One of the things I love about strobe (flash) lighting is the ability to create light. One of my pet peeves is when sometimes photographers over light because at first glance it looks pretty damn cool. It’s kind of like the first time you played with Photoshop and started getting “creative” with filters.
My approach to lighting is to be subtle with it, so even though you do notice it, it is not the main focal point. “Wow, look at that flash” (Yes, I’m guilty)
We recently did a photo-shoot based off a bird or Avian theme. In the photo I am going to discuss there are two light sources. The sun and my modified streetlamp/beauty dish.
What I am trying to accomplish is getting the flash output to be very similar to the setting sun.
She is being lit by the strobe. Take notice of the columns. See how the back sides are being lit by the sun and now look at the column she is next to, it has a nice even light that mimics the sunlight. I think this makes for a very natural looking image as far as the lighting goes. It is dramatic but not to the point that the lighting is over the top. I will post the series soon so you can take a look at all of the photos. most were lit with this thought process, a few were not.
I wanted to keep this image very natural looking. By using the strobe I was able to give the model a look as if she is being lit by the sun. The column that she is sort of looking at has the light source (the sun) facing her and that brightness tricks our minds into believing that she might also be being lit by the same source of light.
If you would like to learn more about lighting and photography in general take a look at my website, www.chuckarlund.com for details on workshops, one on one sessions and speaking engagements that I am at. If you would like to schedule a workshop and think you can get at least 10 people to attend, please contact me for details and pricing.
Some behind the scenes images: Thanks to Jimmy Douglass for the images. Thanks to Todd Davidson for all the help.
My Street Lamp that has now been modified to fit an Alien Bee.