Monday, January 19, 2009

Slight flash


Settings: Ambient is about a stop below neutral grey. Flash through honeycomb grid aimed at face, from high up and to the right, at one stop above neutral grey.

I realized all my favorite photos, both that I've taken, and that I like of others, use a lot of ambient light, and the artificial light is very subtle and only adds a little pop to the main area. I really want to pursue this line of lighting this year.

For this photo, almost all the light is window light from the left. I got on a chair to shoot from this height, and took at f/1.8 to get a little depth of field on the feet, so that the attention was kept on the face. Once I had everything exposed right, I decreased the iso by one stop to make everything a bit darker. Then I added my flash to a stand at about 2 meters height, to the right, aimed it at his face, and added a honeycomb grid to constrain it to just his face. Without the grid, even zoomed to 105mm, it spread to the rest of the bed and body. It had just enough softness to fade out nicely, and because there was only about a stop difference between ambient and flash, even though the edges of the shadows from the flash are harsh, they aren't very noticeable. If I had dropped ambient another stop or two, the flash shadows would have been extremely noticeable.

I'm still working on a portable option that lets me through softer light a longer distance. I'll let you know what I come up with. I would have loved to have this light constrained only to the face like this, but softer.

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