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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One light Test photo - How to do it

I took this photo as a test shot before I did some photos for a family that had a bunch of kids in the group.  It is always good to do some test shots, such as this one, to make sure your lighting and exposures are as correct as you can get them before your subject(s) arrive.  

Now I can walk you through the reverse engineering of this shot.  In the above photo, I had Tyler stand and slightly turn his right shoulder and face into the light from the umbrella which is off to camera right.  The umbrella was a white shoot-through umbrella about 8 feet away or so... from what I can remember.  It was placed as in the diagram shown above at a 45 degree angle.  The sun was at about the same angle and was very low to the horizen.  I matched the light of the setting sun with a CTO color gel on my flash as well.  In this photo, the strength of the flash almost matched the sun's light.  You can see shadows from his colar on both sides of his neck but it does look like the sun's light shows the best shadow.  You can always tell in photo's where the light is coming from by the shadows.  Try this next time you see a cool picture and you wonder if it is natural or artificial light and where is it coming from.

The color in this photo is somewhat unusual to some people.  I was able to keep the subject warm by shooting near sunset and using a CTO gel.  The white balance in this photo is close to a daylight or shade setting.  The background is also slightly underexposed which helps the color saturation and blue tones to come through.  

This photo is a successful example of how you can produce a nice even lit shot with only one light and the use of natural lighting.  Next time I should get Tyler to give me a better expression! Haha.... kidding Tyler.

TECH INFO: ISO 200, 1/320 sec F5.0 - simple crop and sharpen in LR... almost no editing.

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