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Fluid Ideas - Stuart Wood - part 3 of 1 2 3

by Stuart Wood Published 01/06/2015

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We removed the large reflector to the right and nearest to the main subject area and increased the power of the Elinchrom light that had moments earlier, been bounced from the reflector and simply kept it pointing into the rest of the room. In effect, the room lit by the light now becomes a light source and the light returning back is so beautifully soft that it simply does not look artificial.

One word of warning here! If the rest of the room happens to be uniformly painted in a bright colour, or indeed a brightly coloured wall is the only object staring back at you, then that very colour will return back to light your subject! Usually, rooms are made up of a collection of pretty neutrally coloured objects and this is literally reflected in the quality of the light returned back.

This is nothing more than a variation on the theme of 'on-camera' flash reflected back when the guy from the local fish wrapper turns up for his usual couple of minutes and points his light at practically anything OTHER than his subject.


It always amazes me that, other than making some dangerous pact with Satan himself, how they somehow still manage to get the desired effect even in dark foreboding cavernous spaces such as the Albert Hall where they nonchalantly launch their timid little light into the void, like some photon version of the Voyager space probe and yet apparently still yield results from the returning bounced light. It also amazes me how they do all this with impossible recycling times that hardly trouble the circuitry within their flash guns and whereas mine would be whistling for the next half hour trying to muster enough strength to have another go, they are popping away like the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan! So, we repositioned our light to now point in an upward direction, ensuring that the light reflected back would come from above and look far more natural.

With our subjects still in a suitably jocular mood and after sorting out all the technical issues, we then turned our attentions to creating exactly the sort of image that the brief had described and after the images had been later presented to the client, Phil of Fluid Ideas came back with the very reassuring news of how well they had been received!


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1st Published 01/06/2015
last update 06/11/2019 11:05:58

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