Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trying New Things

In the past few days, I've tried some new lighting techniques that have rendered some great results. Well, they're not exactly new but they're new to me.

What I have learned:

~ I've learned not to always avoid shadows. Shadows can serve to add depth and dimension. I knew this was true when lighting people to create a sense of depth and dimension, hence the genius of off camera lighting, but the shadow that get casted on the background can also add depth and dimension. I think it also adds a bit more drama and an extra element of style.

I used a single beauty dish above her. I started out by lighting the white backdrop as well. I soon discovered that the images were more dramatic when I eliminated the backdrop light and introduced the shadowing.

~ I've learned the benefit of HSS (High Speed Sync). Most DSLR cameras only have the ability to synch with flash at no faster than 1/250 of a second. If the shutter speed exceeds the camera's maximum synch speed, than the image will have a black bar towards the bottom of the frame because the camera's shutter closes before all the burst of light is captured. HSS fires very rapid multiple burst of light so the entire frame gets lit. The benefit of HSS is that it allows you to increase the shutter speed therefore you can keep the sky a deep vibrant blue but also have the subject well lit too.

Sun in the upper left, three 580EXIIs, one 430EXII. All with a 1/2 CTO, bare bulb, from camera right. Triggered by a 24" ETTL off camera cord.
5D Mark II, 24-70mm f/2.8. ISO250, 1/640, f/10

~ I've learned that contrasting colors can really make a subject stand out.

I double processed this file to make the background see cooler and Lisa seem a bit warmer.

I used a 1/2 CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gel over my light to create this effect. By choosing the right White Balance in the camera and the right colored gel over your light, you can do some pretty awesome stuff to the subject and the background as seen here where Mandy has a nice warm glow and the columns behind her are a ice cold blue.

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