Here’s why you use proper lighting – with flash used for many outdoor shot too.
Say I shoot talented new model Anastasia outdoors using available light:
That is well exposed – but poorly lit. Even on an overcast day, there are shadows; no catch lights: not a great shot.
So now I do it again, with a big flash (a Bowens 400 Ws) with a softbox. I set the flash manually, using a light meter, as follows:
- First I meter, using the ambient light meter, for ambient light. I read, say, 1/100th second at f/8 at 100 ISO.
- I want the background to be darker than what I will light (remember Willem’s Dictum: “Bright Pixels Are Sharp Pixels”), so I actually set exposure to 1/250th second (still at f/8 at 100 ISO).
- I now switch the meter to flash meter mode. I set it to 100 ISO and 1/250th, and fire a test flash while holding the meter in the exact place the model will be. I adjust the flash level until the meter reads f/8.
That gives me this:
I think you will probably agree that this is a much better shot. And the procedure is simple. On an overcast day you can use speedlights too, if you prefer.