Get creative

Use Speed­lights to over­power di­rect sun­light for dra­matic re­sults with an af­ford­able out­door light­ing set-up

NPhoto - - Fea­ture -

When you shoot por­traits purely with nat­u­ral light, you’re usu­ally re­stricted to one ‘cor­rect’ ex­po­sure. But when you start to mix nat­u­ral light with flash, you can ma­nip­u­late the ex­po­sure to suit your artis­tic needs (see page 36). Any time that you work with two dif­fer­ent light sources, the key is all about the ra­tio be­tween the two. You can’t con­trol the power of the sun, for ex­am­ple, but you can change your Speed­light power to al­ter the ra­tio be­tween the two – as we’ve shown in our im­age (right) by over­pow­er­ing the mid­day sun for a moody por­trait.

No­tice how the boy’s hair has the look of a stu­dio por­trait, with a nice hair light to bring out de­tail and tex­ture. But this is, in fact, sun­light. With the boy posed with his back to the sun, the nat­u­ral light hits his hair, mak­ing it shine. By un­der-ex­pos­ing the nat­u­ral light, we ef­fec­tively trans­form the sun into our sec­ondary light source. Then we sim­ply lift the ex­po­sure of the face with our flash. Here’s how you can achieve sim­i­lar re­sults in a few sim­ple steps, with the help of an off-cam­era flash­gun and the sun…

Light from a Speed­light will al­most al­ways look bet­ter when it’s dif­fused with a mod­i­fier such as an um­brella, or bounced off a wall

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