There are a million ways to take a person’s picture.The modern photographer has many choices to make: Which camera? Which lens? What style? What camera settings? What’s in the background? Who is the model? What sort of pose should I ask for?
One of the most overlooked choices is often “What’s my lighting?” – a question that for many novices always comes up last or sometimes never at all. This is, of course, unfortunate – seeing as lighting is arguably the most important aspect of a photograph.
1. You already see what you’re shooting.
It’s easy to take a look at a subject that is already lit and figure out what needs to be changed either settings-wise or lighting-wise to get the desired effect. You do not have to keep shooting “test shots” with your model or stand-in. Instead, just look at the scene with your eyes and determine how to place your lights and your subject.
2. You can burst your shutter.
I never take JUST ONE photo of a subject – I take 12 at a time. This is because certain minute differences in focus, head placement, and shadows (if you are outdoors) can make or break a photo. It also helps the subject loosen up and feel at ease, knowing that they will have plenty of shots to chose from. If you are doing flash photography, you cannot burst for too many shots before your strobe or speedlite needs time to cool off. This is called “recycle time.”
3. You’re not blinding your subject.
Many times, a subject will get tense when they know their shot is coming or when they know that they’ve only got one chance to get a shot right. Another effect of flashing someone in the face with light is that they, for the briefest of seconds, squint their eyes. This is an involuntary response that may sometimes be captured by your camera.
4. You can shoot at open apertures.
If you want a really shallow depth of field, a flash is more likely than not going to wash your subject out. You’d either have to diffuse it greatly or move it farther away from your subject (therefore changing the look of the lighting). You can see this explained in more detail here:
Keep up with the blog to see more photos of mine and get more advice on lighting and photography!
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