Balancing light

One subject photographers need to learn all about it balancing light. In particular, I mean balancing background light with foreground light.

If you take one of my workshops I’ll teach you all about “overpowering the sun”.

As an illustration of that, three years ago almost to the day I took a few snaps of my son in Army Cadet uniform. The sky was mid-day light blue, but I used three off-camera flashes, two of which were in umbrellas and one was direct, to overpower the sun and make the sky dark:

I used the 5D in manual exposure mode, set to -3 stops from ambient, and used TTL metered flash. Piece of cake. And yes, remote flash using light control does work in super bright sunlight, as long as you keep line of sight between the master and slave flashes.

Can you also see that for this portrait I used a very wide lens? Even though you are not supposed to do that for portraits? That is because it is a situational portrait. Where the environment is as important as the subject. Just keep your subject’s face away from the edges – centre, or near the centre, is good.

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