Assignment with lights

The other day, I gave a student an assignment: shoot a picture where, using dramatic light, you tell a story, using flash. This means not lighting parts is as important as lighting them. And it means that you tell the story by not showing things as much as by showing them.

Here is her resulting image:

"Broken Hearted", By Mel McBride

She used TTL flash. The main light (on our right, of course) was an SB-900 with a Honl Photo Traveller 8 Softbox, and the hairlight is an 8″ snooted SB600.

So using TTL, Melony would have:

  • Used flash exposure compensation (minus!) to ensure not too much light.
  • Positioned the lights carefully.
  • Watched the shadows.
  • Avoided lighting the background – hence the snoot andf the carefully aimed softbox.
  • Thought about her story!

And that last point is important: what you shoot is actually as important as how you shoot it! And what you shoot is determined by how you shoot. Complicated? No, simple, actually.

The story: a depressed teenager with an iPhone – you can guess the blanks, I think?

A job well done. Those of you who like assignments: do the same. A dramatically lit image that tells a story. See how you do!

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