Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Achieving Light

Light is the foundation of photography and with utilizing light to its full potential we can achieve amazing results in the images we produce. The sun is the source of light in our daily lives, provided to us by God this makes it the perfect light!

Having different color temperatures throughout the day, we have a wide range of intensities, color and shadow effects to play with. Early morning we have cool blue light, at noon time we have white light (est. 5500K)and towards sundown we get warm yellow orange light. In the studio, strobes simulate the light given to us by the sun. In effect we achieve high quality and razor sharp images with good color rendition.

In my portrait sessions I use strobes (Nikon SB-800) to simulate lighting in areas where I am limited by the light and improve further my subjects. In this photo illustration I used my SB-800 with an articulated arm in my light stand to adjust the fill light I needed to highlight the face of my subject and with another slave unit bouncing the light on the white wall to fill the right side or left cheek of my subject.

And here is the result: a natural look but well lit subject that has depth and overall round and natural feel. It is possible to achieve a good portrait with just the sun's light as a source but in this case I was able to improve it even more.

In this next portrait I chose to place the couple behind the sun or "backlit" to instantly separate them from the background giving a nice warm rim of light distinct on the hair. To counter the under exposure effect on their faces I used again my Sb-800 to highlight at the same time achieving the same warm color temperature given off at around 4:30pm in the afternoon.

Without the sun and shooting in an almost total dark situation I metered my ambient light and set one of my SB-800's in front of my subjects and took a back shot with the horizon to fill the scenery together with the tungsten lights from the nearby restaurant. I attached a Nikon SJ-1 tungsten gel accessory to match the overall color temperature.

The SB-800 functioning as a master and commander together with my pocket wizard allows me to make quick light adjustments on-the-fly with my strobes in a situation where lighting change is rapid, crucial and constant.

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