Quality of Light
It used to be that I was terrified of using the flash on my camera. I was always afraid of over-blowing pictures, creating those dreaded casting shadows and not having control over the entire image. Then flash started to become more easy as I learned to bounce and diffuse the light and control the exposure in various ways. But then I started to become aware of the magic of off-camera flash. The idea both excited me and scared me. Right now, I’m still in the growing process of it, but I’m slowly starting to learn the immense possibilities of off-camera lighting.
I used to think that there was no reason to use a flash outside in the sunlight. I was wrong. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of reading of a photography blog called Strobist. It’s an astounding resource of information for photographers. I thought studio lighting had to be difficult, time consuming and complicated to understand.
Again, I was wrong.
Even in my regular portrait photography assignments for the Post-Gazette I’ve been using off-camera lighting more and more. A lot of it still feels like trial and error, but the comfort level is definitely growing.
This is a shot I took using an SB-800 off to camera bottom left aimed at this gentleman’s face. The story behind the photo is that this Mexican restaurant owner just spent several thousands of dollars in various decorations for his restaurant, and now he’s being told to remove them because they’re not in accordance with historical landmark regulations (he’s located in Market Square).
So for this shot I asked for a ladder, aimed the strobe at his face, climbed up and took a few shots. I’m rather happy with how this one turned out.