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Author Topic: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation  (Read 889 times)

kevs

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Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« on: January 22, 2019, 01:47:37 PM »

I want to dive deeper in Light subtraction. I have just one tiny black flag and a stand/ arm. Want to build a fabulous kit. I got some links from BH, but would love to see what others here love to use.
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tcphoto1

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 02:46:28 PM »

I love my Matthews 24x36 Road Rag kit and have recently added a couple of their smaller and a medium sized metal frame flags.
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 04:19:12 PM »

Thanks TC, good, my BH guy did not mention those, so that's why I'm posting.

I may pass on that for now, but maybe I'll get later. Seems mostly for location work, and a lot of those scrims I don't think I'll be using, but you tell me. Do you experiment with portraits and subtraction, are scrims as important as black flags?
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Kirk_C

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 11:02:16 PM »

Do you experiment with portraits and subtraction, are scrims as important as black flags?

Cinema style lighting is where you find larger light sources and subtraction, flags, scrims and cutters to modify and model the light. They were the only options on hot lights.

Plenty of videos on YouTube with Albert Watson showing this type of lighting. He went to film school, not photography school and it shows in his style. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=albert+watson+photographer

The more common style today (IMHO) is using grids on multiple light sources to control the spread, contrast and texture of light rather than subtracting. Though obviously the best know how to combine both methods.

I'm sitting in my studio right now and as I look around I have about 20 modifiers all with the option of adding a grid and several Fresnels that are 3", 8" and 12". The only light I don't ever put a grid on is the Para 133 or a ring light.
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 11:22:02 PM »

Thanks Kirk, good post. If there one or two Watson videos you recommend? Too many to comb through! (I got his book Cyclopes when it came out and saw him speak in NYC in the 90s)

Interesting as I'm shooting with the D1's and have all grids and am going to rent the Fresnels to test that too soon.

Still,  I though even with strobes, light subtraction could be a cool exercise too no?.  You don't think it's necessary? I think Dan Winters uses flags and black panels quite a bit with strobes, no?
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Kirk_C

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 02:49:32 AM »

You can just see a few moments in several of the YouTube videos that show his lighting set ups. So I think it's worth the time to look at them. None of them are very long. Start here https://youtu.be/HDMgQBQMmLI and here https://youtu.be/HDMgQBQMmLI

I use black flats, flags and duvetine that I drape all the time. As I said most pros will use subtraction and flagging of lights but not with the large broad sources they were originally designed for. When you shoot with grids you don't get the spill and you typically have higher contrast because of the directional, narrower beam angle.

I have a pair of D1s and I mainly use them with the grids because of their 3.5" diameter where as most strobe reflector/grid combinations are 7" or larger. I have many sizes of lights that I can grid, everything up to a 36X48 Chimera softbox with very tight metal grid and the Broncolor 150 Octa with a 40 degree grid.

The Fresnels I was referring to are strobes, the Broncolor picolite takes a 3" Fresnel modifier and I have a Bowens 7" and a 12" Desisti that was converted to use a flashtube.
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 03:36:28 AM »

Thanks Kirk, 'black flats, flags and duvetine that I drape all the time.", If you can please send links to this stuff.
You use them with straight direct light or umbrella?

Grids, how many do you have for D1s?
I only shoot grids on their own? You combine them with softboxes etc?
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UlfKrentz

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 02:08:28 PM »

Take a look at the rag place: http://theragplace.com They provide a lot of different fabrics and make custom stuff. You'll basically want a c-stand, a grip head and a flag. Scrims are used to reduce light intensity without really changing the light quality. It was important on hot lights, with strobes you will usually just dial your power.
Keep in mind a lot of modifiers have a great performance when feathered, a characteristic that gets lost when using grids (of course they have their place, though).

kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 03:16:00 PM »

Thanks Ulf, if you can send more specifid product links of stuff you love, that would be great. The general site link is a bit broad.

If you have any links that show what you are discussing that would be great too...
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UlfKrentz

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 03:53:33 PM »

I mainly use solid black flags, I have them in plenty of different sizes. Based in the EU we have most of our grip stuff from avenger, but I also ordered some solid grey flags from the rag place through my dealer here. I also believe Avenger is phasing out their flag and cutter inventory. They have some awesome fabrics, get some samples! For grip equipment I think in the US it is probably Matthews or American you will be looking at. https://products.msegrip.com/collections/scrims-and-flags/products/cutters
Kirk´s advice on the BTS vids of Albert Watson is a good source for inspiration, just play around and observe to find your way to pleasing results. I don't often point my light source straight to my object – the edge / transition to dark of the modifier can have a great look (feathering) of course you have to take care of the strong bouncing light.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 03:58:52 PM by UlfKrentz »
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2019, 04:14:29 PM »

GOOD post Ulf. You are on strobes, which brand?

Yes, love feathering, so many techniques, but the whole black flagging is one of the final things I have not done full blast, with multiple flags in various positions. Besides the one Albert W, video, "the light he shapes", is there another one there that shows  the set ups?
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Kirk_C

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2019, 07:58:40 PM »

Thanks Kirk, 'black flats, flags and duvetine that I drape all the time.", If you can please send links to this stuff.
You use them with straight direct light or umbrella?

Grids, how many do you have for D1s?
I only shoot grids on their own? You combine them with softboxes etc?

I have a pair of the Profoto 10 degree grids and domes for my D1s. I bought the D1s when they first came out and back then the grids and dome replacements for the flat cover glass weren't outrageously prices like they are now. There are a couple of companies offering knock offs on ebay and I'm sure they're just fine.

I make V-Flats out of foamcore or gatorboard both of which you can buy at art supply stores. 2 white sheets glued to 2 black sheets and gaffers tape used as a hinge makes a self supporting modifier that can be used to bounce light or subtract light. Here's Felix Kunze's tutorial on building them. https://youtu.be/oamY8DNaw98

Duvetine is an opaque black frabric that you can find in most fabric stores or online. You can use it to cover windows and block light, drape over softboxes to modify their size or shape and hang it as a flag.

Yes I use grids on softboxes, fabric and metal honeycomb grids.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Eggcrates-Honeycomb-Grids/ci/6252/N/3662541006?sts=cat

https://setshop.com/studio-equipment-grip/m-s-e-matthews/flags-cutters/

As Ulf suggests feathering a light is an effective way to control it's contrast and how much of it reaches your subject. As a large light source is angled away from directly lighting your subject, feathered, it changes from soft to hard as 1 dimension of the modifier becomes smaller relative to the subject.


« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 08:10:05 PM by Kirk_C »
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 08:32:59 PM »

THANKS KIRK good post.
What do the domes do for you for D1s?
If you have a link to the grid knockoffs, please send. Never seen those, wonder if they fit as good as the profotos.

That flat  is cool, but darn, looks laborious! But the pro V flats are a pricey $400, albiet portable.

If you have some black flat, subtraction diagrams or a/b results you have done, would be cool to see.
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Kirk_C

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2019, 10:33:23 PM »

THANKS KIRK good post.
What do the domes do for you for D1s?
If you have a link to the grid knockoffs, please send. Never seen those, wonder if they fit as good as the profotos.

The domes replace the flat front glass on the D1/B1 lights to help widen, even out the light when using a softbox or other modifiers. The flat front glass creates a 70 degree beam of light which doesn't work well in many modifiers because it doesn't hit the sides of it.

I've attached a photo of me holding the PF dome in front of the Broncolor Siros monoblock which has a normal tube and cover glass instead of the recessed design of the PF. The problem with the PF dome is the tube is still recessed and doesn't fill it evenly.

Here's one of the Chinese knock offs of the D1 grids https://tinyurl.com/y9t2f2v9

I paid $50 for the PF grids but now they're 3 times that. For the domes I paid $79 and now they're $185.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:44:38 PM by Kirk_C »
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2019, 12:12:51 AM »

Thanks Kirk, not a fan of softboxes too much, so I'm not sure I'd ever get the domes. Have you done a/b test, and  the domes helped?

Those copy grids, don't save that much... 1/2 off.. and seller has no reviews  on the product and lot of bad reviews for their busines, so I'd probably pass on them!

Have you made V flats yourself? Take 3 hours or so?

Again, If you have some black flat, subtraction diagrams or a/b results you have done, would be cool to see.

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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2019, 01:38:48 PM »

Thanks Elliot, did you find these on your own/ someone point them out? I notice Amazon coming in with great prices on China made things.. LED panels etc that previously cost a fortune...

How laborious to set up? ie. like software laborious .. done it come with stands?

I love that V flat you tube video.. maybe could hire someone to do it for me off craigs list!  (also quite tedious to DIY)
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elliot_n

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2019, 01:49:14 PM »

Thanks Elliot, did you find these on your own/ someone point them out? I notice Amazon coming in with great prices on China made things.. LED panels etc that previously cost a fortune...

How laborious to set up? ie. like software laborious .. done it come with stands?


I found the Neewer Flat Panels myself - I needed a black 'reflector' for a recent shoot, and that's what Amazon pointed me to. Easy to set up - it takes less than a minute. You need to supply your own light-stands. There's a fair review here: https://fstoppers.com/originals/fstoppers-reviews-neewer-flat-panel-light-reflector-135815
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kevs

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2019, 02:09:24 PM »

Thanks Elliot, nice link to F stoppers, definitely gives credibility.

Have you ever owned/ done the full foam V panels?

Do you think these kill the need for the traditional small/ medium black flags, with stand/ arm; or perhaps those could still be nice in conjunction to hit areas the panel does not?.

Drag, you need a  stand, but I guess not such big deal.. buy more stands.... (though stands could cost more than panels.. oh well..._
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elliot_n

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Re: Light subtraaction and black flag/ panel recommendation
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2019, 02:16:39 PM »

I shoot editorial/commercial on location, so v-flats wouldn't be convenient (I've used them in hire studios). The Neewer flat panels pack up very small, so they're a good choice if you're shooting on location (indoors).
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