- The Short Version
- Back to Basics, Quickly
- Shoot: Position Your Modifier with intention
- Shoot: One Speedlite with Fill Reflector
- Shoot: Creating Soft Fill Light with a Big Umbrella
- Shoot: Broad and Short Lighting
- Shoot: Think of The Shutter as a Light Modifier
- Shoot: Just a Slash of Light
- Shoot: RING The Lens with Light
- Shoot: Nose to The Gridded Light
- Shoot: One-Light White Seamless
- Shoot: Speedliting a Silhouette
- Shoot: Does Softbox Size Matter?
Shoot: Think of The Shutter as a Light Modifier
One advantage of flash over other sources of light is that you can use the shutter speed to dim the ambient light. This can be a valuable tool to guide your viewer’s eye.
Directing Your Viewer’s Focus
When we first encounter a new photo, the first spot that we look at is the brightest portion of the image. In portraits, an easy way to direct your viewer’s eye to your subject is to dim the brightness of the background in your shots. This will make your subject’s face stand out more prominently.
In Figures 19.17–19.20, I lit Kristen with a single Speedlite firing through an Impact 24″ Quikbox. The difference through the series is that I increased the shutter speed in one-stop increments to show the effect of dimming the background.
In Figure 19.17, the ″ shutter creates a fill light that balances naturally with the late afternoon sun. Yet Kristin does not stand out clearly from the background. In the subsequent photos (shot at ″, ″, and ″), the backgrounds get progressively darker. The choice of which frame is the best is a matter of personal taste. I favor Figure 19.19 (″) because it still maintains the rimmed edge of sunlight on Kristen’s hair.
Keep in mind that as your shutter speed exceeds the sync speed of your camera, you have to activate High-Speed Sync on your Speedlite. See Chapter 7: Control Your Speedlite for the basics on HSS and Chapter 22: Slicing Time With High-Speed Sync for a detailed discussion.
Time of Day: Late afternoon
Ambient: Golden hour sun behind Kristen
Speedlite: One 600EX-RT
FEC: 0 FEC
Zoom: Zoomed to 24mm
Modifier: Impact 24″ Quikbox
Distance: About 4′ to subject
Height: Level with subject’s head
Trigger: ST-E3-RT Transmitter
Camera: 5D Mark II
Lens: 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS
Distance to Subject: 6′
Exposure Mode: Manual
Exposure Comp: As listed
White Balance: Daylight
Figure 19.16 Lighting diagram
Figure 19.17 ″, f/5.6, ISO 400. Speedlite fired in E-TTL with 0 FEC.
Figure 19.18 ″, f/5.6, ISO 400. Speedlite fired in E-TTL with 0 FEC.
Figure 19.19 ″, f/5.6, ISO 400. Speedlite fired in E-TTL with 0 FEC.
Figure 19.20 ″, f/5.6, ISO 400. Speedlite fired in E-TTL with 0 FEC.