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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hard Lighting

Here's another photoshoot where I have broken 2 rules:
1. Do not shoot under direct sunlight to avoid hard shadows.
2. Soft, diffused light looks better on female subject.
"Among the Rocks" by alexdpx

I did exactly the opposite of those.  Instead of shooting under a shade, we did the shoot directly under the sun.  Instead of using an umbrella or any other modifier, I used bare flash.  I used both sunlight and bare flash to cross-light the subject - the exposure ratio of each is almost 1:1.  The result was hard shadows, edges and well defined specularities on the model's beautifully tanned and slightly oiled skin.  I like the results.  Her skin, and clothing were in the same hues as the rocks of Fuwairit and the background in general.  I do believe that the method of lighting I used here succesfully separated the subject from the background.  Hard light is not always that bad, you just need to know when it is appropriate and when it is not.  In certain ways, hard lighting provides effects that are not possible with soft light.

"Hot Summer" by alexdpx

Often times, separating a subject from a similarly colored background requires creative lighting.  Soft light is not always the order of the day.  You need to know when to break the rules if such rules do not work with what you are trying to achieve.

The ultra simple one-light-bare-speedlite setup.

The photo above shows the ultra-simple one-light-bare-speedlite setup.


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