(1 to 100 of 122 replies)
strobist PRO 4:21am, 9 July 2007
This is the discussion thread for the 2.1 section of Lighting 102.
(1 to 100 of 122 replies)
Rettop 10 years ago
Where's the post ?
;) Just kidding !!

Have a good night.
strobist PRO 10 years ago
Working on it as you sleep...
Antti_Hirviniemi 10 years ago
We are more awake than you'd think =)
strobist PRO 10 years ago
Well, get readin' pal... I am going to sleep!
S. Denny 10 years ago
mnorri PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by mnorri (member) 10 years ago
SB800 with a minimal sized bond paper diffuser. Flash power decreased to maintain a fairly constant exposure, until I had to up the ISO and open the aperture up to (about 1/2-2/3 of the way through). I had a background set up (not sure why?) and at the longer distances, I think that was bouncing back the flash and washing out the shadow.
2007-07-09 Lighting 201 2-1 Summary Apparent Size rough Ever polish a blueberry? Should I repeat it with a black reflector instead of the yellow construction paper?
Karl Otto 10 years ago
I am just wondering... I have a single sb-600. Will i be needing a second flash for this course? When so? Umbrellas/softboxes, will i need to purchase some? Thanks for a niiiice new hobby of mine :)
Antti_Hirviniemi Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Antti_Hirviniemi (member) 10 years ago
here's my try. Frankly say, i kind of expected a bigger difference. =)

Stobist Practice - Apparent Light Size

I don't *voila - did not know until Karl helped me out* know how to embed it here. Could someone help me out? *thanks karl.*
CDB Photo Posted 10 years ago. Edited by CDB Photo (member) 10 years ago
Here's my take on this using a white shoot through umbrella. Flash power reduced as I moved closer.

Most of the difference is seen between shot 1 and 2, with the highlight on the left of the onion clearly changing. After that the changes get more subtle. I think this is because the light source is already quite large for the onion and getting closer doesn't make a big difference.

dannett_aus Posted 10 years ago. Edited by dannett_aus (member) 10 years ago
Just wondering if most of the examples used thus far have too small a pice of fruit to make a substantial difference in the softness of the light? Like David said a bare speedlight looks huge to a hot wheels car and if I am not wrong cheeries and blueberries are a little smaller than the car ;)

Sorry I don't mean to knock with out participating but I will as soon as my gear arrives.

edit: participate that is.
dalyswe 10 years ago
Here's my take on it.

Johannes Berghoff 10 years ago

here's my contribution: I basically took several shots with a softbox and bare flash only. The flash is all the time left to the object. The first two pictures were taken with the softbox close (10cm) and far (around 2 meters). The two last shots were taken with the bare flash only, distance around 30-40 cm, only changed the zoom position from 24mm to 85mm. The bare flash shot with 24mm close to the object was my biggest surprise of the day, because I've imagined it to come out a lot harsher in terms of shadows than this.

Sofbox close:

Softbox far:

Bare 24mm:

Bare 85mm:
a°j° [deleted] 10 years ago
here I go again
strobist, lighting, softness

I guess 20cm isn't really close enough for the bare flash to become large enough to get soft ... need to do a new set-up with a very close range flash
strobist PRO 10 years ago
Geez, you guys are fast!

Okay, quick little diversion here: In addition to the transition zone, look at what is happening to your light source's reflection as you move in closer.

Are you also seeing variations in the intensity of the light source's reflection as it becomes larger?

How could this be used to alter the tonality of your subject? How could it be used to solve problems with high contrast subjects?

How could it be used to control highly reflective subjects?

We'll be hitting this next week, but the two light source "size" discussions are just as tied together as the "position" discussions were.

And just like last time, the "aha!" moments come in part two.

Think about how a reflection -- frequently seen as something to get rid of -- could be a very useful thing if you can control its size, intensity and edge transition.

So, do I have any takers among you early birds? Who want to pick up the ball here?
strobist PRO 10 years ago

Tyam21 is onto it. He actually underexposed the lemon to bring down the highlights caused by a small light source. Tyam, if you can add the original file, it will probably be a very good example of what I am talking about.

The pont being that you do not have to underexposre the rest of the lemon to bring the refelctive highlight down if you have total control over the tonality of the reflective highlight compared to the tone of your subject...
strobist PRO 10 years ago

Your umbrella is not behaving very differently through the range of your flash zooms. You may wish to keep the flash @24mm and just move the umbrella in and out to get a better sense of it.
strobist PRO 10 years ago

Look at the two versions of your pear with the shoot-through umbrella. Look at the size and intensity of the reflected (specular) highlight vs the tone of the lit portion of your pear (diffused highlight.)
a°j° [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by a°j° (member) 10 years ago
looking at mnorri's delicious blueberry, I can see that when the light is really close (thus relatively big) the reflection gets bigger and softer

I guess for reflective subjects, you want LARGE light sources for large soft reflections

going to have to think about the rest of it

actually, maybe I'll polish some fruit and do some more shots!
strobist PRO 10 years ago

Absolutely. What if you were shooting something very dark, whose true tonality was close to black. Which does not reproduce very well. You might want to define that subject through use of the highlight reflection.

With proper specular highlight control, you could make the dark object just about any density you wanted, without overexposing nearby objects.
Apocrypha Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Apocrypha (member) 10 years ago
OK, here's my attempt at this.

Lighting 102 - Softness

Made a serious ghetto mini softbox for this out of an old Amazon box, an A4 sheet of white paper, some tinfoil and a bunch of masking tape. Oh and I also used a DIY corrugated cardboard 2.5cm grid for the final shot to get a really small apparent lightsource.

As for the effects... well, the direct reflection is getting smaller and more intense as the apparent size of the light shrinks. At the same time the shadows are getting deeper, so the contrast in the shot is increasing.
Johannes Berghoff Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Johannes Berghoff (member) 10 years ago

let's see what I've noticed during the exercise - please correct me if I'm wrong in my observations:

Are you also seeing variations in the intensity of the light source's reflection as it becomes larger?

No, i couldn't observe any major changes in the intensity of the reflections, but i guess if you move the lightsource far enough away it will alter the intensity (thinking about the lack of vacuum here..).
Nevertheless the size of the reflections became bigger the closer the lightsource was to the object.

How could this be used to alter the tonality of your subject? How could it be used to solve problems with high contrast subjects?

Hmm, taking into account the lesson *apparant lightsize* - bringing the lightsource closer, thus making it relatively bigger to the object will soften the light, thus delivering a finer graduation, thinking of a black billiard ball here. If I would put the lightsource, let's say, one meter above, this would yield a tiny white spot (reflection) on top of the ball, the rest would rest black Or take the lemon of tyam21 where you have quite a big 'falloff' in the tele position compared to the wide position. Bringing the flash close to the billiard ball would yield a bigger reflection on top of the ball and i guess the tonality of the ball would change gradually from the white reflection into grey, then black...
As I've already posted, I was really surprised by the shot of the strawberry with the 24mm setting of the flash and a close distance to the object...

How could it be used to control highly reflective subjects?
This is a tough one... I guess one could also alter the size of the reflections to point out the shape of the object, thinking of bottles / glass here.

Mikko Reinikainen 10 years ago
A@Dhaka, opening up one stop when doubling flash distance isn't enough. You need to open up two stops (half the f-stop) when doubling flash distance.
mnorri PRO 10 years ago
The first thing I noticed was that the apparent size of the light source on the subject (i.e. specular highlight dimension) falls off quite rapidly, as Dave said, as the distance of the light moves beyond it's dimension.

In a similar fashion, the max intensity of the highlight increases relative to the baseline intensity as the distance of the light source increases.

Since we're generally keeping the main body of the fruit at a constant exposure, the highlight gets brighter and smaller as the light source - subject distance increases. This has the effect of making the surface of the subject look shinier and the light harder and smaller.

Some of this is because the fruit is roughly spherical and we see the whole thing. It sees the world as a fish-eye lens. It's a useful perspective to keep - how does the subject see your lights. Don't just look at your subject from the light's perspective, look at the lights from your subjects perspective.

As for the comment about the size of the fruit. I'll leave the men's joke out of this. Heh. It's what I have, and it's not the size of the ship...

It seems that what's important is the relative scale of the light to the gap between the light and the subject. If you have a 1m diameter light source, at 0.3m, it's going to be huge. At 20m, it's getting pretty small. At 100 m, it's almost a point source. If my light source is 1in in diameter, at .3in, it's huge, but at 100 inches it's a point.

Domen Colja 10 years ago
So, in a few words: by my own less than thorough brain-squeezing, what we're trying to distinguish here is the potential of altering (manipulating and controling) the softness of the light (and as a consequence/synthesis changing the shadows, (diffused) highlights and fall-off) used to, at the end, pop out our subjects/objects.

p.s.: The size doesn't matter this time, at least not directly, even if we might use this controlled softness (particularly the fall-off) to light the subject. Direct light isn't always the best, is it?

I might've missed the point, but I'm more than thankful for this phenomenon of yours (strobism) to've taught me that much.
itsjustanalias Posted 10 years ago. Edited by itsjustanalias (member) 10 years ago
Without an umbrella (or white walls in my house) I decided to use some big pieces of card to play with. Here's my kiwi fruit. Good exercise, I learn stuff everytime I visit strobist land.

Left: bounced off a piece of paper 0.5m x 1.5m
Middle: bounced off a piece of paper 0.75m x 0.5m
Right: Bare flash at 24mm
Mikko Reinikainen 10 years ago
Here is my entry to this exercise:

Apparent light size on pepper

What I have learned this far from staring at my results:

- The infamous inverse square law doesn't accurately predict exposure with soft light, since there is no single flash-subject distance, but different parts of the light source are at different distances from the subject.

- Size of a specular reflection doesn't change much, except when light source is very close.

- The intensity of the specular reflection diminishes because we change the exposure when the flash gets closer.

- A pepper is so shiny that you can only see a proper transition from highlight to shadow at the stem.

- I am more inclined to do nudes than peppers.
A@Dhaka [deleted] 10 years ago

mtreinik says:
A@Dhaka, opening up one stop when doubling flash distance isn't enough. You need to open up two stops (half the f-stop) when doubling flash distance.

You bet!
infxualbydesign Posted 10 years ago. Edited by infxualbydesign (member) 10 years ago
I did shoot a lemon as well but i thought this gives a better view of the shadow fall off
bare strobe and softbox about a foot above subject , ceiling was about 5 foot above subject

JayDee004 [deleted] 10 years ago
First attempt:


The effect isn't extreme, but it's there - you can see softer / more wraparound light with the wider beam spread.

But, you would think you would see that in comparing the non-umbrella to the umbrella images - the umbrella source should be apparently larger, thus softer? I sort of see that at 85mm but not 24mm. What's up with that?
Dave Schlier PRO 10 years ago
My contribution: Brayburns...

bare 1022
(10' to 6" with bare flash)

(10' to 2' with umbrella)

This exercise is counter-intuitive in that the light gets softer as it gets closer - very cool! It makes sense to me if I think about the physics (light is 'random' unless it's lazed) but I never had to think about the effect.
Leviathor PRO 10 years ago

This exercise is counter-intuitive in that the light gets softer as it gets closer - very cool! It makes sense to me if I think about the physics (light is 'random' unless it's lazed) but I never had to think about the effect.

From a physics standpoint this makes perfect sense--just go grab your 101 book and take a look at the questions regarding light incident upon a surface. The majority of the problems deal with the sun and a patch of earth, because rays incident upon the earth from the sun are, for all intents and purposes, parallel, reducing the problem to a two-dimensional equation.

This differs from the more difficult questions of bulbs in rooms, because in those situations the rays are divergent, creating a volume of light. The generalization to Strobist, of course, being that parallel rays are hard, and divergent rays are soft.
NevadaJim 10 years ago
Leviathor says "The generalization to Strobist, of course, being that parallel rays are hard, and divergent rays are soft. "

I don't think that's the case here.. divergent rays wouldn't be soft... Convergent rays would be however.. i.e. the envelope the subject. Light converging from a large source onto a small subject....
Tomo Yamada 10 years ago
however, all light sources are divergent, whether they are light bulbs, the sun, or light bouncing off a wall or an object. (the sun being the least divergent since it's so far away, it's considered parallel) the only way you can have light converging is by focusing with a lens (or a mirror), i.e., using a magnifying glass to burn a leaf. And burning a leaf or a bug falls under the not-so-soft-a-light-source category!
Leviathor PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Leviathor (member) 10 years ago
Light converging onto an object is even harder than parallel light. Think back to the days of being a kid and having a magnifying glass--those pesky parallel rays from the sun leave those ants unscathed, but with a trusty magnifying glass--bwahaha!!

Let me try explaining it as a thought exercise. Say you have the parallel-rayed sun illuminating your subject in a room. Assume you also have the ability to close the room to all sunlight, only to illuminate the subject from a similar angle with a wall-sized panel of light. The qualifier here being that the panel of light has the same luminance (luminous power) as the sun.

Remembering that your subject sees either an intensely bright point of light, or an intensely bright panel of light, which will have the more diffuse effect? Now a generalization can be made to a bulb behind a movable panel, and then just a movable bulb.

Tomo: You won't find a physics graduate in existence that hasn't approximated the sun's rays as parallel. It is a fair and accurate assumption. Properly collimated lasers can remain parallel for several hundred thousand miles, which is non-divergent for all but the most technical of arguments, and non-divergent for any practical or experiment use.

edit: /OT
Tomo Yamada 10 years ago
Leviathor: i beleive we are in agreement on this point. :)
strobist PRO 10 years ago
In mtreinik's yellow pepper photos, (here) look at the difference in the specular highlight in photos from, say, 40cm and 5cm.

Look at the control he gets with the close, big (looking) light source. You could get that same highlight control with a bigger source, further away. Angularly speaking, it just has to look the same to the pepper...
Leviathor PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Leviathor (member) 10 years ago
My contribution to 102: Apparent Size (I am working backwards, apparently.)

(Click small for big.)

Strobist: I approximated the small angle formula so the light's apparent size to the subject is halved at each doubling of distance.

Each exposure utilized a 550EX zoomed to 50mm with an Omnibounce affixed to the front. Aperture and shutter speed remained constant for all exposures, varying ISO, flash distance, and flash power, ranging from 100 to 400, and one inch to nearly six feet, and 1/128th to 1/1, respectively.
NabityPhotos 10 years ago
I went with a bigger fruit. (No, I'm not referring to my neighbor.) I used a Vivitar 285HV and a 27" white shoot-thru umbrella. (The last photo is the 285HV with no diffusion.

WIth the largest relative light size (closest position), the intensity of the light source reflection seems to be the lowest, compared to the rest of the diffused highlight.

It also seems like the largest light source reduces the amount of visible texture on the tablecloth, as compared to the smallest light source. I raised the light stand as I moved the flash away, to keep the angle of light attack the same.
Johannes Berghoff 10 years ago
Question to Dave:

Let's see if I'm missing a point here... You've said (concerning the lemons taken by tyam21):

The pont being that you do not have to underexposre the rest of the lemon to bring the refelctive highlight down if you have total control over the tonality of the reflective highlight compared to the tone of your subject...

and concerning the peppers:

Look at the control he gets with the close, big (looking) light source. You could get that same highlight control with a bigger source, further away. Angularly speaking, it just has to look the same to the pepper...

Both have adjusted their aparture to correct their exposure, to tame the specular highlights.
The point I don't get yet is how could you not regard the aparture/exposure to tame the specular highlights, just with controling the light?

The only explanation I got so far is that if you actually make the apparant light relatively big enough, really big big big, thus yielding a richer tonality / graduation as the inverse square law is working.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks for clarification.
dannett_aus 10 years ago
I now see the biggest flaw in trying to use cheap work lights in place of studio lights / strobes (for models that are alive anyway). That is those things get hot (apparently they can explode too) so you wouldn't want to put them in someone's face, so you put them further back in the room. They are a small light source to begin with so the only light they are ever going to provide will be harsh (unless bounced or modified).
Mikko Reinikainen 10 years ago
Strobist, I think I already got my aha!

You say we get the same kind of highlights with medium lightsource at close distance or big lightsource at longer distance (=same apparent size). But in the last exercise we learned, that we can control light falloff on subject and background by altering light distance. So, essentially, we can separate control of softness and light falloff. Great.

I think I need to get some different sizes of umbrellas. This strobist thing is working backwards for me: the more I think, the more I realize how I can utilize different gear.
Tomo Yamada 10 years ago
judging from the other examples, particularly the cherries from leviathor and nabityphotos, the specular highlights are harder, smaller and brighter with the flash further away (smaller apparent size).. so to keep it from blowing out you could stop down.. this would decrease the intensity but not necessarily the softness of the highlight while underexposing the rest of the object. but you can also control the highlight by changing the lighting (increasing apparent size), which softens the highlight and decreases its intensity without having to underexpose.. this is what i have learned from this exercise. (hope i got that right)
AHADJI [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by AHADJI (member) 10 years ago
Tomo: I don`t know if that`s right or not, but that would make sense because I stopped down for these and only noticed a slight difference in the highlights.

Strobist Softness Chart
NevadaJim Posted 10 years ago. Edited by NevadaJim (member) 10 years ago
Hmmm, from LSM we learn that the closer the source, the brighter the diffuse reflection, but not so for direct reflection. The brightness of a direct reflection remains constant with distance from source. This gives us the ability to control the "ratio" between direct and diffuse reflections.

As the light source gets closer, the diffuse reflection gets brighter, and we stop-down the exposure. In doing so we lower the intensity of the highlights.

(whether or not this was the purpose of this particular assignment I'm not sure.. but it is indeed interesting)
AHADJI [deleted] 10 years ago
from LSM we learn that the closer the source, the brighter the diffuse reflection, but not so for direct reflection. The brightness of a direct reflection remains constant with distance from source. This gives us the ability to control the "ratio" between direct and diffuse reflections.

Good stuff to know... too bad my copy of LSM is back ordered. :(
a°j° [deleted] 10 years ago
alexanderbot: if you look at the reflection in your tomatoes, you can see that the top 3 shots have small, hard reflections; the 4th one a little larger and softer; and the 5th one larger and softer still
Eric Hamilton 10 years ago
mtreinik: Often if I want a bigger lightsource and less fall-off, I'll try to bounce of a ceiling or wall, but sometimes there just isn't anything like that to bounce off of. I've tried very hard to keep my setup really minimal, but the more I work at this, the more I want to play with different lighting. I think I'm going to invest in a large umbrella. I wouldn't think you would want too much variety in the umbrella size department -- maybe one large and one small, but I'm a n00b and I've only owned one size so far, so I could be wrong.

I'm also thinking very hard about how to get some really large light sources for some interesting effects. The trouble is, I do mostly location portraits, so whatever solution I come up with, it needs to be a portable rig...
Guy Carnegie PRO 10 years ago
I can only see strobist articles 1.1 & 1.2 but I can't find a link from 1.2 to the next exercise.

If anyone could point me in the direction of 1.3 (or whatever followed 1.2) it'd be very much appreciated.

best regards,
s w i t t e r s Posted 10 years ago. Edited by s w i t t e r s (member) 10 years ago
I think I may have goofed the assignment. Instead of changing the aperture throughout the sequence of images, I changed the output of the flash.

Was that a "no-no"? Would it have been better to keep the flash power consistent and just observe the changes in light that happen by moving it further or closer to the subject and/or bouncing it off a wall or umbrella?

lisabelle01 10 years ago
Please help me figure out the Lighting 102: Unit 2.1 - Apparent Light Size lesson. I am just not getting it. I have read and re-read it, and I know eventually I will have a DUH moment, but not yet.

Here's my confusion: Moving the light closer is supposed to make it softer and more powerful right? But to me, when the light is moved in closer it just makes it more powerful and really lights up the subject (especially portraits), but I am not seeing the softer part. To me the person's skin looks light and contrasty in comparison to the rest of the photo, not softer (or maybe I'm doing something wrong, which is probably the case).

By softer do you mean that the diffused highlight to shadow transfer area makes a softer transition when the light is closer?
Leviathor PRO 10 years ago

What you want to gather from this control is that the subject's view of the light source is a large determinate in its quality. The larger the apparent size, with proper lighting attenuation (flash output, aperture, wax paper, what have you), the more diffuse the specular highlights. Scroll up and look at the yellow peppers, or my cherries. The closest exposures have large, soft highlights, whereas the more distant exposures have small, abrupt highlights.

Thinking of the light as more powerful is not helpful. Instead, there should be consistent exposure from near or far, meaning less powerful flashes up close (I used 1/128th power at one inch...), and more powerful flashes from afar (...and 1/1 power at about six feet). Also important is picking a suitable subject for your lighting equipment. I used a cherry and an omnibounce, because when the cherry is very close to the end of the omnibounce, the apparent size to the cherry is huge. If photographing something like a watermelon, a flash head isn't going to appear all that big from one inch, one foot, or one mile. Instead a flash modifier like an umbrella will sufficiently diffuse and increase the size of the light so that it appears large to a watermelon up close, but smaller farther away.

As far as the transfer area, the transition should be softer. Shiny pieces of fruit don't reveal this quality the best, but a dark subject will have a more noticeable change from light to shadow.

I will try and cobble together a diagram, since photographers are visually-oriented beasts.
s w i t t e r s 10 years ago
Having read through this thread and looked again at my photos (the tomatoes above), I'm not sure if I'm getting this. The first photo in the first row is bare flash @2ft 1/64. The first photo in the second row is bare flash @6ft 1/16. Since it's 3x as far away as the first one, I would expect the specular highlights and transition from highlight to shadow to be considerably harsher. However, when I examine the two images they don't look that different to me. If anything, if I was looking at these two without knowing which was which, I would have guessed that the first image was the one taken with the strobe at 6ft - not the second.

The umbrella shots aren't clear either, mostly because for some reason I didn't up the power of the strobe when I moved it from 2ft to 6ft. I'm also surprised to see how little the light changes when I go from a 50mm zoom to a 105mm zoom on the flash.

I'm going to try this again with a white background and surface (to better see the shadows) and a smaller, less reflective piece of fruit. Any feedback would be appreciated.
JayDee004 [deleted] 10 years ago
Second try - I think I'm getting it. Top two, you can really see a harsher falloff with the narrow flash beam. Bottom two - little difference - if anything, the 85mm beam looks a little softer, but I think this is because the beam is hitting the umbrella in a more concentrated way, thus is is being reflected back a little more efficiently, if that makes sense. Maybe. Ideas?

JustForTestShots 10 years ago
Had to go to the supermarket and get some fruit...
see photos for more info on strobe position and modification.
Johannes Berghoff 10 years ago
Kept taking pictures for several hours this nite. As a lot of you I've got quite some problems to put the pieces together. Here is what I've learned:

Dave spoke about three (out of four) 'lighting-zones':

1. Diffused Highlights
2. "diffused highlight-to-shadow transfer area"
3. Shadows
4. left out...

I think the point 4) are the specular highlights. I was missing this in my first attempts taking the shots of the strawberries. Meanwhile I've taken others and in the end all pieces put together...

a) Specular highlights are those you're receiving from direct(!) reflections. To the viewers eye, direct reflections are constant in terms of brightness, i.e. you will see the same brightness as emitted by the source. Take a torch, walk up to a mirror and look at the reflection, move closer to the mirror, the brightness of the direct reflection remains the same.

Specular highlights depend on the angle, not on the distance

b) Diffused highlights: when I moved the flash closer the object, the lightbeams were not longer 'exclusively' parallel, but started to go in all directions. Think of the sun. It's huge, but it's far away and its light hitting the earth is more or less parallel (apparant lightsize). Now move the sun as close as 100km to the earth (or whatever close distance your skin will support). The lightbeams would not be 'exclusively' parallel.

The brightness of the diffused highlights / or diffused reflections remains the same independed of the angle. However it becomes brighter when using in closer.

Diffused highlights don't depend on the angle, BUT on the distance.

Exactly the last point was causing a lot of confusion in my head while taking the first series yesterday. Because the diffused highlights became brighter it was easy to accept them as direct reflections or specular highlights.

Putting these to points together while taking into account the two lessons before (angle + distance) - the concept of how Dave build up the first lessons of lighting 102 give perfectly sense to me.

(sorry for my confused speech, but lots of stuff working actually in my head).

I've uploaded a set, as my upload limit is reached in the group. Hope my descriptions will help and clarify things a bit.

yourealwaysbe Posted 10 years ago. Edited by yourealwaysbe (member) 10 years ago
Thought i'd throw my effort into the ring. I don't seem to be able to get it to show up on the search for the strobist tags.

I can see the reflection going nuts as the light gets big enough to do ok on the background.

It's also a good demonstration of wide angle distortion on the canon kit lens, or shoddy carpentry, i'm not sure which.

I varied the size by firing a speedlight through a pillow case, starting with it pressed against the fabric and moving it back a bit at a time.

Also, i'd like to say thanks to David for doing this course. I'm having fun already.
anthonyimages 10 years ago
Can definitely see a difference in the highlight size and some in the shadow transition.

Assignment 2.1
s w i t t e r s Posted 10 years ago. Edited by s w i t t e r s (member) 10 years ago
Okay, this is my second try. I'm a bit frustrated because I'm still not seeing the results I would expect. In the post above this by "anthonyimages", it's very clear. I think I understand this exercise intellectually, but for whatever reason I either don't seem to be getting it in practice (or I can't recognize that I'm getting it if I am). Perhaps I need to simplify even further, as in the above example.

In the images below it doesn't seem like there's a tremendous difference in the highlight size and shadow transition between the 6 inches and 6 foot distance, which just doesn't seem possible! That's such a huge variation. It's not apparent to me looking at the images that the light is very close in the one on the left and quite a bit further in the one on the left.


The difference in apparent light size is more obvious between the bare flash and umbrella shots. But once again, the difference between the umbrella at 1.5ft and the umbrella at 6ft is not as big as I expected it to be.

I'd really appreciate your feedback and ideas.
ruthdeb Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ruthdeb (member) 10 years ago
@lisabelle: Look at this diagram of the diffused highlight to shadow transform area -- scroll down to the middle of the page.

Maybe this will help us all understand what we're trying to see.

edit: what if we look at the boundaries of the shadow and whether the edges are hard or soft. Is that a way to understand the same thing? In the avocado shots directly above, the hard (small, bare-strobe) light produces a sharp shadow-line against the background, and the softer (bigger, umbrella'ed) light produces a lighter shadow with fuzzier borders.

Flash power doesn't seem to matter much for the avocado shots. Bare strobe at low power vs bare strobe at higher power -- both produce a sharp shadow line. So I guess flash power is just changed to make sure the photo isn't over or underexposed.
david_barpal 10 years ago
Switters, I think you got it if you compare the 6 ft. bare with the 6ft. umbrella. That is what I tried with this, changing the apparent size of the light without moving the position of the light.


Both were shot from the same angle, 2 foot away, @f8. The highlights remain the same, but I see the fall off on the kiwi and the shawdow.
Leviathor PRO 10 years ago
Here's a more technical post about what I was talking about farther up:

JayDee004 [deleted] 10 years ago
Excellent diagram, thanks for doing that. It makes the distance / highlight changes very clear.

@all - a number of folks here seem to be thinking in terms of photographing products, and are rightly concerned about controlling the highlights. But I want to do portraits, and for me, I am less concerned about a little shiny patch on a cheek or forehead, and more concerned about the size, depth, and sharpness of the shadows across the whole face. I am guessing that's why David wanted us to photograph fruit for practice - the fruit is rounded like the human face. I know I am not doing too well at using the umbrella skillfully for that. Those who are old hands with that, please jump in with recommendations.
scottpedition 10 years ago
After seeing the photos of small fruits, I realized that using a larger fruit would make the bare flash head seem smaller, which would help the apparent size distinction. My first idea was a watermelon, but I feared that was too smooth. A cantaloupe seemed perfect -- bigger than the flash head and lots of interesting surface texture.

I only did two shots to emphasize the difference in size. The first shot was a bare flash at about 2 feet. The second shot was a shoot-through umbrella at the same distance. The only setting change between the two shots was increasing the flash output (I forgot the flash power for the second shot, but think it was around 1/8 since the distance to the flash head doubled (to make space for the umbrella), I zoomed the flash way out, and I was loosing light through the umbrella).

The dark countertop prevented the background shadow from being visible in my case, but that helped prevent fill light from undermining the exercise. The difference in "highlight-to-shadow transfer area" is quite noticeable between these two shots.

Also, I was quite happy with the difference in apparent surface texture between the two shots (a similar effect on the facial pores of a human subject is discussed somewhere on strobist or in LSM, but I can't find it right now).

Click on the image to see the large size:
a°j° [deleted] 10 years ago
just a bit confused now:
looking back at this pic
flash distance
as the distance increases the light gets softer (more diffuse)
can anyone explain WHY?
my guess: more light bouncing around the room.
Mikko Reinikainen 10 years ago
@scottpedition, a great illustration about why soft light is more flattering to the skin. A version with side lighting would show completely the transition between lit and unlit part of the fruit also with soft light.

@A.J., you said it yourself. Increasing distance reduces the ratio between direct illumination and bounced light, hence bounced, soft light becomes more visible.
Joan3RC 10 years ago
My assignment. I see the differences, and still working on my chimpin' technique (love that word) to get balanced exposure w/o a light meter. To me the umbrella was a slam dunk to soften the shadow area, but I think I'll go back and do some more experimenting with bouncing off walls and ceilings, as I'm sure it will be a great skill to have. As I rarely take my umbrella in the field.

Strobist Lighting 102-ApparentcLight Size

Forgot to mention this last time. For first timers (me) I'm finding the lessons very helpful and easy to follow. Breaking up the concepts of off-camera lighting makes it less overwhelming and approachable. Thanks for providing this wonderful service David! And to the rest of you for helpful comments and conversation.
s w i t t e r s 10 years ago
I went back and read the original assignment, and this entire thread (it's long!) Some of the latest examples really helped clarify things for me.

In short, a light source that is closer to the subject and larger will:
- soften the diffuse highlight-to-shadow transition
- produce more fall-off between subject and background
- produce softer diffuse highlights

The distance of the lights ource to subject doesn't affect specular highlights. Specular highlights are only affected by the angle (position) of the light source in relation to the subject. Question: what is the relationship between size of the light source and size of the specular reflection?

Please correct me if I'm wrong!
joe_in_stl 10 years ago
Here is my submission. As far as noticing the change in specular highlights, the biggest change happens in moving the light from 12" to 22". After that distance, its hard to see a difference in specular reflection.

However, you can tell the light looks "harder" at longer distances by looking at the size of the shadow: it gets much longer as the light source moves further away.

I'm getting very excited thinking about all of the subtle, or some times not so subtle, ways we can vary the look of a photo by making a simple adjustment. Tre' cool.

joe_in_stl 10 years ago
switters -

The first part of your last post was correct, however I think your 2nd part is off.

The distance from the light source to the subject WILL affect specular highlights. In particular, the closer to your subject, the softer the specular highlights. This is because the light source appears larger to the subject.

Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong. :)
lisabelle01 10 years ago
Yesterday I was having trouble understanding this. But I finally had my "DUH!" moment. it makes sense after reading the questions and answers and studying the photos. Thanks Leviathor for your reponse, and everyone else. Now I need to go practice!!
NevadaJim 10 years ago
Joe in StL,

I think you may be wrong when you say

"The distance from the light source to the subject WILL affect specular highlights. In particular, the closer to your subject, the softer the specular highlights. This is because the light source appears larger to the subject."

The reason for my questioning this statement is that, by definition (I think) the specular highlight is a "mirror reflection" of the light source and thus has a very hard edge.

Now, I do agree that the relative brightness, dare I say contrast, between the specular reflection and the diffuse reflection will be lower, but I don't equate that with the term hardness.

Please feel free to convince me otherwise.
s w i t t e r s 10 years ago

The reason for my questioning this statement is that, by definition (I think) the specular highlight is a "mirror reflection" of the light source and thus has a very hard edge.

That was my understanding as well. There's a section in Light, Science & Magic about this topic. I'll look it up later tonight and post back.
timpweb PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by timpweb (member) 10 years ago
Here's my shot... not sure if i did it right...

set up to control the exposure and placement of the light as much as possible. exposure was f16/250 for the first 4 shots then opened the aperature to f11 for the rest. set up one sb-800 camera left at about 3ft. i varied the flash zoom as follows 105, 85, 50, 28,17w/ wide adapter, 14 w./ omni diffuser and then added a gary fong lightsphere and then an umbrella.


the individual shots are in the set for this assignment... you can read the notes on each.
magicnikon 10 years ago
Okay, here's my effort.

3feet copy

2feet copy

8inches copy

Apollo Micro Softbox on SB600. Softbox is approx 5"x8".

Shadow becomes more distinct the closer (and larger) the light source gets...highlights are more diffuse.
scuddy 10 years ago
i think if you want to read the info you may want to go to the pic in the photostream....

apparant size
ecotone7 10 years ago
Here is my assignment for Lighting102: Apparent Size (Click thumbnail to see larger size):


SB28 @ 1/2 through homemade 4" x 8" softbox in all photos, triggered with Gadget Infinity V2; aperture and distance changed as noted in each frame to maintain relatively constant exposure. ISO 200 @ 1/250.

What did I notice? Cherries aren't perfectly round :-). Notice that, in addition to the main highlight getting smaller as distance increases, two other, smaller, direct reflections also change. The change from soft to hard light is noticeable along the transition zone from unlit to diffused highlight and also in the gradual appearance of the shadow of the stem.
Leviathor PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Leviathor (member) 10 years ago
Specular reflections and apparent size are exclusive--on flat surfaces. However, specular highlight size (and quality) and apparent size are related. To understand why, it is important to realize that the subject has an apparent size to the flash, too. I alluded to this on my blog, where I said there were a couple ways to understand the "why".

For simplicity's sake, let's assume our flash is a bulb that illuminates a complete sphere; when the subject and flash are near, the amount of space occupied by the subject is comparatively large at closer distances, and comparatively small at larger distances. Let's also assume our subject is a sphere, and the illumination on the subject is always constant.

Next, let's discuss a mathematical situation. Think back to calculus and learning how a Riemann sum sums small, but finite segments that approximate the area under a curve. The same principle can be applied to areas and volumes, and in our case, we will be approximating our sphere to a faceted ball. This is a so-called "microfacet" approach.

From the perspective of the flash, each facet has a slightly different apparent size. This is not necessarily due to the facets being at different distances from the flash. (Why not? Call D the distance from the flash to the subject, and call d the approximate distance between two facets, since D >> d, D is the key element.) The facet that is closest to the rays of the flash will have the largest apparent size, with the facets on the "equator" of the sphere having the smallest apparent size (virtually none for a sufficiently distant light source).

Perhaps you can already see where I'm going with this.

Call the size of the closest facet s1, and call its area one square unit. Now each ring of facets closer to the equator will lose area when viewed from the perspective of the flash, until the facets have an area of zero--s0. To apply arbitrary numbers, say there is the top facet, s1, and ten rings containing facets with areas of .9(s1), .8(s1), .7(s1), ... , .2(s1), .1(s1), and 0(s1), or s0. Of course the diminishing area won't be linear, but the idea works purely for an example. This effect of diminishing area impacts how much light falls on different areas of the subject, and in turn how much light your eyes see, or your film/sensor captures.

Back to apparent flash size. The subject sees continually-decreasing sizes at increasingly greater distances. This decrease in apparent size causes the specular highlight to shrink on the subject, and the facets which are not closest to the source shrink at an even greater rate.

Conversely, when the flash is very close and the subject is comparatively small, more facets are illuminated more evenly by a larger apparent source. Remember the parenthetical aside about D >> d? In this sense, D !>> d, or the distance between the flash and the facets is not sufficiently large. Therefore more facets are of the same approximate size, and receive a more similar amount of light (larger specular highlights). In this sense (very loosely), a larger portion of the reflective surface of your subject is approximating a specular reflector, and is reflecting the size of the source until there is too much curvature, when the previous paragraphs about facets and apparent facet size come into play again.

Phew! So, who's lost besides me?

edit: Touching up some grammatical crap.
joe_in_stl 10 years ago

Maybe we are thinking the same result, but differ on the definition of "hardness"? Maybe I shouldn't have said harder in conjuction with the specular highlight. How about brighter or more contrasty?

This is taken from the Shootsmarter website, author of the article is Christopher Grey:

"The smaller the source, the harder the light. And when you move a small source further away from the subject, the light it throws to the subject is rife with specular highlights that are even more obnoxious in the digital environment."

"...at 7, 10 and 15 feet respectively, we can see a few important changes. First, and most important, is that the original small softbox has become a truly small light source, not unlike an accessory flash. The shadows get harder as the flash distance increases and the specular reflections increase in contrast and sharpness. Finally, at 15’, the light is flat but shows hard characteristics because the size of the source, relative to the subject, is very small."

Anyway, holy cow Leviathor. You might have well been speaking greek in that last post. ;)

scottpedition 10 years ago
@mtreinik: thanks for the suggestion. I went back and reshot this with a straight sidelight. I also noticed that my previous shots had quite a bit of accidental fill on the "shadow" side (the umbrella combined with the zoomed-out flash head threw light onto nearby walls and ceiling, acting as fill). For this iteration, I had used several black t-shirts positioned around the subject to control the spill/fill. This leaves the center of the shadow size in almost as much shadow while showing more clearly the transition from lit to shadow. The texture difference is still visible between the two shots.

Rafa Barbera 10 years ago
scottpedition, this last two images are the ones that better captured the main item of Unit 2.1, the hilight-diffuse-to-shadows-transfer-zone ;-)
Bart R. Willems 10 years ago
Here's my attempt. I wasn't able to capture both shadow/highlight effects with the same object, so I made two simple series:

Lighting 102 - Relative Light Size

Flash from the top, going from close to far away (left to right). I didn't bother with the light spill on the back wall, hence the lighter background at the end of the series.
s w i t t e r s 10 years ago
Here's a passage on direct (specular) reflection from L, S & M:

"Breaking the Inverse Square Law?"

We do not need to know how far away the light source is. The brightness of the image of a direct reflection is the same regardless of the distance from the source.

You can prove this to yourself, if you like, by positioning a mirror so that you can see a lamp reflected in it. If you move the mirror closer to the lamp, it will be apparent to your eye that the brightness of the lamp remains constant.

Notice, however, that the size of the reflection of the lamp does change. This change in size keeps the inverse square law from being violated. If we move the lamp to half the distance the mirror will reflect four times as much light, but the image of the reflection covers four times the area. So that image still has the same brightness in the picture. As a concrete analogy, if we spread four times the butter on a piece of bread four times the area, the thickness of the layer of butter stays the same."

So the brightness of a specular reflection doesn't change with distance, but the size of the reflection (highlight) does. This is because a larger light source occupies more of the family of angles that causes direct reflection.

So with a light source that is very far away, it will only be occupying a very small portion of the family of angles, and thus the specular highlight will be small (and possibly "obnoxious" as Christopher Grey states).

What I'm still not sure of is whether the direct-reflection-to-shadow transition changes with light size or distance. I haven't seen that term anywhere, so I'm going to guess that the transition from direct reflection to shadow is constant (due to the family of angles) regardless of light size, and is not affected by light distance for the reasons stated above.

I'm a total beginner trying to figure this out, so please jump in if I've misunderstood!
Johannes Berghoff 10 years ago
Hi Switters,

I was in the same dilemma as you. What I've recognised and concluded so far is that there is no smooth(!) transition between the specular highlights and the shadows. It's abrupt. But, when you bring the lightsource closer to the object, thus making the apparant lightsize larger, will yield into diffused reflections. The example with the mirror is quite good. Or think about the sun far away from the earth - most of the rays hitting us are not diffused, thus parallel - now bring the sun very close to the earth, this will yield completely diffused light and only minor parallel rays.

chasinfrew 10 years ago
Apparent Light Size
Bare Flash 6in: ISO 100, f22, Shutter 250, Flash Power 1/16th
Bare Flash 3ft: ISO 100, f18, Shutter 250
Bare Flash 6ft: ISO 100, f11, Shutter 250
Bare Flash 8ft: ISO 100, f8, Shutter 250, Flash Power Full
Umbrella 6in: ISO 100, f22, Shutter 250, Flash Power ¼
Umbrella 3ft: ISO 100, f7.1, Shutter 250, Flash Power ½
Umbrella 6ft: ISO 100, f4.5, Shutter 250, Flash Power Full
Umbrella 8ft: ISO 100, f8, Shutter 250, Flash Power Full

danette5 Posted 10 years ago. Edited by danette5 (member) 10 years ago
My head is busy thinking "diffussed highlight" thoughts. They are becoming clearer now.

RL Pictures PRO 10 years ago
Lighting 10 - Apparent Light Size

Flash, 4 feet from lemon, full power bounced from ceiling, 24,50,85
Rafa Barbera Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Rafa Barbera (member) 10 years ago
Mine, using only bounced light

L102: Unit 2.1 Softness

In the bouncd images the distance is from flash to ceiling. So greater distances, greater light spot, so bigger light source. Also opening the zoom from 85mm to 24mm increased the size of the light source.
toxonophile Posted 10 years ago. Edited by toxonophile (member) 10 years ago
My daughter is home for a visit so we worked on this together…nice! (see the very similar bunch of bananas a few posts up). We learned a valuable lesson about how ambient colors can affect the results.

I use a large, 16’ x 20’, painter’s drop-cloth for the background in my impromptu basement studio. To the right of the backdrop there is exposed, pink fiberglass insulation. The first banana series we did (reflector) was shot with the flash aimed at a downward angle, more or less toward the center of the backdrop (reflector set-up). The color balance was fine. For the lighting102, "softness" series of shots, the flash was lowered, level with the center of the banana bunch. There is a distinct magenta color cast (seems less distinct now that the picture has been converted to the web color space), from the light that spilled from the flash onto the fiberglass. The color cast increases with subject to flash distance.
Cheers! Tox
Edit...the bananas were greenish when we started with the reflector shots....Cheers! Tox

Mauronic 10 years ago
Here's my go at it.

Lighting 102 Class, 1.2 Softness Assignment

Canon 30D, 1/205th f5.6 w/ 580ex Flash, 1/8th Power

Top Left: 105mm Flash Zoom, Setup Pictured Below
Top Right: 24mm Flash Zoon, Setup Pictured Below
Bottom Left: 24mm Flash Zoom, Flash moved left and down to increase distance 3-4 feet
Bottom Right: 105mm Flash Zoom, Flash moved left and down to increase distance 3-4 feet

If I was going to do this again, I would have not done this in a nook because the light bouncing all over the place tweaked some of the results (like the bottom left one).

Lighting Setup
- Dave - 10 years ago
I've noticed a lot of folks changing just the flash zoom. Unless the flash is bounced off of something this won't change the size of the light source, just how tightly it's focused and how bright it appears.

My experience is even when bouncing the light, the size of the object used to bounce (white card, wall, poster board, umbrella) is more important than the chosen zoom on the flash head.
veronica.lynne 10 years ago
Lighting 102 | Softening

I apologize for the small text with the photos. The photographs to the right are the lighting setups. You can view them larger on my flickr page.

I noticed the two pics on the top (using the flash from above with and without a snoot) still seemed to come out bright and I understand the object of the lesson is to show softening even when using bright light this close. So...

I used setup #1 (no snoot, just close flash from above) and this time I placed the flash on Wide, added the 28mm wide angle lens filter, placed just the internal dome of my Gary Fong lightsphere over the flash. NOW we're getting some softening with a flash closeup. I've ordered a diffuser for my Vivitar but it hasn't arrived yet, so this was improvising.

Lighting 102 | Softening

Since I used my macro lens and shot up close, I didn't notice the shadows and highlights as in other photos. I was specifically looking for soft light.

Comments, critiques?
wogo 10 years ago
Here's mine (kind of last minute)...


Both bare flash. All that changed was the height of the flash, its power, and the aperture.
PhotoInspirations Posted 10 years ago. Edited by PhotoInspirations (member) 10 years ago
There have been a few posts that mentioned zooming and covering the flash head with paper, so I took a series of four shots (tried to keep the overall exposure about the same via adjusting the aperture) where the only change to the flash was whether it was zoomed and whether it was covered with tracing paper.

Basically, I wanted to show the (lack of) difference that changing the flash's zoom position and/or covering the flash head with paper has on the shadows.
gerry.m Posted 10 years ago. Edited by gerry.m (member) 10 years ago
I forgot to load to this to the discussion thread. I decided to work with three size variations, a bare flash (first row), 6 x8 inch diffuser (translucent plastic) in front of the flash (second row), and the flash shooting through a 46 in white umbrella (third row). I shot each from three distances 7 feet (first column), 3 feet (second column), and 1 foot (third column). I tried to keep the overall exposure on the left edge and the front of the peppers the same. The single SB 800, without reflectors, was placed low, at about 60 degrees to the camera. I used this to show the change in shadow character, and the fall off in exposure across the image as the light moved closer.
apparent light size compare for lighting 102
jbimages PRO 10 years ago
Here is my effort. I kept the flash distance constant at around 500mm and changed the power between first one and the rest.
Lighting courtesy of a 580EX and an ebay sourced 16 channel wireless trigger.
All were shot RAW and have been colour balanced to flash in lightroom. Exposure is as out of the camera. This shows the colour temperature change with different diffusers/reflectors.
bare flash
5 in 1 -2
5 in 1 -1
The first one is bare flash at 1/128 power, all the rest are at 1/32 power. Next is a 22" shoot through diffuser from a 5 in 1 reflector kit held against the flash, then the same reflector held about 6" from the flash head.

bond paper
A sheet of bond paper (about 20 years old and not as white as current stock) about 3" in front of the flash head.
A translucent cooking bowl I found in the kitchen cupboard. Microwave safe and inscribed "Glassbake USA"

I rotated the flash head 180 degrees and bounced it off the white matt reflector from the 5 in 1 kit held about 6" from the flash head and then did the same with the Gold reflector.

5 in 1 -3
5 in 1 -4

I used the same exposure for the last two so the added reflectivity and the warming effect of the Gold shows up.
Till_Santiago Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Till_Santiago (member) 10 years ago
Hi everybody, here's my version.

Left: flash alone
Middle: flash trough A4-paper
Right: flash through A3-paper

I think both
* the changing highlight to shadow transition gradient and
* the change in the size of the direct reflection of the light source
are visible.

I'm not quite sure how those two variables can be affected independently.
The apparent size of the light source is the determining factor for both, right?


Thank you David for spreading your enthusiasm!
lisabelle01 10 years ago
HELP!!!!! I am trying to do this assignment using a bare flash on a stand to control the size of light hitting a bounce wall, like the example in the Apparent Light Size lesson. Sometimes I think I am never going to get the hang of this! The flash head is supposed to zoom to compensate fo different focal lengths right? Well as long as it is on my camera's hot shoe it does, but when I put it on my stand, it doesn't. Why not? ? I am using a WEIN hot shoe adapter on the stand, and a shot shoe to HH male cord to connect the camera to the flash. The guys over at midwest photo exchange told me that the flash will not zoom on the stand, and it's not supposed to; but I could've sworn when I first bought the kit I have that it did. Am I going crazy?? I am using a Sigma EF 500 flash by the way.
Till_Santiago 10 years ago
Hi Lisabelle,

I think the only communication between flash and camera that is needed here is "shutter is pressed now" (there must be a word for that...).

Let's see if we can untangle this.

1. Why does a flash have/need a "focal lenght"?
It's simply another expression for "beam spread"... you get a wide angle of light from your flash on "wide angle focal lenghts" and a narrow angle when using focal lengths like 85mm. The narrow angle light is more concentrated: it reaches further but does not illuminate as big an arc as the narrow beam.

2. What about camera-flash communication?
I guess when a flash is mounted on a compatible camera it can be set to use the focal lenght of the lens, the idea being that spreading the light over a wider angle than what can be seen in the picture would mean a needless loss of energy. This function is not needed for this assignment.

3. Why different "focal lenghts" for this assignment?
I think using the wall as a reflector was meant as a help for those of us who do not (yet) own a softbox or such thing (and remember the motto "less gear . more brain . better light").

When the flash angle is wide a big part of the wall is lit, acting as a big light source. With a narrow angle we get a smaller light source. And that's what the assignment was about: Different (apparent) sizes of the light source and the effects on the transition areas between highlights and shadows.

You will probably need to adjust the flash power and/or the aperture setting when using different sizes of light sources.

Hope this helps! Cheers,
gretagreta 10 years ago

i think my color temp's off... my lemon looks kinda grapefruity... well, anyway, in all of these, i bounced a 580ex off the wall camera left (strobe about 1.5 feet from wall superclamped to a chair). in the top one, the zoom is at 24mm, the second one 50mm and the third is zoomed in all the way (i'm pretty sure that's 105mm).


here the flash was handheld 45 degrees to subject (camera left), zoom set to 50mm. in the first one, the flash is veryclose to subj, just far enough away to be out of frame, maybe a couple of inches away. in the second photo, the flash is moved out to arm's length (still 500mm spread, still 45 degrees). here i can really see how this lesson ties in with the last. in the second photo, the lemon and the table are fairly evenly lit, whereas the table falls out of the lit area in the first. i didn't use any light modifiers because i wanted to see if i could actually get soft light from a nekkid strobe!


okay, here all variables are the same as in the last set, EXCEPT... i realized, hey, if i want as soft a light as possible, then i should set my zoom as wide as possible! aha! so here, the zoom is set to 24 mm, close as possible in first photo, arm's length in second.


here i put the zoom back on 50mm, and held the strobe directly above the subject, 1-2 inches in the first, arm's length in the second.

i love strobist!!! this stuff is so logical, it just makes SENSE! who knew?! thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!
gretagreta 10 years ago
i think i'm going to try again with something more reflective so i can better see the specular highlight and highlight to shadow transfer area
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