Stick Your Flash Where the Sun Don't Shine

I'm down in Charlotte, NC, prepping to teach a pair of beginner's lighting sessions Thursday afternoon at the Southern Short Course. I prefer not to wait for the allergy season to get to Maryland -- I want an early start for my seasonal misery.

So I am going through the Flickr pool at about midnite, faving pix. And I come across this one, by Evan Schoo. I dunno what it is about this shot exactly, but I just found it to be a little bit magical. And it brings up three very good points for adding small, battery-powered strobe to a photo:

1. Adding light to the darkest area in your photo can flip it around and make it the center of interest. It's important to know when to stop, so the log (in this case, for example) doesn't look like it came from Three Mile Island. I'm talking about the flash power level -- and this one gets it just right.

2. Cool-colored ambient environment (whether natural, white-balance-shifted or done in post) just begs for some flash color contrast, which Evan got by using a CTO gel.

3. When sticking a flash into a tight space, always consider a dome diffuser. A Sto-Fen Omni Bounce was used here, but you could use a Gary Fong Light $phere, a LumiQuest UltraBounce, a piece of Tupperware - whatever. Just get that light going in all directions, like a bare bulb. It really works for cramped interiors.



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