Jason Barty's picture

Constructive criticism appreciated (self portrait)

new to using flashes....
3x speedlights
key high camera left,
fill low camera right,
rim on floor pointing up (but i think not at back of head enough)

1, should rim light be behind head on a stand or on floor pointing up?
2, does rim light need a modifier?
3, im getting quite a hard shadow from the key light (highish off camera left), is it because im using magmod sphere and its quite small?

many thanks Jason

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Anand KS's picture

Yes rim light at less than shoulder level pointed upwards would hit the heads and shoulders. A bare flash works for head and shoulders if concealed. If you just need the head alone a snoot would work.

Moving the fill a little back would take away the shadows. What is your key to fill ratio?

The attached image is just key and rim no fill.

Jason Barty's picture

Hey Anand, thanks for your input,

Fill is half the power of the key, both have magmod spheres on. Do you mean move the fill closer to the subject to fill the shadows from the key light more?

thanks for taking the time to comment.

Yes, the tiny magmods are the problem. Use a real modifier - I think a beauty dish would suit you. But you could get better results than this using bouncing off the walls or improvised reflectors.

Jason Barty's picture

Thanks for your help David, i thought as much.

Your post on the second image is great, btw! The reason I suggest a dish is that you seem to want a hard-soft mix of light, and that's what dishes are good at, especially with accessories like grids and socks. So that's your key.

A flash bounced off anything white or grey or gold makes a good fill, so use a wall or a reflector.

And for a controllable rim and hair light, just make a snoot out of black art foam and tape. Add some velcro or 3M dual lock to make it adjustable. If you're really serious about using a hair light, you might want to put it on a boom stand to get over the model's head, but a rim can be shot from the floor.

BUT I'd start with just the key and using reflectors for fill - keep things simple.

Jason Barty's picture

Thanks David, great advise, i do have a snoot and a 82inch octabox which i assume will work well.

Wanted to try the magmod spheres out for their convenience, but as the light source is so small the results wouldn't be too flattering for female portraits.

As far as post goes...i like how this turned out, i'm still trying to find my style, but thanks!

>> 82inch octabox

??? Is that a misprint ???

Anyway, octas are very versatile and highly effective. If you want to harden the light you can add a grid to yours.

Jason Barty's picture

ha ha...i meant 82cm, thanks for all your advise.

Anand KS's picture

I meant moving it more closer towards your shoulders so that it lights your left year. If you place a bare speedlight pretty close and at 35 mm, you will get soft light with less spill.

Jason Barty's picture

OK i see i will try that thanks Anand.