FORUMS: list search recent posts

Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?

COW Forums : Lighting Design

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
stan welks
Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 1:43:18 am

I am very new to lighting.

I want to shoot some photos/videos of a newborn in a small bedroom. My plan is to lay the baby on a bed, and stand above her on a chair to take photos/videos. I have access to 2 KNO FLO 4Bank and 2 Diva lights, and C stands. I plan to use a Canon 5DM3 for the photos and possibly video also. I will black out all the natural light coming into the room and just use the light from the KNO FLOs.

1. Based on the description of my location, would two Diva lights be sufficient? Do I need 4Banks also?
2. How far away should the lights be from the subject (baby)?
3. Anything else I should look into/do for this setting?

Thanks for any help!



Return to posts index


Rick Wise
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 2:26:11 am
Last Edited By Rick Wise on Oct 17, 2014 at 2:27:00 am

Ah, shooting beautiful babies! My favorite technique is to used either bleached or unbleached muslin with, in the old days, a 5K or 10K pushed through it. Today, with adjustable ISO on your DSLR, you could probably use your Kinos pushed through two layers of shower curtain liner with a foot or so between them, available at Home Depot and the like. The idea: place the key and diffusion to one side, about 90 degrees from the camera, and let the light wrap around that sweet face. Add a piece of foam core on the other side for fill, adjusting the distance to dose the quantity.

As to the angle, it could be overhead, or not so overhead, your creative choice.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

stan welks
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 2:50:37 am

1.) Will one Diva be enough, or should I consider the larger 4-Bank as the key light?

2.) When you said “you could probably use your Kinos pushed through two layers of shower curtain liner with a foot or so between them,”

Would I use some C Stand to hold the two layers of shower curtain liner to the C stand with some spring clamps?

3.) As for the fill light, should I use foam core on a c stand vs. using the 2nd Diva or 4Bank since I have them? Will I get better results with just the foam core

Thanks!



Return to posts index



Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 1:30:59 pm

In a shot like this the baby won't know the difference between being in a bed and being on soft blankets on the floor. Don't climb on chairs to hang gear out over over wee babies for no reason. Put the baby on the floor and work more normally.


Return to posts index


Rick Wise
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 6:04:02 pm

[stan welks] "1.) Will one Diva be enough, or should I consider the larger 4-Bank as the key light?

2.) When you said “you could probably use your Kinos pushed through two layers of shower curtain liner with a foot or so between them,”

Would I use some C Stand to hold the two layers of shower curtain liner to the C stand with some spring clamps?

3.) As for the fill light, should I use foam core on a c stand vs. using the 2nd Diva or 4Bank since I have them? Will I get better results with just the foam core"


I don't know your ISO. Maybe a Diva will do the job, maybe not enough light. Also, the thickness of the shower curtain is a factor. The thicker it is, the more diffusion and the less light intensity. If this is a one-shot deal, bring enough extra fire power to meet possible problems.

I would hang the diffusion from a C-stand, and the second layer from another C-stand.

For fill, the foamcore will be softer than a direct light. With such a soft key you will need very little fill. It's relatively easy to move the foamcore closer or farther away to adjust intensity.

There are NO formulas for lighting. Try something. Look at it. Make adjustments. Look at it again, etc.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

stan welks
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 6:25:10 pm

1.) My camera has an ISO range of 100–25600. How, if at all does this affect the lighting advice you provided previously?

2.) Is there anything I should look for in a shower curtain liner? If I have the option of thicker, thinner, white, cream, off white, etc.?

3.) If this works out with the lights, I will be using them often. I was looking at Kino Flo 4Bank Full Flozier - 4' http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/258335-REG/Kino_Flo_DFS_4804_4Bank_Fu...

and

Kino Flo Flozier Diffuser for Diva 200 and 2' Double System - 1 Stop
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/258364-REG/Kino_Flo_DFS_D2_Flozier_Di...

will these do the same thing as the shower curtain liner for diffusion? If so, I won’t need 2 separate c stands to hold the liners.

Thanks!



Return to posts index



Rick Wise
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 6:34:49 pm

[stan welks] "1.) My camera has an ISO range of 100–25600. How, if at all does this affect the lighting advice you provided previously?

2.) Is there anything I should look for in a shower curtain liner? If I have the option of thicker, thinner, white, cream, off white, etc.?

3.) If this works out with the lights, I will be using them often. I was looking at Kino Flo 4Bank Full Flozier - 4' http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/258335-REG/Kino_Flo_DFS_4804_4Bank_Fu.....

and

Kino Flo Flozier Diffuser for Diva 200 and 2' Double System - 1 Stop
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/258364-REG/Kino_Flo_DFS_D2_Flozier_Di.....

will these do the same thing as the shower curtain liner for diffusion? If so, I won’t need 2 separate c stands to hold the liners."


I suspect your camera begins to produce "noisy" images at any ISO higher than 1250. The higher the ISO, the less light intensity you need.

Shower curtain liners: they are relatively cheap. Get a couple of different ones. Cut them in half. Try them out. LOOK at the results. White balance manually when the light is coming through your curtain of choice. Those floziers are a quick way to slightly soften the lights. To get really, really soft light you need a large piece of diffusion close to the subject and far enough from the light that the light fills the surface. For an even softer look, use two layers. Two relatively thin layers will produce very soft light if they are spaced far enough from each other. Two thick layers will be even softer but may cut the light's intensity down too much.

Play with different solutions. You can do that with a pumpkin or orange etc. long before the shoot.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

stan welks
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 8:17:50 pm

1.) I attached the Diva to a Matthews C stand, however, it seems as if it is just sitting on top of it, and it will not lock into place regardless of how much I tighten it. It doesn't seem to fit all the way in. I also tried it with some other C stand attachments with the same result. I want to make sure that the Diva is very secure on the stand for obvious reasons, though no matter how much I tighten it, I’m still able to lift it off the stand. Am I using the correct pieces? If not, can you please suggest the type of connecting pieces I need?

Photo of Diva sitting on top of C stand, I can lift it off even though tightened


Photo of C stand attachment that connects to Diva


Thanks again!



Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 8:24:04 pm

This is the most obvious thing ever and I almost feel silly for even asking... but are you sure you are loosing the knob on the Kino fitting before seating it down on the C-stand's baby pin (so that it seats all the way), and then tightening it?

I know I know... that's painfully obvious, but my only conceivable explanation for that. The only other thing I can think of would be that the bolt on the knob is too short to grab and lock on the pin, but why would it possibly be?? No explanation for that.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index


stan welks
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 10:00:56 pm

Please don’t feel silly for asking, I am very new to working with the stands and lights, and you nailed it. I feel silly for not figuring that out...

1.) The room is very small, so having to add two additional C stands to hang shower curtain liner 1-foot apart is going to be difficult. I think I may need to go with Flozier over the Diva strictly based on the limitations of the size of the room. I'm not sure if I will even be able to use one of the c stands for shower curtain lining. I guess I will try the flozier to see how soft of light it produces.

1.) As for holding the foamcore, just something like this:



OR I could try to place the foam core in the attachment on the end of this?


Any tips for doing this?

Thank you for your time, help and patience!!!!!



Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 10:10:32 pm

Well... that device is for holding a mic boom. You might be able to figure out how to make it workable with some spring clamps or something to hold foamcore.

What you really need is what's called a "Duckbill clamp" or a "Quacker clamp"... which is essentially two pieces of sheet metal welded to a pair of vice grips and a baby pin... that's the "industry standard" piece of gak for holding foamcore.



I made this one myself, but we have some of the "store bought" ones as well. Matthews makes them, some other grip companies might as well.

You can also just "pinch" the foamcore in a grip knuckle without using a clamp, but it doesn't give you quite the control of a real clamp.

However in the case of shooting a baby on a bed, I'd probably just prop the foamcore up on the bed with something... easier/faster/cheaper than doing it any other way.

And certainly put sandbags on those C-stands (you drape one over the highest of each leg) especially if you have gear hanging over something valuable... like a baby. Or a dog.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 17, 2014 at 10:19:43 pm

Another thing... you say the room is small... understandable, we are crammed in small rooms for shoots all the time.

But, I got the impression that this was a fairly closeup portrait, maybe all of the baby, but not much else.

If so, why shoot in that room? Or as Mark suggested, why shoot on the bed at all?

If it were me, and I had to shoot in whatever house that was, I'd find the biggest room that I could make dark (living room, family room, whatever), strike whatever furniture I could, make a pallet with blankets in the middle of the floor, and go to work. So much easier when you have plenty of room to play with.

It's sometimes easy to get confined in thinking (a baby on a bed is naturally in a bedroom, right?), but no viewers will know where that baby/"bed" actually is. It could be in the middle of the backyard at night for all anyone knew. We are always shooting things that appear to be one place but are actually somewhere completely different... it's just part of showbiz.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index


stan welks
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 18, 2014 at 8:15:16 pm

The idea behind all of this is to shoot photos/videos every week, and this is about the best location in the house to easily store the lights and equipment (all being borrowed long term), keep them away from the dogs, kids in the house during the shoot, block natural light (other rooms have high ceilings with windows I couldn’t easily block). I could put the baby on the floor during shoots on soft cushion material, though it just seemed that the bed would be comfortable and safe. I’m not sure I understand the reasoning for going with the floor instead of a bed, other than trying to find a different location with more space for the lights?

I’m going through all of the stands, connectors and diffusion I have available to me before I go out and buy anything.

I have this diffuser http://www.samys.com/p/Color-Filter--Diffusion-Sheets--Rolls/DFS4P/ParaBeam...
and have it connected to a clamp like this:

1.) Any thoughts on this diffuser? Any idea if this material would produce better results than shower curtain liner?

2.) I can also try hanging the flozier in front of the Diva on a C stand instead of shower curtain liner. Any idea if this material would produce better results than shower curtain liner?

3.) What about hanging chimera soft box fabric from a clamp on a C stand a few feet in front of the Diva? Would that produce better results than shower curtain liner?

Any thoughts on all of this?

THANKS!!!!



Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 19, 2014 at 3:25:52 am

If this is meant to shoot pseudo-time-lapse of the kid growing and changing, with a shot every week,then I think your rig is way overbuilt and over-ambitious. What I would go for is a ceiling bounce for the main lighting, with just a reflective board propped in for a key. You're going to need a light setup that is very repeatable, week after week, on short notice/ short amount of time to set and strike. Messing with a lot of hanging diffusion and such doesn't fit this profile. Either a ceiling bounce and/or a single pop-up softbox is the ticket here; you're not trying to be Anne Geddes. Though a note: Creative Live is offering a free webinar with her this week)

Why put the baby on the floor? You must not yet be a parent:-) Babies gravitate to floors like it's their main job. Sometimes the kick and roll and motate like they are actively trying to kill themselves.

If the baby is already ON the floor, you never have to worry about it taking a tumble. Putting the baby on the floor also gives you more room above him or her for a light and the camera rig.

That rig is supposed to shoot more or less dead-on 90 degrees in this case. I'd go with a lightweight length of board, supported on two light stands, with a DSLR bolted to the center. The board could, in fact, also hold a soft fluoro tube light as well, so you have one unit ready to plug-and-play when shoot time happens. To get the kid to look up, add something like a toy, mirror, or other visual target to that board to keep an eye-line,

The target area on the floor should be a non-white cushy blanket or comforter, with a foam rubber pad below, and bolsters at the sides to help keep baby centered. If you're also wanting to show height/length changes, consider a pattern or scale marker on that blanket that remains a constant. You'll want to shoot slightly too wide, giving room in post for precision alignment of each shot to a template. That template could be a still shot on your laptop, with markers, so you can compare your weekly framing. In a time lapse job I once did, we just made tape and ink marks directly on a spare monitor and framed up the subject using those every week.

Finally, one other suggestion: instead of all this, set up a wall-mounted, diffused fluorescent tube light and HD web camera above the diaper changing table, with a nearby laptop set up with a stop-mo capture app for image capture. Whenever baby is all changed, reach over, push button, and take a snap, see laptop screen for confirmation, done. You'll get many more pictures this way, which better documents the rapid changes in face and body, especially over the first 6 months, and the baby is already accustomed to that location for the diaper changes, so will be less fussy about "picture time". You'll also be more likely to take the images regularly because it's all set up all the time, instead of needing to put the baby somewhere safe, go set up the gear, bring the baby in and position it, etc.


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 19, 2014 at 5:40:51 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Oct 19, 2014 at 5:44:14 pm

Regarding the SuperClamp (the cast black clamp in your first photo)

When you use these to clamp on a flat item, use the flat surface insert. In your photo, it's the odd "wedge shaped" item at the base of the thumbscrew. If you loosen the thumbscrew, you can slip the insert slightly sideways to separate it from the clamp - then you'll see two holes on the wedge side that match the two holes you'll see inside the jaws of the clamp.

When you insert it there, it changes the clamp from a round jaw to a flat jaw and makes it easier to clamp onto flat stock.

Do remember to snap it back into it's storage location when you're done. Probably 75% of these clamps have lost their inserts. Don't let yours join them! Have fun.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


Return to posts index


Craig Alan
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 19, 2014 at 7:12:48 pm

Thanks Bill. Never understood what the heck that was for and it falls out pretty easily. I have bogen's version.

Grip equipment/manufactures are still pretty old school in their assumption that they are selling only to grips who know how everything is mounted.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Oct 19, 2014 at 4:33:21 am

The canon 5dmiii is a great camera and you can get fantastic shots with little light. Two Kinos is more than enough light particularly if you are blacking out the room. Try to avoid snake eyes. You might want to consider a baby jr stand to mount the key kino. Maybe use white foam board as fill instead of another light. You might consider a broadcast monitor to better judge your composition and lighting. An apple box would help you adjust the lights and get the height or a seat you need. When shooting video you need the camera mounted and you might consider a prime cinema lens. 24mm or 50mm. also great for stills.

If you take the suggestions of putting the baby on the floor get a large muslin to lay the child down on. You can park pillows under it if need be and this will give you an even non distracting b.g. However all high angle shots might not be ideal.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

stan welks
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Dec 18, 2014 at 8:59:12 pm

Hi all,

I’m finally getting back to this thread. Linked is a recent photo taken with my current lighting setup. I’m using the Diva with an attached flozier and a piece of foam core to bounce the light back onto the model. The brightness of the Diva is turned all the way up, and there is no natural light or other light sources turned on in the room. I did my best to mask the identity of the model to fulfill the wishes of the parents http://imgur.com/2paZfdC

1. There seems to be pink spilling over from the chair onto the subject. What can I do to minimize this?

2. Any thoughts on the lighting? I’m not sure if it is bright enough, and I’m thinking of replacing the foam core with a second Diva.


Thanks.



Return to posts index



Todd Terry
Re: Lighting setup for newborn photo/video shoot?
on Dec 18, 2014 at 9:12:46 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Dec 18, 2014 at 9:13:40 pm

[stan welks] " There seems to be pink spilling over from the chair onto the subject. What can I do to minimize this?"

This is going to seem like a totally smartass answer (and I don't mean it to be), but the real answer is "Don't shoot in a pink chair."

ANY type of surface (even a non-reflective one) is going to reflect its color to some degree. The more chroma level the object has to it the more you will notice it... and the closer it is to your subject the more you will notice it. When you have your baby actually on that material, it will be very difficult to completely eliminate it.

The good news is that we are talking about stills, not motion video... so that would be relatively easy to correct in Photoshop. It would take someone who knew what they were doing and probably multiple masking layers to avoid getting rid of too much pink in the wrong areas, but still very easily done.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]