Why use artificial light?

In yesterday’s post, I talked about making “hyper-real” images by using light coming from unexpected directions.

Today, another reason to use artificial light in photos: because the available light is too contrasty.

Here’s a picture of a model last Sunday in available light in the forest. Horrible contrast: pretty girl and great model, but not a picture I would use:

A model in natural light, photographed by Michael Willems

A model in natural light, in the forest

No, that just will not do.

Instead, let’s use a strobe in a softbox, and a gridded light as hairlight. Now we get:

A model in outdoors studio light, photographed by Michael Willems

A model in outdoors studio light

You can easily see how much nicer that is. The soft strobe light overpowers the sun, and removes the harshness and the contrasty nature of the available light. It also allows me to decrease the exposure of the background.

So next time you see a photographer lugging light stands and batteries and cables and such, you know why.

0 thoughts on “Why use artificial light?

  1. Hello Michael,
    Great 2nd photo of the model!

    I have one question, this happen when photographing people with glasses, you can see reflection in the glass, this case you see the softbox.
    Is there a way you can position the softbox that you don’t get the reflection but still the same effect?

  2. Pingback: D154: Barred « SimplyKuni

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