Posts Tagged ‘lighting’

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

15 Sep

When it comes to lighting, there is an infinite choice on how you can light your portrait subjects. That’s great and it’s addicting, but when you are starting out it can also be overwhelming. To counter the inevitable information overload that you will get researching lighting, it is a good idea to know a few basic setups that you can fall back on should you be pressed for time or should you need a backup. This article will introduce you to a basic two light setup often called clamshell lighting.

It will provide you with a beautiful soft light with faint shadows and glorious catchlights. Clamshell lighting works very well and it is very flattering for men and women of all ages and it could be a very useful technique in your toolkit.
How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

What is clamshell lighting?

In a nutshell, clamshell lighting is a configuration where two lights are placed facing toward your subject at a 45-degree angle. Your key light is facing downwards at a 45-degree angle and your fill light is a facing upwards at a 45-degree angle. The resulting appearance of your lights from the side somewhat resembles an open clamshell (imagination may be required).

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Set-Up

Apologies for my stick figure skills, but here you can see just how easy clamshell lighting is to do.

If you start with your main light on axis (directly in front of your subject), raised up and pointed downward, you have a basic butterfly lighting set-up. Adding the second light from below serves as fill and eliminates any heavy shadows caused by the key light. This combination results in soft, flattering light that works well with almost any subject.

What you need

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Set-Up
To create a clamshell lighting setup, you need two light sources. If you have modifiers to soften your light, all the better, but as long as you have two light sources you can get started with clamshell lighting.

I do recommend starting with a pair of softboxes roughly the same size. Once you’ve mastered that, you can then start experimenting with other modifiers such as beauty dishes and strip boxes.

Setting it up

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup
Start with your key light (your main light source) and place it in front of your subject. Go closer for softer light and faster light fall off, or further away for a harder light. Place it above your subject, pointed directly at their nose. Meter for your desired aperture (we’ll use a hypothetical f/11 from this point) and take a test shot.

If everything is setup correctly you should have a decently lit image with deep shadows under your subject’s nose and chin.

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

Now, take your fill light and place it directly underneath your key light. Point it upwards toward your subject at 45-degrees and meter this light for two stops below your preferred aperture, which would result in f/5.6 for our hypothetical aperture of f/11. If the effect is too strong and your fill light is obliterating the shadows, turn the power down. If it isn’t doing enough, turn it up. The main thing to look out for is that you need to ensure that your fill light is not overpowering your key light. This would result in your image being lit from below with your shadows being filled in from above. This is not a good look to go for.

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

What to watch out for

The main thing to look out for is that you need to ensure that your fill light is not overpowering your key light. This would result in your image being lit from below with your shadows being filled in from above. This is not a good look.

Now that you have two lights sharing the same vertical space, stand behind them and shoot through the gap. If there isn’t much of a gap, raise and/or lower both of your lights (change the angle of each and take another meter reading if you need to) until you have enough room to work in the middle.

That’s all there is to it. Clamshell lighting is really is easy to set up and with a bit of practice you will be able to get it up and running in a couple of minutes.

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

Note: The softbox at camera left is NOT on so isn’t doing anything.


Although I suggested using two evenly sized softboxes, to begin with, that is by no means a restriction of any kind. Feel free to use any kind of modifier you want and experiment liberally. Have a pair of strip boxes you want to use? Go for it. Do you want to use a beauty dish as your key light and an umbrella as fill? Sure. How about a snoot and a small soft box? Absolutely. Use what you have at hand.>

Also, you are not limited to just using two lights from the front. Feel free to add rim and hair lights and a background light as your images require.


How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

This image included a third light serving as a background light.

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup

How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup


If you’ve made it this far, hopefully, you can see how useful a basic clamshell lighting setup is, and how it might serve you. It’s easy, fairly compact and produces lovely, flattering light. If you’re still not sure, I urge you to try it for yourself. You may very well fall in love with it.

The post How to do Clamshell Lighting: A Reliable Two Light Setup by John McIntire appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Lighting 103: How Designers Gel Live Performances

09 Sep

Abstract: A dynamic, 3-D scene and hundreds of sources—a talk with a theatrical lighting designer

Photo ©Lucas Krech

Today in Lighting 103, a little side trip. Fair warning: we are taking a bit of a deep dive. For some of you this will make your eyes glaze over. But for others, it'll be a very cool look into the way live performance lighting designers think with respect to color.

No worries; we'll be back in the center of the bell curve in the next installment.

A Chat with Lucas Krech

New York-based Lucas Krech is a lighting designer who works with operas, dances, plays and performance pieces. He is also is a photographer, which is how we originally intersected via Twitter.

A ways back, I wrote to him to find out a little more about how people approach the process of lighting live performances. What I got back was basically a firehose/brain dump that gave me a fascinating look into how he thinks. Read more »

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Spekular is a modular LED lighting system you can reshape to suit your needs

01 Sep

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Spiffy Gear, the company behind the Light Blaster strobe projector, is back with another accessory for photographers and videographers who want a lighting solution that can conform to every shooting situation. It’s called Spekular, and Spiffy is calling it “the Swiss army knife of LED lighting.”

Spekular consists of four ultra-bright, color-accurate LED strips that can be arranged in whatever configuration suits your shooting needs. Each of the four LED lights boasts a dimmable, flicker-free 14.5 watts of power (~150W halogen) with color accuracy guaranteed (94+ CRI and 96+ TLCI).

Here’s a quick intro video so you can see the lights in action:

And here are a few sample shots, all captured with the Spekular arranged in one of its various configurations (Note: the star shape requires an additional four-light ‘expansion kit’ and star adapter):

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Spiffy is branding the Spekular as ‘the only light you need,’ and while we’re always a bit skeptical of grand claims, the modular design and attention to technical detail certainly make it a unique lighting option.

You can find out more about Spekular on the Spiffy Gear website, where you can order the standard 4-light kit for $ 650, the 4-light extension for $ 130, a battery adapter (in case the power goes) also for $ 130, and that Star Adapter for, you guessed it, $ 130.

Press Release

Spekular from Spiffy Gear is the Swiss army knife of LED lighting for photo and video.

SUMMARY: Spekular is a modular LED lighting system for videographers and photographers. It is a collection of light bars with high brightness and unparalelled color accuracy. The system drastically reduces the number of accessories needed to create professional lighting setups.

31 August 2017 – Today, Spiffy Gear launches the $ 650 Spekular, a flexible, modular LED lighting system for videographers and photographers. Spekular adapts into different lighting modifiers, such as light strips, soft boxes or shaped lights for creative effects.. This reduces the amount of gear needed to be carried to shoots. Spekular can be configured as a ring, a square, a strip, a star, a “standard” panel, and many more configurations.

Using the attachment options in the Spekular kit, discerning lighting artists can configure the light into different shapes to create different looks, adapt to different situations, and add flair to portraits by adding eye-catching catch lights.

Spekular is extremely bright. Each of the LEDs sections provides 14.5W of light (the equivalent of around 150W of halogen light). And there are four of them. This kit delivers as much power as four “standard” LED panels, so you have to carry less to light more.

Spekular is fully dimmable for further lighting flexibility, without any of the flickering typically associated with dimmable LED light sources. The LED bars do all of this while maintaining a perfect color rendition to save you time in post-production. (94+ CRI and 96+ TLCI).

The kit is extremely sturdy and hard-wearing. It can withstand the hard, unrelenting abuse of a typical professional photo or video shoot. Its aluminum sections and tough ABS connectors will keep going, day after grueling day.

“Spekular will enable photographers and videographers to tell their stories while paying less, carrying less and having more lighting options, says Udi Tirosh, CEO at Spiffy Gear.

The Spekular Ecosystem

At launch, Spekular is part of an extendable kit, with accessories to add even more flexibility.

The Spekular kit is the core kit to get you started with Spekular. It consists of four LED light sections, four hinged connectors and mounting gear, all packed in a handy carrying case. This kit provides more than 5,000 luminous flux of light.

The optional Spekular Star Adapter enables you to configure the Spekular kit into an eight-section star with a hole in the middle. The hole is big enough to shoot through, making some creative lighting options possible.

The optional Spekular Extension Kit unlocks even more ways to use Spekular. It enables using one kit as a three points lighting system, create complex lighting schemes, and create long seamless strips.

The Spekular Battery Adapter makes the Spekular kit usable anywhere in the world. Use any DTAP-enabled battery to power the kit – no need to be plugged into a wall socket. The battery adapter includes a mounting bag that connects to a light stands for easy access.

Pricing and Availability

Spekular is available starting today at and at selected photography retailers.

  • Spekular kit: $ 650
  • Spekular Star Adapter: $ 130
  • Spekular Extension Kit: $ 130
  • Spekular Battery Adapter: $ 130

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Major Updates to Strobist Lighting Kits

23 Aug

Strobist lighting kits are the modern day version of the basic speedlight-based setup I carried on my daily newspaper assigments for the better part of 20 years.

Over the past ten years, the recommended kit has gone through several evolutions. But recently there have been significant updates to several of the components (and a cool addition) making the kit better now than at any other time. I thought the updates merited a shoutout.

The kits are built around the idea of strong value with thoughtfully chosen components, many with unique features. All components carry best-in-class warranties, and can be expected to give you good service for years. If I was talking to myself as a 20-year-old, I’d advise me to get this before even buying a second lens.

The lighting kits come in several variations: Single with flash, single without flash, two-light version (two of everthing; but one remote) and add-a flash (one of everything, no remote).

Current components are as follows, with updates/additions noted:

Flash: LP180

The LumoPro LP180 is basically a bullet-proof (not literally, but relatively) manual flash that comes with the stuff you need, without the bells and whistles that you don’t.

Notable features include four-way sync, 1/1 – 1/128 manual power, variable slave, selectable ready tone, smart thermal protection, power equal to or greater than OEM flagship flashes, 1/4″x20 side mount and built-in gel clips. (It also includes a gel kit that covers the most commonly used CC and theatrical colors.)

Build quality of the LP180 borders on ridiculous. (One was famously destroyed in the field by a leopard. It was replaced.)

Warranty: twice as long as OEM flagships.

Price: one-third of OEM flagships.

Remote: Phottix Ares Original Model

A legit remote trigger for not much more than the cost of a sync cord. Features include: AA-powered (no weird batteries to find) 8 channels, hot-shoe based mount and excellent reliability. Backed by a two-year warranty.

I have been teaching with (and using) these remotes for several years now. They are solid.

Stand: LP605S

Recently updated; best in class. The LP605S is the classic, 5-section compact stand — except beefier build, and with a couple of unique added features.

One, it comes with folding ground spikes that will add to stability when used outside. Un-sandbagged umbrellas are always a risk in wind. But you can at least spike this stand and use bare flashes outdoors in a stiff breeze.

Two, the LP605S come predrilled for a strap, and includes the strap. This is somethng I DIY’d for many years, and the idea has now found its way to what was already the best compact stand on the market.

Umbrella: LumoPro 3-in-1 Double Fold

Recently swapped; best in class. Functionally similar to my older Westcotts, but with better build quality, more durability and added features.

The LP version gives you the choice of the best umbrella surface for any given job. It converts from white shoot-thru, to white reflective (black-backed) and silver reflective.

Unlike most double-folds, LP 3-in-1 umbrellas do not feel like fragile little flowers right out of the box. They are more substantial, and have lasted far longer than other models in daily use.

They also come with a slip case the does not make it feel like your umbrella is trying to squeeze into skinny jeans every time you try to case it.

Swivel: LP679-v2

Recently updated; best in class.

Finally, someone has nailed the swivel. The 679-v2 has all of the things common sense dictates in a swivel: removable cold shoe, big arm/smooth hinge, and a cold shoe post lockdown that does not bump up against your flash.

The recent improvement that sets it apart is in the umbrella lockdown screw. It is big and knurled. God only knows why, but most every other swivel I have seen puts a tiny thumb-mangler lockdown nub there. Why?

The LP679-v2 is LumoPro listening to photographers’ upstream suggestions. As a result it is much better in practical use, comparatively speaking, than other swivels.

Bonus: Lighting in Layers

Lighting in Layers was a 6-DVD, 8-hour video tutorial series that sold for $ 159.99 from 2011 to 2016. (Full info here.) After six printings, the idea of physical DVDs had run its course. And since those DVDs had been very good to our family, I wanted to pay it forward to the next generation of lighting photographers.

So, all versions of the Jumpstarter kits purchased directly from Midwest Photo now include SD or thumbdrive versions of the Lighting in Layers video series. This is especially cool because one of the Jumpstarter kit versions (single/no flash) actually sells for less than the original cost of the DVDs.


Jumpstarter kits are available both on Amazon (finally!) and directly from Midwest Photo. Only the kits purchased directly from Midwest Photo include the video series. So if the video is important to you, choose Midwest. If not, you can go the easy two-click route through Amazon.

And A Case

All Jumpstarter kits (except Add a Light kit, which presumes you already have a case) include a padded shoulder case that big enough to hold a two-light kit and various odds and ends.

A Caveat for Sony Users

If you are a Sony user, your camera may have a non-standard hot shoe. Sigh. Thanks Sony. Which means that this flash and remote (and, sadly, many other lighting components) may not fit your camera.

Fortunately, there are workarounds. Sony shooters are advised to email Midwest Photo and they will step you through any adapters you may need.

Different Versions / Where to Buy

The Jumpstarter kits are now also available via Amazon, which makes for a super-easy (two clicks) way to order. If you go that route, understand that the Amazon versions do not come with the lighting videos. That is a Midwest Photo in-store exclusive. Other that that, they are identical to the Midwest versions.

• If you already own a flash, single version without flash:

Midwest Photo (includes Lighting in Layers video): $ 147.99

Amazon, DOES NOT INCLUDE VIDEO: $ 147.99

• Single version, includes LP180 flash:

Midwest Photo (includes Lighting in Layers video): $ 276.99

Amazon, DOES NOT INCLUDE VIDEO: $ 276.99

• Two-light kit (portable, wireless 2-light studio, professional quality, for less than the cost of a single Nikon or Canon flagship flash):

Midwest Photo (includes Lighting in Layers video): $ 479.99

• Single add-a-light kit (includes flash but no remote or case):

Midwest Photo (includes Lighting in Layers video): $ 203.00

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Video: Six lighting tips for flash photography newbies

22 Aug

If you’re taking our advice from this morning and buying your first flash soon, a few beginner tips on mixing flash with ambient light will really help you take advantage of your new gear. Enter Mango Street’s Daniel Inskeep and Rachel Gulotta, who teamed up with photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco to share just that.

Mango Street is known for their simple tutorials targeted at beginners, but they mainly use natural light for their photography. So when the topic turned to artificial lighting, they asked DeArco to come on and share some advice. Over the course of two videos, DeArco offers six different tips for getting great results when you mix artificial and natural light.

Video 1

  1. Keep it Simple: Prioritize one light source first. In this case, DeArco prioritizes the natural light.
  2. Have a go-to hard light and soft light setup
  3. Experiment: Knowledge of studio lighting will make you a more well-rounded photographer

Video 2

  1. Use a strobe + reflector as a fill light on your subject to avoid blowing out your background
  2. Look for sun reflecting off buildings to provide a hair light and use your favorite strobe and modifier as a fill
  3. Use a blocked or just-out-of-frame strobe to fake a sunset if you miss golden hour

If you found the tutorials helpful, you can see more from both Mango Street and DeArco on YouTube. And if you’re inspired by these techniques, check out our OpEd from this morning on why your next gear purchase should be a flash, not a new lens:

Don’t buy another lens, buy a flash instead

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Lighting 103: Developing a Framework

18 Aug

Abstract: Think about the reasons behind the color of your lights, and your palette will often take care of itself.

When you are placing a light source, it's pretty normal to ask yourself, "What color should this light be?"

If you step back a moment and think, the answer will often present itself. A better question to ask is, "What color would this light be?" Read more »

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Lighting 103: Learning From Your Couch

04 Aug

Abstract: Don't just look to still photos for inspiration. Great inspiration also awaits you on your TV.

We may think we are getting a good feel for color as photographers. But you know who kicks still photographers' butts every day? Cinematographers, that's who.

Today, a look at some examples from 2010-era Dr. Who, which we have talked about on this blog before. These guys are near and dear to my heart, because they are unabashedly fearless when it comes to using color to manipulate light—and their viewers. Read more »

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How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

27 Jul

Wildlife photography is one of the fastest growing hobbies today. With DSLR and lenses getting cheaper by the minute, it is only bound to grow faster. With more and more people taking to wildlife photography as a means to connect with nature and share its beauties, it’s become imperative that you start pushing the bar of your photography ever higher. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is to try out rim lighting shots. If you do not know what that means, you are on the right page – keep reading.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

There are many ways to get creative with your wildlife photography, but in this article I will teach you one of the most impactful. Let’s start with getting to know rim lighting a little better.

What is rim lighting?

By definition, rim lighting in photography means any image where the light at the edges of the subject seems more intense than the other areas. For example, take a look at the image below.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Notice how the outline of the giraffes stands out? The rim of the subject looks well-lit. Quite simply, that’s what rim lighting is about.

How do you achieve rim lighting?

First and foremost, you need to position yourself such that the subject stands between your camera and the light source (more often than not, that will be the sun in nature photography). Rim lighting will happen in the natural world only if you can see the rim, lit up with your eyes. Some of the easiest subjects for this are animals that have a lot of fur and are not too smooth coated, for example, bears, giraffes, lions, or deer with antlers.

Take a look at the visual below for a quick understanding on positioning yourself.



There are a few guidelines that you need to adhere to while trying to obtain a rim-lit image:

  • Rim lighting happens best when the sun is low in the sky, so try to look for a subject around that time.
  • A dark background is necessary (check all the images in this article) so make sure that you try this in an area where your background is conducive to good results.

Speaking about the camera now, composition aside, rim-lit photography can be done using one of two approaches.

Approach #1 – Exposure Compensation

Using exposure compensation is the easiest way to execute rim-lit shots. Once you have ensured that you are able to see a rim-lit subject just go ahead and try a test shot with a little underexposure. Take a look at the sequence of images below.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Make note, by default when using the built-in metering system in your camera, more often than not the image in such scenarios (a lot of black and little bit of white) will turn out to be a bit washed out. It is just that the camera does not know what is the most important part of the image and makes an error in judgement (it tries to average the exposure).

Knowing where to stop with regards to exposure compensation is a subjective call. You could be happy with the second or the third image above. Just know that the more you underexpose the darker the surroundings will get.

This is a perfectly valid way of getting a rim-lit shot, but I generally recommend the second approach. The simple reason being that exposure compensation doesn’t reset itself. If you forget your camera is set at an EV of -2, it would mean disaster for the next few shots where you may not be trying to create a rim lighting shot.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Approach #2 – Exposure Lock (AE-L)

This approach is slightly more advanced in terms of understanding. Imagine yourself standing in front of a monkey with the sun setting behind him and the immediate background being dark trees. Now, do the following:

  • Point your camera toward the sky. Half press your shutter-release button to activate metering.
  • Next, press the Exposure Lock Button (AE-L or * button) which often resides right where your right-hand thumb would rest.
  • Now, recompose your image with the subject as needed and click.

What happens is that when you point your camera towards the sky and ask it to meter from there, it takes a light reading from the bright sky and sets up a shutter/aperture combination accordingly. Let’s assume for a minute that the value came out to be 1/2000th at f/4.

Now, if you press the Exposure Lock button, the camera will lock on to these readings and will not change them for your next set of clicks. So when you recompose and photograph the monkey, the camera uses the locked in settings thus rendering only the areas in the frame that are as bright as the sky correctly. In this recomposed image, the only area that is as bright as the sky is the outline of the monkey, giving you a nice, well exposed rim-lit image.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Practice around home first

Go ahead, practice the AE-L at home and then get out there and try a couple of rim-lit shots. Here is what you can do at home, before heading out to the wild.

Catch hold of a friend or family member and make them stand in front of a car at night. They should be covering the headlight of the car completely. If you stand at the other end with your friend in between yourself and the light source, you should be able to see his entire body with rim lighting.

Now that you know how to get a subject, go out there with your camera and start trying the exposure compensation trick to get some fabulous rim-lit images. Please share your rim-lit wildlife images below as well as any questions you may have about this technique.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

The post How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting by Rahul Sachdev appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Lighting 103: Use Color to Evoke Time and Place

21 Jul

It can be scary to add a lot of color to your light. But it’s easy to underestimate how much color it takes to transform a scene and set a mood. Don’t be shy. Those gels won’t bite.

This nighttime portrait of soprano Alexandra Rodrick was a big step for me. It was made about five years ago, when I was just starting to realize how color-fluid real light could be. I kinda knew it, but I still didn’t have the nerve to actually do it.

So I took a deep breath and threw way more blue into the environment than I normally would. And not only did I come out alive on the other side, but I ended up pretty happy.

I prevsiouly wrote in more detail about how we made the photo in On Assignment. It’s a two-part post, if you’re interested. So I won’t fully rehash that here.

We wanted to evoke nighttime, but you can’t really shoot this photo at night. Especially with the PhaseOne camera I shot this with. (You can see a full-sized version here.) The Phase effectively maxes out at ISO 100, and we wanted to get some depth and detail going way back into the scene. So we shot at twilight, and underexposed the ambient before adding three light sources into the mix.

Looking back, this photo was big leap forward for me. I took a chance and pushed a lot of CTB into the scene—full CTB, to be exact. We had to move the lights way back to light the scene evenly. In fact, here’s my fill light coming from my second floor dining room, here:

Before this point, I would have weenied around with a 1/2 CTB, or even a 1/4 CTB.
The result would have been very much muted. Safer, maybe. But not nearly as evocative.

This is the first time I had really tried to connote the feeling of full night in a photo and actually had been willing to push some real color. Am I fully happy with it now? Not totally, and more on that in a minute.

But my advice is, while it is very tempting to try partial/interim color shifts, do yourself a favor and experiment with pushing some real color density into your frame. You may be pleasantly surprised at the result.

In the past I tried lesser color densities and ended up with pictures that were okay, but didn’t really live up to what I pictured in my mind’s eye. (Fortunately, no one else had access to my mind’s eye, so my comparative failures were private affairs.)

What I am learning going forward is that the 1/4- and 1/2-measure color shifts come across as subtle in the final image. In fact, in many cases they would only be noticeable in their absence via side-by-side comparison.

And that subtlety is actually pretty cool and useful. Because as we have seen with portraiture, you can define what is in shadow with color as much as you can with density.

Think about it. By using a 1/2 CTB (maybe with a little green in there) in the shadows of a portrait against a 1/2 CTO key light in the highlights, you are defining shadows with color as much as you are with light levels.

This means you can not only get a more evocative palette of light on your subject, but you can vastly expand the range of visible detail in your photo. Because it is the color of light that is informing you in the shadow, rather than a harsher underexposure—and a corresponding lack of detail.

Our brain reads that relatively subtle blue shift also as signaling the transition to shadow. So if you are going to shift a whole scene to evoke a time and place—night in the woods, for instance—you’d better be willing to bring more color density to the party.

Don’t be shy. Take a chance. You can always back off if you don’t like it.

What I Would Do Differently Now

Back to Alexandra, I look at this frame and see that I was being relatively couragious (for me, then) in some parts of the photo, and a weenie in other parts.

Let’s talk about the light on her face, courtesy a 1/4 CTO’d speedlight in a China ball.

Yes, it separates from all that blue night woodsy light. But why is it warm? I told myself at the time that it felt more theatrical (warm spotlight in cool environment and all). But really, it was also me long being comfortable throwing a warm light at my subject’s face.

If I were shooting this today, I’d be more looking to integrate that key light into the scene. Less spotlight, more moonlight. As if she was catching a moon ray in the clearing.

I’d probably start with a 1/4 CTB. Cool her down, but but as much as the night woods. After all, moonlight is just reflected daylight.

And to that 1/4 CTB, I might consider adding a little green. Maybe 1/4 PlusGreen? Dunno, until I try it. But the idea would be to blend the moonlight with the influence of the green grass and leaves that would be filtering/reflecting it.

Would it be scary to try? Yeah, a little. I’m not used to blue-green faces in my photos. Not even a little bit. But it wouldn’t be nearly as scary now as it would have been for me back in 2012.

And to be honest, 2017 me thinks the slight blue-green face would look better. Which is the point of taking chances with your light, finding new things that work and the result being growth as a photographer.

This is the most recent post in Strobist’s Lighting 103 module. New installments publish on the first and third Thursday of each month. If you would like to be notified as they become available, please sign up here.

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Bye bye Bowens: The 94-year-old lighting company is going into liquidation

17 Jul

Lighting giant Bowens, a company with 94 years of history and millions of customers under its belt, has entered liquidation. The news has not been officially confirmed by Bowens or Aurelius, the investment firm that acquired the company one year ago, but several independent sources have corroborated the story.

Initial reports of Bowens’ downfall appeared on DIYPhotography, who heard from one inside source and confirmed with two others on Friday that the company has indeed entered liquidation. On Sunday, photography blog PetaPixel confirmed the news a fourth time, after they received an email from another “source familiar with the situation.”

“All UK staff (including China factory) were informed that the company is going into liquidation,” the source told PetaPixel. “We were aware the company was facing problems and have all been working long days to pull company through a hard time, but we never thought it would end.”

With pressure from fast-growing lighting brands like Godox, and big-name brands in the photo world going out of business at regular intervals, the disappointing news is not, alas, surprising. But no amount of regularity ever makes this kind of news easier to report on or read. If anything, it only gets harder.

At the time of this writing, Bowens International’s contact form is no longer accepting submissions. We will update this post if and when we are able to reach someone at Bowens for official confirmation.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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