Technique:  Shot Without Fill Flash?

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Photographers are gear heads.  If you gather a group of photographers for a photoshoot, it's almost as if it were a competition to see who has the most toys.

In our outdoor workshops, we try to discourage the use of artificial light.  But it's not an easy argument to win.  We always hear that a flash is needed to deal with shadows or add a catchlight to the eyes.

It's not always so.  If fact, it's seldom so.

Here, Christina was shot in the deep shade of a Banyan tree, with a bit of evening sun coming from camera right.  No flash.  No reflector.

We couldn't use a reflector.  By the time we were far enough back from the Banyan to catch the evening light, we were too far away to throw any significant amount of light back to the subject.

Notice the quality of the catchlight in the eyes; it's complex, interesting and definitely adequate.

In addition, because of the soft light of the open shade, the shading on the face is delicate and flattering.  That little bit of direct light in the hair definitely adds a touch.

I challenge you to try it.  Leave the flash in the car!

Posted May 14, 2016 at 1:02 pm.