Learn to bal­ance light­ing

Bal­ance am­bi­ent and flash light out­doors with your DSLR

NPhoto - - CONTENTS -

For this project, we’re go­ing to look at bal­anc­ing cam­era set­tings, am­bi­ent light and flash light to fully con­trol sub­ject iso­la­tion. The most im­por­tant fac­tors when iso­lat­ing your sub­ject from your back­ground is light­ing and fo­cus. In this case we’re go­ing to be us­ing two meth­ods to con­trol these vari­ables; chang­ing the aper­ture and chang­ing shut­ter speed.

We’re us­ing a Speed­light on a light stand with a shoot-through um­brella to dif­fuse the light, placed cam­era-left of our still life sub­ject. In the first method we’ll only change the aper­ture value of our lens (the f-stop) to darken the back­ground and then light our sub­ject with flash light to make the fruit stand out from the scene. In the sec­ond method we’ll change the shut­ter speed to darken the back­ground and light our sub­ject with flash to make them stand out.

Both meth­ods have mer­its and draw­backs, but, we pre­fer method two! This re­quires the use of Auto FP (so the cam­era, flash­gun and wire­less trig­gers need to be ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing in high speed sync mode). We’re not chang­ing our ISO as this will ad­just the over­all ex­po­sure of both am­bi­ent and flash light equally, rather than al­low­ing con­trol be­tween the two. Also, if shoot­ing out­side dur­ing the day, you’ll likely have enough light to keep your ISO at the base value. Let’s get started and see which method is right for you…

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