C&C appreciated - Basics balancing ambient and flash...

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Photos thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: And then there's this . . .

bravozulu wrote:

i do a lot of product photography. And usually bounce the flash (on a flash bracket). But a lot of times I use an off-camera flash in a softbox. This is usually in my dining room, and so if I want fill light and it is daytime, the open window and sunlight match the WB color of the flash.

If it is night and want fill, I set a large white piece of cardboard in a chair opposite the flash. Then,  to eliminate off-color light from the room lights overhead, I just increase the shutter speed and and stop down the lens. This eliminates stray ambient light.

There is a reason that professional photo studios typically have matte black walls and ceiling. My wife worked at Warner Brothers studios for years. You have to kill unwanted, stray light sources.

Professional photographic studios do NOT have matte black walls and ceiling. The usual colour is white, to encourage bounce around, and to provide bounce surfaces without having to erect them specially. As a concession for very small studios, light grey may be used.

The Warner Brothers studio being black would be for technical reasons associated with the film industry, rather than a straightforward lighting requirement.... for instance, when using a background projection system, Transflex Front Projection, say, when bounce around is unhelpful because it reduces contrast in the screen.

If a photographer makes the mistake of painting his studio black, because he thinks it will give "more control," he will simply find that his studio work costs more in equipment and electricity, and that he is working in a more cluttered space. This is because, without any bounce around whatsoever, he will have to make up the lack by buying, erecting and  plugging-in, more lights !!

Also, when the mistake is recognised, it costs quite a lot of money to overpaint black with sufficient COATS of white to prevent the black paint from showing through! Oh yes!

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"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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