Saturday, June 7, 2014

Balancing Act

If you've been following my work recently, you know I've been using a lot of artificial light these days. When I first started out I pretty much only shot natural light because it's cheap and convenient. My first step in off camera lighting was in the form of two Photoflex Starflash 650w strobes. Up next was four Speedlite flash units. After plenty of trial and error (about a year) I can finally say, I am beginning to fully wrap my head around flash photography. There is something special about being able to control all lighting aspects of the background and subject. Coming from a style where you're constantly on the fly to changing conditions, this was a huge departure. I used to think, "well this is an awesome place to shoot, guess I'll have to come back when the lighting is good." Now I say fuck that, if there is no good light, bring it with you. This allows you to vary the style in which to capture the subject. There are many ways to use flash in that sense and I happen to like dark dramatic images. I think a balance of hard light (no modifier or diffused light) and soft light (diffused or modified) is a good balance. The hard light creates drama while the softer side is for flattering certain features (face mostly). There is something special about a killer shadow placed nicely that transitions into a creamy highlight. When it comes to using strobes, speedlites, modifiers, and overall manipulation of light. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Add or remove light to personal taste, do what looks good to you. This set of photos was taken in Tucson, AZ in an area called Tanuri hills. The mountain range visible is the Santa Catalinas. Overall it was a great shoot with Vanessa, like always, and I think the images do well to illustrate how far I've come since I first started using off camera lighting. Until next time.

Hola Vanessa

Straight Fire

Southern Stunner
Color in the desert

Sunset Silhouette

Statue Style a la Garden of Versailles

Behind the scenes lighting, two 650w strobes and three speedlites

21mm,  1/80s,  F/5.0,  ISO 100

Clear Winner



  1. These are beautiful

    1. Thank you very much, a lot of hard work went into these