Making a Photograph Look Natural with Strobe Lighting
I started my career as a photographer taking portraits. I was trained to use three or four lights in what at the time was the standard for studio portraits. There was a main light, a fill light, a hair light and sometimes a background light. Look at any high school year book and that is the lighting you will see.
Over the years, I evolved my lighting style to look more natural. I reduced the strobes to one main light and used various types of reflectors for fill light. My goal was to simulate the effect of window light when a window wasn’t available or practical.
In Great Light, Easy Light, the newest ebook from Craft & Vision, Kevin Clark takes the idea of producing natural looking light in the studio one big step further. He lives in Vancouver where for much of the year natural light is a little scarce. Necessity being the mother of invention, Clark has perfected “strobe techniques that don’t look lit”. His 32-page book walks through the techniques starting with mixing flash and ambient light, working through one, two and three light set-ups and ending with ‘Bounce-The-Light-Off-Whatever-I-Can Setups’.
Unlike many of the Craft & Vision books, Great Light, Easy Light does make use of professional level equipment such as studio strobes and light boxes. Consequently, this book is not for everyone unless you can make the investment and are committed to learning a natural style of portrait lighting. Having said that, the first exercise on mixing flash and ambient light will be of value to anyone wanting to take control of using a small flash unit.
I would also recommend taking a look at two other books from Craft & Vision that deal with using artificial light to achieve natural looking results: Making Light: An Introduction to Off-Camera Flash and Making Light 2: Advanced Use of Off-Camera Flash. In these two books, Piet Van den Eynde lays out how to set-up and use portable flash units such as Canon’s 580EX II or Nikon’s SB-900.
Special Offer on PDF eBook
The retail price on Great Light, Easy Light is just USD $5, but for the next five days, use the promotional code EASY4 when you check out so you can have this PDF eBook for just $4. Or use the code EASY20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST September 29, 2012. Click here to visit Craft And Vision.