The number one thing that will take an average portrait to something with impact is sensuality and emotion. But how do you achieve that in-studio with a single subject? Two ways: movement and expression.
Simply defined, gels are transparent colored material used to modify lights for photography (both stills and motion). Gels are placed over light sources to create colored effects. The two basic types are color correction gels and non-corrective (color effect) gels.
I love the challenge of shooting on location with wildly varying lighting situations and environmental conditions between sets. It can be an exciting way to exercise blending ambient light and existing light sources with your speedlights or OCF systems and modifiers.
We pass many milestones in our lives, and when each new door opens, we grow in what we do. In photography, some of those moments include understanding how to use our cameras, the exposure triangle, and maybe even Bayer filters and circles of confusion.
The longer I’ve made portraits, 40-plus years, the more steadfast I am in the belief that it all starts with lighting. Whether soft, hard or anything in between, each quality of light and shadow imparts emotion and drama to help tell a unique story. Lighting’s job is to support the story you’re trying to tell rather than distract from it.
In this issue, you’re reading exceptional advice on shaping light with strobes, softboxes and speedlights. But what if you’re limited to available, natural light? There are unique challenges. What you gain in reduced gear, setup and purchases, you lose in flexibility. Yet there’s a distinctive beauty in using only the sun. With care, it can produce timeless imagery.