The Simple Light

For those people who think they have to be fully ladened with a cases of flash equipment to get well-lit photos outdoors in the daytime, I offer the example of Strobist reader Brent Williamson, who specializes in shooting people in New Zealand.

The photos shown here were done with using a small flash aimed in such a way as to cross-light the subject with the sun. It's technique we have detailed here, here and here.

It's so simple, and yet produces a photo that has a crisp, 3-d look. A bonus is that the sun doesn't even have to be at a flattering angle to pull it off, either. So you can do this as you wait for the light to get nice later in the day.

Brent is using minimal equipment to get his simple, yet polished look. Just one speedlight, synched with a Pocket Wizard and opposite the sun.

The key is that the flash-ambient balance is such that the light does not call attention to itself. This is worth noting, as many novices get the lighting bug, then go out and start lighting with the subtlety of a ball peen hammer. Brent is just barely balancing the light. Maybe just a little under the ambient, actually.

It doesn't scream. It just quietly looks great.

Oh, and if you want to live in this wonderful environment for a spell, I see that Brent's house is for rent (UPDATE: has been rented) due to his relocation for work.


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