To create a specific look. This is where I like to be, it is always best when you are doing things like light the image, to achieve the look you want, not fix a problem. Here I used the look I’ve discussed before on RAB Pad.
To fill in shadows. Sometimes the light is largely what you want from the sun, but there is part of the image that is just too dark without adding something. When controlling the light for this purpose, it is important to choose carefully between reflectors and flash. In this image I used a silver and gold striped reflector to fill the shadows in an unobtrusive manner and add a hint of warmth.
Sometimes it’s just plain dark. Sometimes, it is just too dark to get an image without a little something. I usually try to find a way to balance in some ambient light for a more natural look, but sometimes, it’s a choice between flash or using an ISO that is just too high for your intended purpose. This image was made with a small portable flash diffuser on the camera mounted flash and allowing as much ambient light in as possible.
Wanted to write a bit to you about one of my favorite lighting accessories; the Lastolite 8:1 TriGrip Reflector. The gallery photos in this entry were made using only the sun and one TriGrip.
It’s fairly simple to use, although it usually does require an assistant. I bought the one with the various “skins” you can put over it to control the light, although it’s now available in a deluxe kit with stand and all and I do not have that one. I’m not sure whether it wasn’t available then, or I decided against it for some reason.
Anyhow, my favorite way to use it is to place the subject such that they are side or backlit by the sun, with the sun definitely not shining in their eyes and then fill with the reflection from the TriGrip. It’s helpful to know the angle of incidence equals angle of reflection thing to speed the aiming, but essentially, you can watch where the big bright spot of light falls. The first time you use one of these outdoors, I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised how efficient it is. I know what really surprised me is how much difference it still makes when the sun is cloaked by clouds.
One little detail I learned the day I photographed the young man studying the raspberries (more on that in the next paragraph) is that I usually like to keep the assistant with the TriGrip close to me. If the reflection is coming from close to the camera it prevents the two light source look.
Now a little story about all the images but the one of the dog, my Labrador, Tawny. In the interest of getting some stock images I arranged with a then graduate student I knew to photograph him gathering data for his thesis. He was researching black raspberries for his thesis, so these images could cross over several keyword categories people might use in a search; science, student, agriculture. However, how I originally met this guy, Michael Dossett, gave another dimension to the shoot. He is also a photographer and we met because one day we happened to be photographing ducks in the same spot. This meant that Michael knew precisely what I needed. It was like working with a professional model as far as his knowledge of what would look good. In addition, he was able to provide additional guidance to my assistant in aiming the TriGrip.