Learn to balance lighting
Balance ambient and flash light outdoors with your DSLR
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…