Posted on December 4, 2012
Although there is a definite place for using bigger lights on location, speedlites / speedlights continue to be a useful way of faking light when it simply isn’t there naturally. A quick walk through the images in the gallery below from L to R:
1. Student prospectus shoot using a limited number of extras to show a busy cafe area. Dull and yellow tungsten ambient light replaced with zoomed in 1 x flash warmed up with a Honl gel, camera right. Second light camera left in background to boost cooler window light; 2. Very dark and sparse kitchen with one flash off camera right to be the window light and a tight shot over the top of a table. The starting point for the metering is the oven / hob light; 3. Student cafe again with dull tungsten replaced with “sandwich” of 2 x flash guns camera left and right (one as a backlight the other as a key light to the girls seated); 4. Flat ambient given a push with flash at low level to create some shadow detail on the cakes; 5. Location portrait with enhanced flash backlight; 6. Headshot taken in the entrance of the Marlowe Theatre by underexposing the background to black and then using a flash from camera left; 7. Property shot with flash in the bathroom because the window light was far too weak; 8. Single flash off camera left and at low power to raise the ambient gently so as not to make the bed linen too white; 9. Flat and misty day changed to autumn with a single light high and camera right with a Honl gel; 10. Very dark bedroom shot given a kick with a single flash backlight to fake sunlight. The key light is from a window camera right; 11. Same technique with raising the ambient in a property but 2 flash guns this time – one from the weak window camera left and another tucked behind a wall in the background; 12. Single light bounced off an umbrella to replaced the tungsten downlighters.
Posted on April 16, 2012
You’ve heard me say it before, but one of the main characteristics of professional photography is to shoot pretty much anywhere and under any conditions by controlling what you can and working with what you can’t. This is just the sort of thing I’ll be covering in the next course in Canterbury on May 27th, but here’s an example from a recent shoot.
The conditions were overcast, rain and then breaks in the clouds, changing every few minutes – you know the sort of weather I mean. The first few shots (1, 2 & 3) were taken under cover with natural light behind and warm reflected light from the hay.
Shots 4, 5, 6 & 8 are blatantly 2 x off-camera flash but still working with the idea of backlight and keylight. Incidently, always bring bin sacks to lay your kit on when shooting on farms
Shots 7 and 8 are zoomed in and more directional flash. By the time we got to the final shots the natural light was as flat as a pancake again. Shot 10 is simply using the open barn as a large softbox. Shot 11 is backlit by flash but using the overhead skylights as a detail and to give the backlight some logical context. The final shot, natural light, has modelling to the face camera right by someone standing there and acting as a flag or gobo. Nothing more sophisticated than that!
If you’re looking at photographers that do location portraits, model portfolios or other types of photography in the Whitstable, Faverham, Canterbury, Kent or London areas, please do get in touch.