Best type of light for portaiture?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Best type of light for portraiture?

Lena Hale wrote:

What exactly do you guys mean when you say "overpower the sun"? I'll be shooting indoors and the windows let in just an average amount of light, almost none with the blinds pulled down, so do I really need to worry about 'overpowering the sun'?

When setting up your lighting, Lena, it is important to turn off all other lighting if you can, so it is only the modelling lights you see.

This is critical to the business of evaluating what you are doing with your lights, (as you do it). You do not want ambient light contaminating the set and misleading you. The idea is to work by the modelling lights alone, which is why you need them strong enough to shine through modifiers, if in use (200-watts). That is the way the pros do it, and there is even MORE reason for you to do it that way, because (sorry to bang on about this) you are learning.

When you have got a "feel" for light positioning which is solid enough to hold up when you have no modelling lights to assist you, then you'll be in a better position to get respectable results outdoors, where modelling lights are insufficiently strong to show up against the daylight. Indeed, unless it is dusk, you might as well turn modelling lights off completely ... I do. it makes the power of the battery pack last much longer.

"Overpowering the sun" is an outdoor technique where the settings are adjusted to make the flash appear stronger than the ambient daylight. There is a big fad for this effect at present, now that sufficiently powerful battery packs are available to fire up studio flashes remote from mains electricity. When the flash lights are used effectively, as if in a studio, very dramatic results can be achieved.

Of course, you still need to learn how to BE effective with lights...

.. and it is my opinion that that skill is best learned in the studio, with modelling lights you can see, and without ambient light interfering with seeing them.

-- hide signature --

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

 Barrie Davis's gear list:Barrie Davis's gear list
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow