Ambient Flashlighting.

Equipment list:

  • Elinchrom Quadra ranger FX kit
  • soft box
  • reflector
  • light meter

For the best outcome, reasonably dull lighting is required. If there is a lot of ambient light then the flash lighting will not be as strong.

You mainly use flash on location to: create drama within the scene by over powering the ambient light; lift the shadows; or to separate different parts of the image.

You can change the photograph dramatically by either overpowering the background by changing the shutter speed e.g 1/100 to 1/200 this makes the model darker and the background brighter by enhancing the ambient light. You can also you can increase the power by a full stop on the light.

By overpowering the ambient light you images will become more dramatic.

Compliment the ambient light to lift shadows.

Introduction of a secondary flash. You use this to add into the scene. To add more depth within the image. You can use colour gels to change the background or the whole image to change the feel of the photograph. Also you can use high since to dramatically change the photograph.

The first flash is to light the subject, and the second flash is to separate. Start by placing the first flash where you want it and how you want to light the subject. Then place the secondary flash afterwards.

How to use flash to create drama: Underexpose the ambient light a lot, this makes the background darker and you only light the subject. (take light meter reading and then lower the ISO.) Before you use the flash and take a picture of the subject in ambient light (a test shoot), the subject will be almost pitch black and the background will be a lot darker than the natural light.

How to use flash to lift shadows/ natural effect: use your light meter to read the correct meter reading and then set your camera, to where the subject will only be slightly underexposed. Then for your flash only use a low flash setting/ more subtle.


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