    geoff
  • eL eSs VeeeL eSs Vee Beside himself. Outer Los Angeles.Registered Users Posts: 1,243 Major grins
    edited February 15, 2009
    A Vintage Silhouette
    Silhouette_DSC2978.jpg
    Juliette

    I took this yesterday. Two bare-bulb strobes and two friends holding foamcore flags.
    Lee
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  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 15, 2009
    eL eSs Vee wrote:
    Juliette
    I took this yesterday. Two bare-bulb strobes and two friends holding foamcore flags.
    Great entry, Lee! thumb.gif Exactly what I asked for! deal.gif
    My only nit is it's TOO dark. Typically you want the edges bleeding pure white, while of course preserving next-to-zero innards..
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • eL eSs VeeeL eSs Vee Beside himself. Outer Los Angeles.Registered Users Posts: 1,243 Major grins
    edited February 15, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Great entry, Lee! thumb.gif Exactly what I asked for! deal.gif
    My only nit is it's TOO dark. Typically you want the edges bleeding pure white, while of course preserving next-to-zero innards..

    Thank you, Nikolai! :ivar

    Yeah, I wanted more white, too. I shot a couple of others, but they weren't dark enough all around. But, I'm certain Juliette will like this one all the same. iloveyou.gif

    I'll keep practicing so that, someday, I'll be as good as you. bowdown.gif

    EDIT: Thinking about my set-up, I may have had the lights too close together. I also should have used my black flannel to flag the light from the lens (rather than the small foamcore panels) to also reduce the light from reflecting back onto Juliette.
    Lee
    __________________

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    "If you've found a magic that does something for you, honey, stick to it. Never change it." - Mae West, to Edith Head.
    "Every guy has to have one weakness - and it might as well be a good one." - Shell Scott: Dance With the Dead by Richard S. Prather
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 21, 2009
    Not exactly following the requirements for this class, but it's fairly close...
    If you're not afraid of artistic nudity, check out this (18+) post in GoFigure forum:
    http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=121694 (password: optin)
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • eL eSs VeeeL eSs Vee Beside himself. Outer Los Angeles.Registered Users Posts: 1,243 Major grins
    edited February 22, 2009
    Nothing scares me . . . except body piercings and certain tattoos. *shudder* :D

    Those are very nice, Nikolai! What was your approximate angle on the lights: From the subject? From the lights? What modifier(s), if any, did you use on them?
    Lee
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    "If you've found a magic that does something for you, honey, stick to it. Never change it." - Mae West, to Edith Head.
    "Every guy has to have one weakness - and it might as well be a good one." - Shell Scott: Dance With the Dead by Richard S. Prather
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