Any resident portrait experts?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by Old boy, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. Old boy

    Old boy New Member

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    Sep 24, 2019
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    Canon 5d 2
    When the camera is repaired I want to throw myself into portraits.
    I’ve seen some images with something called a beauty dish. Very lovely images.
    Is this something I can make at home and do you treat it the same way as a normal flash head?
    At the moment I use an old Bowen’s mono head I bought in the 80’s. But it’s getting tired. So I want to invest in a cheap, used, more modern head and do some experimenting. But some guidance would be fabulous
     

  2. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    I'm not a portrait expert but you can definitely build a modifier to give you similar results. You can use a white mixing bowl with flash head poking through the back of the bowl and mount something directly in front off the flash so that light is directed sideways into the bowl. The key is directional light with rapid fall off and without a hotspot. The quickest most portable and inexpensive option would be to shoot through an umbrella on a zoomed flash with a piece of foam core on the end of the umbrella:

    This video shows how it works.
     
  3. Craig Sherriff

    Craig Sherriff Active Member Site Supporter

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    Jonsey has headed you in the right direction, a beauty dish is great on people with younger skin but those of us with the odd wrinkle or two it highlights them, still use your new home made beauty dish but put a piece of white curtain material or whatever you can find at home, over the front, this will give you what is called a multi-point light source.This basically means a softer light, which is desirable also in portraiture.
    My second suggestion is grab a umbrella and open it up and tape a heap of aluminum foil, what they use for cooking with, covering the inside so it has a concave shape and mount it to your stand the bowen head is mounted on, aiming the bowen head int the umbrella. The reflected light is now aimed towards the subject.
    This will give a light source with a wider area of coverage.
    Now go onto youtube and look up home made light source there is heaps of interesting stuff there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  4. Old boy

    Old boy New Member

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    Equipment:
    Canon 5d 2
    I’m on it.
    Gentlemen I’m very grateful. Big smile on my chops. Thank you very much indeed
     
  5. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    5dMk2, 20D, 70-200 2.8L IS, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 17-40mm 4.0L, Rokinon 14mm 2.8; Pixma Pro-100
    Well the great thing is that if you start out dialing in the light manually you can use a camera mounted flash to trip a light stand mounted flash that has a optical slave option, you will need to do a little research on this. But hold on a sec.

    In recent years canon has released new versions of their flashes and moved to radio trigger. On the plus side the 580exii and 430exii have come down in cost. That 580exii is a very nice ttl flash for your camera that used is about 25-30% of the cost it was brand new. There are also some affordable options now in wireless triggers, yongnuo makes their own copies of popular nikon and canon flashes and triggers. I have the controller and a handful of triggers for the canon with 622 in the title these will match up perfectly with your older 5d and allow you to use TTL flash off camera wirelessly with canon flashes. With a pair of triggers and one flash you can get that flash off camera, then slowly build from there. They also make flashes too, but with the older generation coming down in cost used, I would recommend the name brand flashes over 3rd party brands.
     

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