Shine On!

I recently bought some amazing lighting equipment (and cool gadgets) and tested them out on my favorite subjects one afternoon. Aside from my cameras and lenses, these pieces win for my new favorite toys:-)I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the huge cut in post-processing! What a difference a little light can make! I can get the perfect image straight out of the camera without doing anything in photoshop for white balance correction or slight under/overexposure. Sweet! One recent session, I opened up my photos in photoshop, just out of habit, and realized I had nothing to do to the photos–color and lighting were spot-on. I did change a few images to black and white, just to have something to do in photoshop (it was feeling lonely), but other than that, there was nothing else to do!

Here are a few shots of the inaugural run with the lighting gear (may not be the best compositions, but hopefully, they show the effect lighting can have, especially when dealing with bright backgrounds. The first set shows photographing¬†indoors with bright outside light streaming through. If I were to expose for the background, my subjects become underexposed (first photo). If I were to expose for my subjects, I’d blow out my background out. Yuck.

How do I expose for my subjects and still see the background? Solution: Light the subjects (here I used my softbox at a 45 degree angle lit with a 3:1 ratio) and expose for the background (second photo). Notice the nice catch-light in their eyes! Lovely! (By the way, the correct catch-light placement is in the top left or right quarter of the eyes.) Ta-Da! Even my boy is thrilled about the improvement:-)Same exposure, ISO, and shutter speed settings on both photos, but a world of difference!

Here’s the true test: Have you ever tried shooting a subject against the sky? At a close range, it’s virtually impossible to capture both a subject in the foreground while exposing correctly for a bright blue sky. Today, the sky wasn’t too blue, but I was able to expose properly for both my subjects and the background. Pretty cool, huh? Again, straight-out-of-camera shots. So exciting!

In case you’re wondering, I have an Elinchrom light with a Vagabond pack, a 24×32 softbox, a Sekonic light meter (it’s awesome because it tells lighting percentages), and an ExpoDisc–I’ll post something soon about how amazing this one little device is, and a 42″ reflector/diffuser.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.

C o n n e c t   +   S u b s c r i b e