LATEST FEATURE: On Assignment: Ben Lurye

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On Assignment: Controlling Daylight, Pt. 1

Last week, I photographed Jessie Newburn, a local blogger and social networking maven. I shot in the middle of the afternoon to use this portrait as an example of how to light an outdoor portrait with a couple of small flashes on a sunny day.

(First step: Cheat.)

Being able to create a speedlight-lit photo like this any day, rain or shine, is a pretty straightforward process, if you take it one step at at time.


Tame the Sun, Then Use It

The first thing to do when choosing a location for a lit outdoor portrait on a sunny afternoon is to get rid of the sun. The Big Shots use huge gobos to shield their subjects from the sun. But those cost big bucks and you have to cart them around. My solution, find some shade.

Being in the northern hemisphere, for me that means finding shade on the north sides of buildings. So that is where I looked when selecting a background for this shot.

As we have seen before, shade is your friend for outdoor lighting. It kills the direct sunlight, and leaves you with diffuse light that is several stops darker. The lower quantity and more diffuse quality of the light both work for you when it comes to combining the ambient with flash.


Looking at this wide shot of the shooting location, you can see how a shade environment helps the cause greatly. We shot under an embankment that leads up to a town fountain.

Unless you live at the equator and you are shooting at noon on one of the equinoxes, you can always from a shady building side to shoot against.


Here's a quick available light test shot, taken at 1/160th of a sec at f/5.0 at ISO 200. I went with a normal, moderately high sync speed that just about any camera could hit. (No special camera hacks today.) Remember, if you can knock down the ambient, you do not need insane sync speeds to do this kind of thing in the middle of the afternoon.

What we are going to do is to use this shady area ambient light as fill light, and then use flash to create the main light. So, as you might be able to guess, the next thing I do is to knock that aperture down however many stops I want the fill light to be below the main light.

This is your choice, based on how much drama you want to add into your photo. I took it down from f/5.0 to f/11, which is two and one-third stops. This makes for a nice, contrasty lighting ratio for some real texture.


You can now see the ambient-light-only photo, shot at f/11 at 1/160th at ISO 200, which shows you what my photo will look like before the flash is added. I consider this process as setting up a "baseline" exposure for the photo. Whatever the flash doesn't illuminate will look like this.

Now, it's just a matter of lighting Jessie. Bringing an SB-800 in close, shooting at 1/2 power in a shoot-through umbrella, I bring her back up to a nice exposure -- with a much better quality of directional light. This is further enhanced with a 1/4 CTO warming gel on the flash, warming her but leaving the rest of the environment cool, for nice color contrast.

(BTW, we had taken a little break from the Lighting 102 course, but we'll be diving back into that very soon -- and the "gels" section is next.)

So we now have a dropped-down ambient and a warm-lit Jessie, which makes a pretty nice photo. But if you have an extra flash laying around, you can use it to add texture and dimension to the background of your photo.

In this case, I shot it at a hard angle against that back wall to splash a little (ungelled) light back there and bring out the wall's texture. Remember, if you are using your ambient as a fill light, at a ratio you choose, you can use your second light to add depth and texture to your environment.


As you can see from this pullback shot of the scene above, I raked the flash across the back wall. In this frame, it is on the right. It was set at 1/8 power and I was using a Honl Shorty Snoot to control the spill. The fact that there is no gel on the back flash allows us a little front-to-back color contrast in the frame, too.

(Click here to see it bigger. FYI, I was shooting from the left side of this frame, towards the wall on the right side.)


Looking at the top shot again, hopefully you can now see all of these elements coming together in a way that allows you to recreate this style in any full-shade environment. Sometimes when you look at a picture with three or four lighting elements going on at the same time, the reverse engineering can be difficult.


Again, the lighting elements being used are:

• The cool, ambient shade light, dropped 2 1/3 stops, becomes the fill light -- smooth and dark for a baseline exposure.
• Then we build Jessie back up with soft, directional umbrella light.
• We warm up the main light for nice skin tones and color contrast.
• We rake a little ungelled hard light across the background, for color contrast, texture and depth.


And while a high sync speed always helps, this shot shows us that you Canon 5D (1/200th sync) shooters can absolutely do this kind of stuff. And for those with a full 1/250th sync, the upshot is that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed, which means a more open aperture to get the same ambient exposure. Which in turn means that you can use the flash at lower power for faster recycling/shooting speeds.

Example: Instead of 1/160th at f/11 at 1/2 power on the flash, you can shoot at 1/250th of a sec, at f/9, and drop the flash power level down to 1/2 power -2/3 stop. (Or, 1/4 power +1/3 stop.)

Same look, faster recycling.

I shot a second look of Jessie at this some location. We'll hit this shoot again for a "Part 2" post soon, and also take a look at how to tame those umbrella and light stands, which pretty much turn to sails on a windy day.


NEXT: Controlling Daylight, Pt. 2


__________

Brand new to Strobist, or lighting? Start here.
Or, jump right into our free Lighting 101 course.
Connect: Discussion Threads | Reader Photos | Twitter

63 Comments:

Blogger Walter said...

This tutorial is the one that should be welded into every student brain - perfectly simply explained

April 23, 2008 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the detail. I have to add this one to the notebook. The setups are my favorite and you detail them so well Thank you now I can take them on the road with me.

Thanks again!

Tony

April 23, 2008 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/4 cto gel in the shade.
Excellent idea.

April 23, 2008 1:48 AM  
Anonymous Nathan said...

This photo did if for me... I heard the clicking happening in my head as I read the article about this shot. I have been playing with this stuff for a bit now but most of it has been by the seat of my pants. The explanation of this shot and how the natural ambient light was the baseline just made sense. I have had a real hard time determining where to start and how to judge my lighting but I think I finally get it. Really its all made sense but this SPECIFIC article and the step by step photos pulled it all together.

WOW... maybe now I will be a little less frantic the next time I am shooting someone (with a camera of coarse).

April 23, 2008 1:58 AM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

Another great post (these are my favorite kind). Love the way that image looks.

April 23, 2008 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Brock said...

That's what I'm talking about! The "on assignment" entries are the gold standard here.

Thanks, David, nice to see these coming online again.

April 23, 2008 2:15 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Example: Instead of 1/160th at f/11 at 1/2 power on the flash, you can shoot at 1/250th of a sec, at f/9, and drop the flash power level down to 1/2 power -2/3 stop. (Or, 1/4 power +1/3 stop.)

David, so are you saying that if we want wider aperture (f9 vs f11), we not only have to bump up the shutter/sync speed up from 160->250, but at the same time we also have to lower the strobe power from 1/2 to 1/4??

Am I getting this right??

It's a bit confusing, somebody help me!!!

April 23, 2008 2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great explanation and examples, but, can you elaborate on what your white balance is doing...are you on a manual setting, flash, shade??

April 23, 2008 3:17 AM  
Blogger Emmett Photography said...

This is pure simple brilliance. I love the simplicity and the great explanations on how to do it. Thanks David.

April 23, 2008 3:51 AM  
Blogger Jay McLaughlin said...

I love these build up posts!

I find them really useful for setting up and getting light ratios right.

I used a similar setup on one of my recent shoots.

April 23, 2008 5:06 AM  
Anonymous Rex Flex said...

Did you do any with her back to the sun? You know like put her right on the edge of the shade? I'd be curious how many times you go do a shoot if you notice wether there is ac power access where you eventually shot. I think if you have to open up a case and whip out stands why not go ahead and get a bigger set of lights? Just curious. Also did you use the G-9 on this one? One more; if you add gels do you just color correct for the tint? thanks!

April 23, 2008 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you set the white balance by eye, or use the camera ?tungsten? setting?

Would getting the model (or stand in if you are setting up ahead of time) to hold a grey/white card help or do you find it breaks the 'flow' or is unnecessary for other reasons (or do I wait for the 201 gels section!)

I love the "on assignment" sections more than anything else on Strobist! Thanks!

April 23, 2008 7:00 AM  
Blogger ::E20 Shop:: said...

I like this one, although she could probably do with a little sharpening in the eyes...looks like a fun day out though haha...

April 23, 2008 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Fird said...

Agreed with what Walter said above. Couldn't be explain in any way simpler!

Thanks for the Tip!

April 23, 2008 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Thanks for this site, I just found it, and I will bookmark it for sure

April 23, 2008 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Jojo from Germany said...

great Tutorial!

But there is still one thing i always wanted to know:

If you have an extreme situation with lots of sun and no shade what would be the best way to knock down the ambient?
Would you prefer a smaller aperture or high speed sync ? Which option would make it easier for the flash (thus enabeling shorter recycling and longer batterie life)?
I shoot with a 30d+ EX430 + EX580II
so everything higher than 1/250 would be high speed sync.

Thanks for the help!

April 23, 2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Bill Zaspel, photographer for BTP said...

David:

This is one of your best posts. I have been reading for almost a year and this is by far, the clearest explanation of some of the assignment setups that you have made. The individual shots of the setup re-building the final image are superb. It is diffecult for me to understand a lot of this stuff, but you have nailed it down to simple steps here. Very nice work. Thank you.

April 23, 2008 9:03 AM  
Blogger Matt S said...

Regarding what Joe said ... I've gone through the Lighting 101 stuff and I'm still a little fuzzy on the term "sync speed". Is this some limit that cameras have with respect to flashes? Mr. Strobist: Can you elaborate?

April 23, 2008 9:08 AM  
Blogger Mark Scheuern said...

Joe,

He's opening up the aperture by 2/3 stop so then he increased the shutter speed by the same amount. That keeps the ambient level the same. The bigger aperture means more contribution from the strobe, so reducing the strobe power puts its contribution back to where it was originally. Less strobe power, less battery usage and quicker recycling time.

Great post! I'm a big fan of these "on assignments", too.

April 23, 2008 9:31 AM  
Blogger John said...

This post was very helpful.

Can I throw an idea out there for a future segment?

Ive been trying to photograph the firetrucks at our hall. The problem is trying to balance the light from the light bars with flash (I guess you would have the same problem with headlights). Could you shed some insight on how one would accomplish this?

April 23, 2008 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. A very good learning source for a newbie like me. Thanks again.

April 23, 2008 9:40 AM  
Blogger Noah said...

@David -

Can you post some details about camera settings as far as Contrast / Saturation / Tone / Sharpness, or a little about what you did in PS to adjust the photo from how it came out of the camera to what we see here?

(I seem to always think I'm screwing things up or my camera is busted b/c any lighting shots I take always look lack-luster, and I just wanted to know if I'm doing something wrong with the lighting, camera settings, or post in PS).

April 23, 2008 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Jason T. said...

Another great post, David. As usual, you make it look easy.

One question: Did you deliberately set her near the column to add some reflected fill light or was that just a bonus effect from the composition?

April 23, 2008 10:23 AM  
Blogger Guy Parish said...

This is superb article. I loved all the setup shots. Very detailed and clear. I can't wait for work to be over to try this out... or perhaps during my lunch break.

Thank you.

April 23, 2008 11:08 AM  
Blogger Noah said...

I just shot a magazine cover and inside spread at this same location, a couple of feet away! Beautiful architecture around Columbia. How did you find, or decide on this location?

April 23, 2008 11:29 AM  
Blogger Noah said...

I just shot a magazine cover and inside spread at this location, just a couple of feet away! Beautiful architecture in Columbia. How did you find/decide on this location?

April 23, 2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger RianaFaith said...

hey there,

I just stumbled on this blog, and as a very beginner photographer, with dreams of being much more. I find this to be very educational and helpful.

this may seem dumb on my part, but the only times I get confused, is when this kind of talk comes into play :
" Example: Instead of 1/160th at f/11 at 1/2 power on the flash, you can shoot at 1/250th of a sec, at f/9, and drop the flash power level down to 1/2 power -2/3 stop. (Or, 1/4 power +1/3 stop.)

Same look, faster recycling."


I need help on this! can someone break this down for me in very very laymen terms??

much appriciated

-N-

April 23, 2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger Peter Davis said...

RianaFaith:

Start with the goal: take the exact same picture, using less flash power (so the flash recharges faster between shots).

Less flash power requires a wider aperture. (So it's not the *exact* same picture -- there will be less Depth-of-Field, but you get the idea.)

Wider aperture will increase exposure from both the flash and ambient light. But we want the exact same photo (not a brighter one), so we have to figure out how to compensate both.

To compensate for increased exposure from ambient light, we use a faster shutter speed. But there is a maximum speed that we can use with the flash -- the "sync speed". For this camera, that is 1/250s. So we change from 1/160s to 1/250s -- a difference of 2/3 stop.

To compensate for increased exposure from the flash, we reduce flash power (this was the whole goal, anyway). We want the exact same overall exposure as before, so we reduce flash by the same amount that we increased shutter speed, or 2/3 stop.

And that's it! Hope that helps,
-Peter

April 23, 2008 12:28 PM  
Blogger Christian said...

Would you use "flash" white balance setting? I would think that would make her a little too warm. Well, I guess you have cool fill light to maybe balance it. I'm just wondering if this is a color-shift the background or a modify the subject based on experience.

Thanks,
Christian

April 23, 2008 1:05 PM  
Anonymous getz76 said...

Nice example. Inspiring!

April 23, 2008 1:45 PM  
Anonymous wildepics said...

Christian,

I'm betting he's using either daylight or flash WB (they are very close) and intentionally warming her with the 1/4 CTO to get the color differentiation he's looking for.

george

April 23, 2008 3:23 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

How does going from f5.6 to f11 add contrast? Something to do with depth of field?

April 23, 2008 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Terri Ann said...

I thought about doing this Monday when I was taking some photos for a friend and her son but with a four year old running around we were lucky that he sat in the approximate right place, let alone where I could have set up the flash.

I'd love to know what the most effective way to accomplish something like this with one or maybe two speed lights would be.

Some of us don't have eight to work with ;)

April 23, 2008 4:01 PM  
Blogger mainfr4me said...

Just a minor note, great writeup, but the larger size link you have for the image of the setup goes to the same size image as what's shown in the article (specifically right after you mention the Honl Shorty Snoot).
Minor nit-pick, but hey, thought it should be noted!

April 23, 2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger Peter Davis said...

Dave:
How does going from f5.6 to f11 add contrast? Something to do with depth of field?

I think you're referring to this paragraph in the article:

This is your choice, based on how much drama you want to add into your photo. I took it down from f/5.0 to f/11, which is two and one-third stops. This makes for a nice, contrasty lighting ratio for some real texture.

This is referring to the ambient light exposure. Consider this paragraph:

You can now see the ambient-light-only photo, shot at f/11 at 1/160th at ISO 200, which shows you what my photo will look like before the flash is added. I consider this process as setting up a "baseline" exposure for the photo. Whatever the flash doesn't illuminate will look like this.

Here, for a pre-determined shutter speed and ISO, changing from f/5 to f/11 gives higher contrast because the shadow areas (areas not illuminated by the flash) will be darker.

April 23, 2008 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Sam Jay said...

Of course I agree that this is a really great post.

However, to help fill in Peter Davis' response to Riana Faith, it may be helpful to see the explainations about F-Stops and Shutter speed "stops" at wikipedia. I for one was confused about how f9 to f11 and 160 to 250 = 2/3 stop until I read those articles...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-stop

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutter_speed

April 23, 2008 5:59 PM  
Blogger C said...

I think the key to that mysterious paragraph is that Dave didn't use parantesys.


Example Instead of 1/160th at f/11 at 1/2 power on the flash, you can shoot at 1/250th of a sec, at f/9, and drop the flash power level down to (1/2 power -2/3 stop)...


So the new setting for the flash id
which I'm "assuming" is 1/6 ...

April 23, 2008 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Merrill said...

I would really like to see some examples of what us Canon users (limited to 1/200 or 1/250) can do when shooting in bright sunlight when there isn't any shade around... I've had situations where there wasn't a building to hide under. I've worked my way through it but I'd like to see more examples of what you would do.

April 23, 2008 7:47 PM  
Blogger Dave Prelosky said...

A few random thoughts...

David - Congrats on the recognition and thanks for the Continuing Ed.

Everyone - To all of you who are clamoring for examples of what to do and how to do it. GO TAKE SOME PICTURES. If you've got the equipment, take some time on Saturday and make some photos. The process can be compared to washing your hair. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. or Shoot, Look, Repeat.

In addition, anyone here surviving on their trust fund income? I thought not.
So quit harping on a man making a living. Selling advertising is not a scandal. Taking bribes is, and from my POV, David is as upfront with his sponsors as anyone.

April 23, 2008 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Jojo from Germany said...

@Ryan Merrill

That's what I am concerned with, too.
If there is no shade around and noch physical object to block the sun you need to either use a smaller aperture which would mean you need more flash power to get the same exposure from the ambient or you would have to use shutter speeds beyond 1/250 where you would have to use high speed sync which also decreases flashpower significantly.

So the question is what is easier for the flash ?

Say in a given situation you have 1/250 of a second and f8 still overexposing the ambient by 0ne stop: would you rather go to f 11 and turn up the power of the flash or would you go with 1/500 and use the high speed sync.

This problem also relates to the question of power consumption of the flash in high speed sync mode.
If you shoot 1/500 the flash has to emit its light burst for a relativly long period of time. On the other Hand if you're shooting 1/4000 this period of time is much shorter (thus les flashes i suppose) but each flash has to be more powerfull.
So really the question is:
How does the "work" the flash has to do relate to the sync speed in high speed mode.

I'm sorry for this rather lengthy comment but i guess my first post didn't really describe the problem that well.

regards
jojo

April 24, 2008 7:02 AM  
Blogger mikeboy said...

amazing, thank you for this! I really learned a lot. What I dont understand is this, if you balanced the lower apperture with faster shutter speed, how come it requires less power from the flash? Shouldn't it be the same?

April 24, 2008 9:05 AM  
Anonymous TiMpWeB said...

this was the post that made it all make sense... concise, clear, step-by-step... thanks.

April 24, 2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger Ken Lopez said...

"The first thing to do when choosing a location for a lit outdoor portrait on a sunny afternoon is to get rid of the sun. The Big Shots use huge gobos to shield their subjects from the sun. But those cost big bucks and you have to cart them around. My solution, find some shade."

This reminds me of the old joke,

"When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 million developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300C.

When confronted with the same problem, the Russians used a pencil."

Keep on blogging, Dave!

-Ken

April 24, 2008 2:29 PM  
Blogger Peter Davis said...

... and the old retort to that joke:

Pencils create graphite dust which floats in zero-G and gets into all the spacecraft's electronics.

I can see why big, expensive strobes and gobos are worth it to the pros.

April 24, 2008 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mikeboy said...
amazing, thank you for this! I really learned a lot. What I dont understand is this, if you balanced the lower apperture with faster shutter speed, how come it requires less power from the flash? Shouldn't it be the same?


the flash hapens so fast, it doesn't make a difference if its 1/160 or 1/250, only the ambience will be affected by that. Only the aperture setting affects the flash, therefore with faster speed and higher aperture the ambient stays the same yet the flash appears brighter. does that make sense?

April 24, 2008 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

the flash hapens so fast, it doesn't make a difference if its 1/160 or 1/250, only the ambience will be affected by that.

Exactly!

I was previously as confused as everyone else in this thread, wondering why changing the shutter speed only affected ambient and not flash light.

Once I figured out that the flash is so fast that it won't be affected by changing the shutter speed (at sync speeds at least) everything made a lot more sense.

Ben

April 25, 2008 9:42 AM  
Anonymous macdude said...

Beautifully shot! Nice & subtle...

April 25, 2008 12:00 PM  
Blogger kirkt said...

Excellent post, more so than usual. The inclusion of the ambient image followed by the build of the flash lighting really just made a lightbulb dimly glow in my head. Thanks.

Kirk

April 25, 2008 1:48 PM  
Blogger ofzaks said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the flash hapens so fast, it doesn't make a difference if its 1/160 or 1/250, only the ambience will be affected by that. Only the aperture setting affects the flash, therefore with faster speed and higher aperture the ambient stays the same yet the flash appears brighter. does that make sense?


Oh I get it! Thanks. So, if you stay within sync speed then it does not matter, only the aperture affects it, and if you go over the sync speed, like 1/1000th then that starts to affect the flash as well?

April 26, 2008 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,

I know you normally play with the aperture to get the ambient down.

Question: why do you not use ND filters ? (so you can keep the shallow dof).

If there something against that ?

April 27, 2008 4:45 AM  
Anonymous Serge said...

David, a very informative article and you keep it very simple to explain. Thank you! I'm already looking forward to the other upcoming articles.

April 29, 2008 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I get it! Thanks. So, if you stay within sync speed then it does not matter, only the aperture affects it, and if you go over the sync speed, like 1/1000th then that starts to affect the flash as well?

If you go a little over the sync speed, then you will have a black bar over the lower part of your picture, if you go a lot over your sync speed, the whole picture will be black as the flash then happens while your shutter/mirror blocks the sensor. Hence 'syns speed', the flash needs to be synchronized to the opening of your shutter and many cameras can't do that any faster than 1/200th or 1/250th. Unless you use high speed sync, that is, which loses a lot of flash power and is almost impossible to do off-camera.

April 29, 2008 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Harry said...

Are you still planning on doing a part two of this post? I'm dieing to read how you deal with umbrellas on a windy day!

May 03, 2008 11:00 PM  
Blogger jake said...

I love the photos that go along with the steps of the process...thank you for putting this out there!!!

May 11, 2008 12:35 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

QUOTE:
Blogger Joe said...

Example: Instead of 1/160th at f/11 at 1/2 power on the flash, you can shoot at 1/250th of a sec, at f/9, and drop the flash power level down to 1/2 power -2/3 stop. (Or, 1/4 power +1/3 stop.)

David, so are you saying that if we want wider aperture (f9 vs f11), we not only have to bump up the shutter/sync speed up from 160->250, but at the same time we also have to lower the strobe power from 1/2 to 1/4??

Am I getting this right??

It's a bit confusing, somebody help me!!!
:END QUOTE

Joe,
It's all about equivalent exposures... 1/160th sec at f/11 is equal to 1/250th at f/9 in terms of ambient light exposure. Turning the power down on the flash just means that the amount of light reaching the subject will be producing just the right exposure for the selected aperture (in this case f/9). If you leave the flash at the same power setting that you had for f/11, you're subject will be overexposed by the flash. Does this make sense?

- Paul

May 12, 2008 1:15 AM  
Anonymous JoeyB said...

Very, very helpful! Thanks for writing it out/presenting it in such a clear manner. You have a gift with instruction.

May 22, 2008 1:48 AM  
Anonymous Jim G said...

Love the information. Great instruction!

http://aspenstudioblog.com/

May 19, 2009 11:56 AM  
Blogger Marv said...

In this article you speak of dropping your aperture to peg back the ambient light before filling with flash.

Why would you use aperture to control this?

Had you used shutter speed to drop the ambient you could have used a larger aperture and lower power in flash?

Newbie question.

Thanks.

July 08, 2010 7:59 AM  
Blogger Marv said...

To control the ambient light here
you changed the aperture.

Why did you choose to change the aperture and not the shutter speed.

Had you changed the shutter speed you would have been able to use a larger aperture and less flash power.

Did you want to keep the background in focus?

Newbie question.

Ta.

July 08, 2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

For all those people struggling a little with how and why David set his fill (baseline exposure), as i did, i found this part very useful:

"What we are going to do is to use this shady area ambient light as fill light, and then use flash to create the main light. So, as you might be able to guess, the next thing I do is to knock that aperture down however many stops I want the fill light to be below the main light."

It took me a while to understand how the fill and umbrella lighting fitted together in the exposure. The key is the paragraph above. Then just add your flash(es) and up their power until it looks right.

Hope this helps.

November 03, 2010 5:58 AM  
Blogger Leonard Koh said...

Gosh. I finally understand...

April 12, 2011 4:56 AM  
Blogger Lalit Philip said...

Any website or video link where i can get more information on the flash power etc? I'm new to photography

September 30, 2013 1:11 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

Actually, yes:

http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk/2006/03/lighting-101-balancing-flash-and.html

September 30, 2013 3:53 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home