I had the opportunity to do 3-programs at the Senior Photographers International. The topic “Environmental Lighting”, how to look for and use what we photographers like to call “sweet light”. On the day I was to do this live model program it rained. We moved the live program in the lobby at the Wyndham Resort in Lake Buena Vista.
My goal is to teach that you watch for good quality light. I see so many images on facebook with the likes of poor quality of lighting. Light is the number one building block in my books to a successful quality environmental portrait. If you light the subject correctly you are more than half way there to creating a quality portrait.
Environmental lighting is not an easy thing to “master” the sun moves during the day, even during different times of year the sun moves. I’m often amazed at little pockets of “good” light. Look for it, it’s there. The same principals apply to environmental lighting as it does in the studio. One direction… I have learned that lighting changes from morning to afternoon. I have used an outdoor spot in the morning and found I cannot use the very same location in the afternoon due to the quality of light. So with that said I will share an example of what we did at the live lighting demonstration. The before and after. Experience has shown me consistently to add an off camera flash to the subject, even though I had pretty good light. I feel with the off camera strobe, it cleans things up and I do not have to work on the image as much in postproduction. The colors are clean and true, it doesn’t give a green cast to the skin etc. The image “pops”, that’s the best term I can use.
First find the light, then put your subject in the light. It’s over cast, in fact it’s raining. I capture one image as is and one image with an off camera flash with a soft box. I set the strobe/soft box 1-1.5 stops less than the ambient light. Just a kiss of light gave me an image and look I’m looking for. See for yourself; let me know what you think. Hope to see you at the fair.