Be A Well-Red Photographer

Long-time Strobist reader and Austin-based photographer/BBQ connoisseur Kirk Tuck dropped a little bombshell (pun intended) into the Flickr Strobist threads recently: He is working on a small-flash location lighting book.

I'm a big fan of Kirk's lighting style. His light is flattering, elegant and most important for his look, does not call unnecessary attention to itself. That way you are free to notice his subjects.

But I am sure I do not have to tell you that right now.

He expects his book to hit the shelves about the first of the year. And I can tell you that we'll be all over it the moment we get our grubby little hands on a copy.

Kirk posted the photo above on the Flickr threads as one under consideration for the cover. He was, of course, immediately accosted by other readers asking for lighting details.

Says Kirk:
I used a Nikon 105 2.5 lens (manual focus) because it handles skin tones very well. I used the (60") umbrella in a bounce configuration as close to Sianelli as possible. The SB-800 with a diffuser will cover just about anything.

There are a total of four flashes. One in the umbrella. One in front of the model bounced off the celiing for fill light and two lighting up the background areas via ceiling bounce.

He goes on later to expand on the merits of large light sources:
I always like the effects I get from the biggest light source I can find. I once read on article about the DP who did the lighting for the movie Dangerous Liaisons (with John Malkovich and Uma Thurman) and he loved using veritable walls of light.

Huge twelve by twenty foot silks with acres of light bouncing through and I've always loved that look. The smaller umbrellas never seem to give me the same look unless I take a 44 inch and then direct it through a translucent white material that's something like 72 by 72 inches.

Test for yourself with a big white bed sheet or go to target and get a white, translucent shower curtain (like $9) and shoot some soft light through that. You'll love it.

We pointed to an article on small-flash lighting that Kirk wrote for when it first came out last fall. But if you missed it, you can see it here.

Looking forward to the book, Kirk.


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