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mmeyer

New Alien Bee

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Hey All, I just got my Christmas present from myself today. It's an Alien Bee AB400 studio strobe. I wanted to get a pair but with the economy the way it is my company cut back a little on the bonuses this year. Oh well, I'm just happy to be working. More than I can say for my wife.

So I found this shot in a lighting instruction book and really wanted to try it. My son was willing to help out so I took advantage of that. These 2 are basically the same shot other than the first one is more of a high key and the second has a little more contrast. Please tell me what you think. I know there's at least a few of you that have experience with lighting and portraits and I can use any help you're willing to give. I used one strobe with a shoot through umbrella above him and facing slightly back while he was resting on a white reflector.

107352709.jpg

107352702.jpg

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Mike, given the vulnerable, open mood of the composition and expression on your son's face, the first image definitely speaks louder to me, because all the shadows are de-emphasized. It's an open interpretation exposure-wise and a gentle interpretation sharpness-wise that matches the open subject.

While in general I love deep shadows and the mystery and drama they represent, the lighting interpretation of the second image is too brooding to fit the kid, IMO. In the second one, there also appear to be vertical striations just below his right eye, almost like age wrinkles but more likely skin puckered from being pushed up by the face resting on his arm.

This, however, is fine grit when it comes to critiquing. If I'd hired you to photograph my son, I'd be a happy client with either of these photographs.

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Man, I thought this was a post about a bug! LOL I don't know much about lighting yet but I really like the 2nd one for detail. You can even see the little hairs on his arms! Then again that first one seams nice and soft.

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Congratulations on the Bee! I've got two AB800's man they are wonderful lights! I use mine on location with the Vagabond II battery pack.

You photos, I really like the first shot the best, soft even lighting as Steve mentioned really compliments children I think. The expression is very nice.

A little larger catch-light would be complimentary as well but easily fixed in photo shop. Overall I like the image. Have fun with the Bee!

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Looking at this from a consumer standpoint, I like the first one better. It is a little more dreamy and innocent looking.

The striations on the right eye in the second one appears to me to be a shadow of the eyelashes.

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Thanks Everyone! I can't wait to work on more portraits. I've never been one that likes to take portraits but I've come to realize that I think it's because I'm afraid of it. I don't know much about it and I'm not that comfortable or confident working with people. My goal for the near future is to try to get out of my shell so to speak and get more comfortable with portraits and people.

The striations on the right eye in the second one appears to me to be a shadow of the eyelashes.

Chicks, I was trying to figure out what those lines are. Thanks for helping me out!

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Chicks, good eye and good thinking! smilesmile

Thanks! Sometimes being a detail person pays off. Most of the time it just annoys my family. smile

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