Lighting can make or break a photo. Getting the right light can be easy with the Profoto B1. Whether the shoot is inside or outside, this off-camera flash is guaranteed to give you an image worth sharing.
There are rules in photography, and there are rules in lighting as a part of photography. However, when you're photographing conceptual work or fine art, you are largely expected to make your own rules. Only you know what is in your own head, and you have to bend any rules that stand in the way of making that vision a reality.
Photography is so much more than "What camera do you own?" If you understanding lighting, you are well on your way to conquering one of the most difficult aspects of photography. Without light, you are not making an image. We need light. We should crave light, in all its forms.
Whether the story is very apparent visually or more subtle, I want to understand it so I am then able to start designing a lighting plan to represent that story. Should the lighting be soft or natural to reflect the subject’s personality? By starting with their stories, I am inspired to visually tell a story with light.
Like many who teach lighting for photography, I tend to focus heavily on the other three properties of lighting first (quantity, quality, direction) and avoid color. That’s because you really can make quantum leaps in your technique by simply learning to “shape” light, and color kinda falls into a separate category.
The one thing you can count on when you’re shooting on location is that you can’t count on anything except a variety of challenging lighting situations. These all fall squarely into what I like to refer to broadly as “bad light.” Bad light is any quality of light that is inconsistent with the lighting desired for the images you’re about to capture.
Great lighting is what separates the good images from the bad, as well as the good from the great. It’s literally and technically what your camera sensors capture every time you press your shutter. As a photographer, our number-one goal should be to chase down great lighting, maybe even learn how to create it if called for, and then place our subjects within that scene to bask in its brilliance.
The golden hour, in my opinion, is one of the great wonders of the world. The time of day just before sunrise or sunset (I prefer sunset) when the light streams in with its red and orangey glow, warm and oh-so-satisfying to bask in. As a photographer, there is literally nothing quite like shooting at this time of day.
Location-based photographers need to be able to create lighting under any circumstance, at any time. Once a photographer’s schedule becomes more and more filled as their business begins to grow, the luxury of shooting all clients during the beautiful, golden-hour, natural light will become a thing of the past.
Every location poses different challenges, but the results can be great when you get outside your comfort zone and work with a purpose. In this article, I will explain my creative thought process and cover the technical details I encounter when creating environmental portraits.