Sunday, December 8, 2013

Balancing Ambient Light With Stobes

Locations are always an interesting challenge when it comes to lighting. Recently I have been photographing a lot of locations and luckily for me there has been plenty of mixed lighting situations! There is the beautiful sunlight outside and, the tungsten and florescent bulbs inside with different colour temperatures. Add this to the fact that there are no lights in the middle of the room only on the sides. Take a look at the Photo 1 below for to get a sense of what I was seeing.

 The first image is with ambient light. There is the yellow light on camera right and there is evening setting sun on the outside. If we use ambient light the image does not have a lot of punch. The image has less contrast and the colours are all off.  I wanted to keep the curtains open to show the outside.

Photo 1: Ambient Light

The Photo below (Photo 2)below is the same photo but there are four lights which have been used to make the exposure. There is one on camera left. A studio strobe with a 30 degree grid on it. The second light is between the bed and the wall . There was a fall off light to the middle of the room from the light coming from the big strobe. To bring it up exposure I added a small flash at half power and the exposure next to the flower vase came up. The next light is next to the right curtain. This was to add a bit of light to the curtain. The flash was a quarter power. It was more to highlight the curtain than do anything else. There last artificial light is on camera left next to the curtain on the right. This was to simulate a light coming in from the hallway. This again is a big flash with a 30 degree grid on it.
Photo 2: Use Of Flash And Balanced With Ambient Light
When all these lights work together the room looks like a natural shot which is due to the natural light coming from outside the balcony. Since flashes are daylight balanced or nearly that the outside gets a bit of orange due to the setting sun. This light was a major source of light and in Photo 1 and was blowing out but not so in the second photo as the overall exposure of the room was raised and matched with that of the outside.

More in an upcoming post on balancing ambient with flash. Until then happy shooting.