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Author Topic: Lighting question  (Read 1214 times)

jebrady03

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Lighting question
« on: May 04, 2013, 10:58:44 AM »
Does flash with the sun behind the subject look unnatural to anyone else?  For instance, when I see a picture of a bride and groom on the beach and the sun is setting behind them over the water, but the photographer has used flash to illuminate their faces - it just looks really awkward to me.  Am I the only one?

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Lighting question
« on: May 04, 2013, 10:58:44 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 11:34:46 AM »
Un-natural sure. Epic awesomeness if done right. Gaurenteed.

kbmelb

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 11:36:17 AM »
A setting sun is warmer than flash so the color temps are off. They should use a CTO gel. Getting the flash off axis will be a lot more convincing too.

docholliday

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 01:00:09 PM »
Flash with the sun, done improperly, does look unnatural and horrid. BUT, done properly, it's great. That's why I carry a ton of gels and a color temp meter to match it up. I can even emulate a cooler "reflection" on the subject if I want...

The BG shots that look unnatural are usually done by somebody who's not as skilled in lighting. It's easy to photograph nowadays, given the amount of technology (put the camera in (P)erhaps mode and let it shoot), but lighting still requires thinking (and in harsh light situations, a lot of it!).

jebrady03

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 01:34:57 PM »
Ok, so I could see using gels/filters to make the light on the subjects match (or at least approximate) the proper color temperature of a setting sun.  And off axis lighting definitely makes sense.  Can you folks toss up a couple of pics of it being done right?  Because thus far, everything I've seen looks unnatural (ie, color temp is off, wrong lighting angle, light too strong and the subject is overexposed compared to the scenery, etc.).

Thanks!!!!

paul13walnut5

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 02:31:49 PM »
The light at sunset is going to be all over the place, you dont really want to even it out too much, really concentrate in making the couple look ok, as they ate the ones you are lighting.  The key things are the softness snd illuminance.  Set exp comp or meter to be +2 on a white dress.  Set your ct for flash, or if you use mods set it off a grey card with mods on.

Shoot Raw.  Tweak.

The sun is behind the couple, so unless you shoot with then totally crunched black ANYTHING will look unnatural.

Might as well only shoot with an effective 43mm lens with the subject always dead centre and printed at life size, because like fill flash at sunset, anything else is unnatural.

I jest of course.

Ct your subject for the light they are exposed with.
The ambient ct changes by the second at dusk, so don't worry about it. The couple are important.  The absolute accuracy of the sky behind, not so much.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 03:40:40 PM by paul13walnut5 »

docholliday

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 03:40:50 AM »
Ok, so I could see using gels/filters to make the light on the subjects match (or at least approximate) the proper color temperature of a setting sun.  And off axis lighting definitely makes sense.  Can you folks toss up a couple of pics of it being done right?  Because thus far, everything I've seen looks unnatural (ie, color temp is off, wrong lighting angle, light too strong and the subject is overexposed compared to the scenery, etc.).

Thanks!!!!

That's the thing - done right, you wouldn't notice it at all. It would look natural and effortless. Look at some wedding work by Clay Blackmore, almost everything he has is fill flashed, and you'd probably never notice it. It doesn't matter if its a sunset, cloudy day, high noon, in shade or not, or even in a snowstorm. Dialing down the fill, matching (or un-matching) color temp, diffusion (and source size), as well as proper angle makes the difference.

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Re: Lighting question
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 03:40:50 AM »