Working with light

So it’s been a crazy, mad couple of weekends … lots of photography and now piles of editing. One thing that is in common across all the jobs though is Light … working inside, working outside I love the challenge of introducing a little supplemental light into an ambient scene… or more accurately getting the flash off camera, setting it to manual and then balancing it’s output with the light in the scene.

First Communion

For example this is one of my favorite local churches to work in, the stained glass is magnificent and at certain times of the day it glows as the sun hits it at the right angle. Essentially the glass is brighter than the interior of the church and if I’m not careful with my exposure the background will be a mass of “blown out” white highlights.

For the technically minded the light was a Cheetah 360 at camera left set to 1/4 power, plus I placed a Nikon 910 speedlight on camera set to 8th power in order to fill the shadows from the Cheetah. The camera exposure was metered manually from the light at the windows and the lens was a 70-200 set to f8 to keep the subject sharp.

Essentially I have a happy client who now has a set of family photos which match a similar set from last year when I shot their eldest son’s first communion

Later on the same day I had a family portrait booking and we planned to meet at Croton Point State Park on the Hudson River. Same artificial lighting, same theory but a very different ambient light, with the sun high in the sky providing a strong “cross” light as I sat them with their back to the river. Difficult to totally eliminate shadows when its a quickie “portrait on the run” but I think the Cheetah has done an admirable job, working from camera position at full power.

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

Heres another First Communion this time shot a week later where the subject is strongly backlit by the sun … again another job for the Cheetah … The shadow on Maria’s nose gives a clue as to where the light was in relation to camera position.

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

Finally we come to today’s job and a small, local birthday party in the Client’s garden. We were providing a “photo booth” service with a few simple props. I choose to set up with the sun behind the subject and introduce light from camera right and fill with a second light on camera. Because I was also expected to provide candid photography I put the Cheetah and it’s battery pack on camera and used a less powerful Yonghnuo speed light close to the subject and set at full power.

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

Too much technical information ……. no problem … Essentially my message for this post is that I photograph people … indoors / outdoors .. at home / on location … so why not put your cell phones away, enjoy the moment and book a professional photographer … :-))

Thanks for reading .. comments and feedback are always appreciated


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