Archive for July, 2008

Tom Schmidt, my son if you didn’t figure that out, just opened a new studio in Kansas City. We put a lot of effort into getting it ready to shoot and meet clients. Its ready to go now and Tom is getting settled and geared up to shoot in the studio and all the new locations that KC has to offer. Here is a post from Monday’s shoot. He used a lumedyne flash at 200ws held real close!! Check out his post of new work, he is a prolific shooter so you might like to subscribe to his BLOG.

Camera Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

Camera serial number: 419277

Firmware: Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows

Date/Time: 2008:07:22 19:39:46

Shutter speed: 1/250 sec

Aperture: 5.6

Exposure mode: Manual

Flash: Off

Metering mode: Multi-segment

ISO: 200

Focal length: 24mm


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This was a quick demo of overpowering the ambient light. I held a regular Lumedyne reflector at 400ws as close as I could and stay out of the picture. We dropped he ISO to 100 and cranked up the shutterspeed and aperture to cut the ambient light. I included some of the exif data below.

Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D
Camera serial number: 0820501629
Firmware: Firmware Version 1.1.0
Date/Time: 2008:07:10 13:23:52
Shutter speed: 1/250 sec
Aperture: 18
Exposure mode: Manual
Flash: Off
Metering mode: Evaluative
Drive mode: Single frame shooting
ISO: 100
Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM
Focal length: 28mm
AF mode: One-shot AF
Image size: 2912 x 4368
Rotation: 90 degrees CCW
Image quality: Fine
White balance: Auto
Picture style: Standard
Color space: sRGB
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: 3
Contrast: Normal
Sharpness level: 3
Tone: Normal

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When we meter the Background and the Hair light we must first establish the light on the subject with an incident meter, as that is our control point.

Metering the Background must be done with a reflective meter aimed at the spot on the background where you want to place the value. An incident meter really does not work for this process as it does not know how dark the background is. A spot meter is very handy as you can meter from camera and carefully meter the exact spot on the background that you want to control.

Just by changing the power on you background light you can change the value of the the background. A reflective reading in the diagram above would give a nice middle value. If it read F/8 it would be a stop darker than middle gray. If you crank up the power on your BG light you could make a dark gray background turn bright white.

Metering for the hair light is done with an incident meter at the hair. If the hair light exposure is adjusted to equal the subject lighting the hail will be rendered in full detail. Dark hair can take more light and blonds may need less!!

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Lighting diagram for controlling lighting ratio - Jerry Schmidt

Here is the method to create a lighting ratio using an incident meter.

  1. Meter the fill alone and adjust the reading to an even f/stop for easy calculations. Now don’t adjust the fill!!
  2. Meter the main plus fill and adjust the power to achieve the difference of fill alone to main plus fill. to create the desired ratio referring to the chart below.
  3. If the fill alone reads f/8 and the main plus fill reads f/14 (11 2/3) you have a 3:1 ratio!

Stops Difference

Lighting Ratio

Stops Difference

Lighting Ratio

















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Jerry Schmidt High Key Diagram

High key is always a favorite for all kinds of photography. Portrait, editorial, advertising photographers find use for a bright white background. To do this correctly, and achieve a clean bright evenly lit background and a clear saturated rendering of the the subject we must set up our lighting and meter carefully.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Arrange your lighting in zones so you have separate lighting for the subject and background. Use some depth in your setup so the background lighting does not get on your subject. Black foamcore is a useful gobo to block the background treatment from getting on the subject.
  2. Light your background with matching lights and equal power from both sides. Use umbrellas or softbox to ensure an even illumination from the top to the bottom.
  3. Light your subject with your choice of main light. You can successfully light a HK with the full range of lighting devices from a grid spot to a large softbox, the choice is yours. When we light a white background to a hot white it will bounce alot of light around the room, acting like a fill light for our setup. Often we can make satisfying results with out using a fill light or a reflector.
  4. Take an incident light reading at the subject a make note of that reading. The adjust the power on the background to measure with an incident meter reading of plus 1 stop over the subject. For example subject reading is f/8 then the background should read f/11.
  5. The ratio of subject to background is very important …. if the background is under lit it will be dull and gray …… if the background is over lit it will cause flare and degrade your image.
  6. Kigh Key is a high flare situation so make sure your lens is clean and use a lens shade.

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Read all the items in the Lighting 101 section.

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Blu is the big daddy of this business, they launch hundreds of sites every month.

We have 3 Blu sites that we use at SchmidtPhoto.com. Our current template is the GEORGE. It features large photos, but we found that they were too large for many home computers. We are in the process of putting our new galleries up with a textured background to make the large display work for us.

big folio


Infinite Design

Blog design for the stars!!

Into the Darkroom





Creative Motion Design

ProPhoto Blog Template

WordPress Blog theme for photographers.

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