by Doug Box Published 01/11/2005
If your combined reading is higher than 1/2 stop more than the ambient reading, turn the flash down or move it back. If it is less than 1/2 stop more, turn it up or move it closer.
What are the pitfalls or problems when using this technique? First, you have no modelling light, so you have to know where to put the light, visually. The secret is to first place your camera where you want it to be when you capture the image. Then, have the subject turn their face where you want it for the image. (Are you photographing a full face view, 2.3 view or profile view of the face?)
Then, you will place the light for the view of the face you want to photograph. This is really not as hard as it sounds. If you want to short light a 2/3’s view of the face and you want the catch light in the 2 o’clock position, there is only one place for the light. A 45 degree angle from the nose.
The other problem or situation to watch out for is the size of the light source. As you know, the smaller the light source the harder the edge of the shadow; the larger or closer the light source the softer the light and shadow edge. I start with the soff box just out of the view of the camera. That will keep the shadow edge as soft as possible. That is why I try not to use the flash with a modifer to soften the light. Alone the plain flash can be too harsh. The soft box softens the light and makes it more pleasing.
For more information about Doug Box, especially his business, marketing, sales and promotion information, visit his web site, www.simplyselling.com
The web site for his clients is www.dougbox.com
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