When it comes to crafting killer quality of light, it’s all about modifiers. These light-shaping tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes and interior finishes. When attached to the front of strobes, modifiers help control the quality, shape, direction, spread, and amount of contrast, as well as how quickly the light falls off. While some have more versatility than others, there is no one-size-fits-all modifier. Each has its own unique characteristics, and each produces a different set of results.
I love my strip boxes. My go-to's are the Profoto D2 line and the Profoto 1x6 RFI strip boxes with grids. I use these light modifiers for my maternity, fitness and boudoir clients, because of the control and impact they have when shaping light. You can use them to create gorgeous directional light that focuses on drama. And who doesn't enjoy an excellent dramatic photograph?
The main goal of my monthly lighting tutorials is to teach you how to think about light, show you how to effectively use lighting tools, arm you with knowledge you need to think on your feet, teach you how to solve the lighting problems you’re likely to encounter, and help you learn how to design lighting that can support a range of subject matter.
I loved the idea of an old school bus and using it as the backdrop for this high-fashion shoot. At first, I was thinking one light for something dark and dramatic. I love the juxtapose of it all. However, I quickly realized this shoot was not going to be so simple to pull off.
Learning where to place your key light and what angle to give it is easy using the six foundational lighting patterns photographers rely on for consistent results. These six simple, yet highly effective, lighting patterns are the go-to guide for an endless variety of predictable, repeatable lighting effects. In fact, one of these lighting patterns, Rembrandt Light, has been in practice since the master painter Rembrandt first used it.
At some point in our image-viewing lives, we’ve all been enamored with a photograph where gels and color were used to augment it. Whether this image has a small kicker accent of gelled lighting or is created entirely with it, we respond to that infusion of color—the image has a larger impact on the viewer. In many ways, the underlying story of a certain image can only be fully revealed through the use of color and gels.
The moment you realize you can customize the quality of the light you’re creating to fit the images you’re capturing is the moment you realize there is no one-size-fits-all lighting. With artificial light, we attempt to recreate light that occurs in nature. Absent that, lighting looks unnatural and in this photographer’s humble opinion ends up doing more harm than good. It ends up being a distraction rather than a supporting element.
When it comes to soft light, size matters! Yep, I went there. Hey, come on, who can resist a good cheesy photo joke? Not I! But seriously, its true—when you want soft light, the larger and broader the light source used, the softer the quality of the resulting light.
I really believe that learning to properly use a bounced flash will give you a much greater degree of freedom when you are on a shoot. In venues that allow for it, you will be instantly prepared for any lighting condition and will no longer be shackled to the off-camera flash or sent scrambling for one to mount to the camera.
In this video, Sal demonstrates how he uses natural light to create beautiful portraits. From the position he needs to be, to communicating with his subject, this video will give you a great inside look on what it takes to use natural lighting to create the look you’re wanting.