(1 to 100 of 186 replies)
strobist PRO 8:03pm, 12 September 2007
(1 to 100 of 186 replies)
has this been launched yet or did i miss something?
Justin Liew 10 years ago
He's probably just getting prepped so as soon as the post is up we can all jump in here.
popescool 10 years ago
well, just press the refresh button on main Strobist page.. it should appear anytime :p
Here are two of my recent attempts. I wasn't familiar with cross-lighting until it was mentioned as part of the Dave Hill discussions, and then on Strobist. But it has quickly become my favourite technique for quick location lighting.

In the first photo the weather conditions were overcast but the sun was shining through a bit, behind the girls to frame left. The flash was in front of them to frame right.

First attempt at cross-lighting

In this one the direct sun was coming from behind the subjects to frame right. Flash in front of them to frame left, and another flash behind them to help with the trim.

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Finalists
Nicholaus Haskins Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Nicholaus Haskins (member) 10 years ago
Crosslighting is my favorite! Just a few examples.


This one is more like...trilight

Never Look Back

Older photo, before my borders came into play.....another trilit setup
benhew 10 years ago
This has been the mainstay of my strobist technique so far.



Blue Steel #2

I want to start trying for a more subtle look.
Ben: "I want to start trying for a more subtle look."

I think that's when cross-lighting comes into its own. If you balance the light and the sun so neither is dominant then it creates a lovely smooth tone that somehow looks natural and a little surreal at the same time. When you look at the image your brain knows that it has been lit in some artificial way, but exactly how isn't obvious.
hyperlightphoto 10 years ago
From a photo shoot on Saturday.
jeremysalejr [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by jeremysalejr (member) 10 years ago
Most under-rated aspect of crosslighting? As David mentioned: having your subject not have to stare into the sun. (Pilots hate that.)

xjussix 10 years ago
Hey guys, first time posting here. I've just recently discovered "strobism" and I'm totally in love with it. =)

Here are my first strobist (crosslighting) inspired photos:



Much more practice is needed clearly but anyway, all comments are appreciated.
Struan Oglanby [deleted] 10 years ago
Love the crosslighting look, and I get a feeling we'll see a ton of great pics showing up for this one.

My first on the topic:

Quoc-Huy 10 years ago
This technique is awesome!!

Some old pics of the subject:

squilky Posted 10 years ago. Edited by squilky (member) 10 years ago
I have a question about exposing for the background. Generally if you meter off of a bright, mid afternoon sky, it will severely underexpose the rest of the scene. So to get a nicely lit background like in some of the above examples, would I be better off metered off a brightly lit patch of grass or other type of foliage? Or would that make the sky too bright? Or is it just a decision you have to make based on the conditions?

Kudos to quochuy. His first example really nails the 3D type effect good crosslighting can provide.
josh.r Posted 10 years ago. Edited by josh.r (member) 10 years ago
squilky: If I want to have an underexposed background then I will typically point the camera at the sky opposite the sun and then go one stop under. If I want to instead have everything correctly exposed then I setup the shot and use average metering to get my exposure. Once I have that I just add the flash and chimp the power/location.

I find this to be my dafacto shooting method these days. Doing it this way eliminates the necessity of waiting for golden hour plus gives things a really professional look. Plus people are endlessly impressed because while it's not hard your average point and shooter can't do it.
Andrew Smith (Meejahor) Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Andrew Smith (Meejahor) (member) 10 years ago

Update 18 Sept: Here's a more in-depth guide

I'm planning to post something more in-depth about this but quickly here are three set-up shots from this shoot:

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Finalists

Top: Metered for a correct exposure of the sky. Makes the ground look a little under-exposed.

Middle: Test shot while the people were getting into position. The bright sun is behind them and we're metered for a bright sky, so this side of them appears very dark.

Bottom: At f/8 I wasn't getting enough flash power so I had to go fo f/5.6. This is how the scene looked at f/5.6 when the flash didn't fire.


I hope this helps to make the process a little clearer!
I had a go but not sure if this worked

Ryan Merrill 10 years ago
this is an older one of mine..

Ugly Harts
squilky 10 years ago

Thanks for the excellent behind the scenes shots and explanations. I'll have to experiment a bit by metering off of different parts of the background/sky to see which works best. I guess every shooting situation will be a bit different. Time of day, time of year, and weather conditions could alter the shooting environment.


Yeah I agree, it gives a very professional look to a photo when done correctly. Most P&S type shooters take the same pictures. Boring, flat and lifeless. The cross lighting really adds some nice POP to a photo. It amazes me when people reverse engineer cover shots from magazines and print ads, and they use simple techniques and small speedlights to achieve similar effects. We would all like to be Annie Liebowitz shooting with top of the line camera, lighting equipment , using gorgeous models with professionally done makeup and hair. But most of us are just trying to capture memories with friends and families. So learning a simple cross lighting technique that produces such a great look is amazing. Plus, by using the sun as a hair/back light, that means only having to pack 1 flash unit :-). Thanks for the info.
jwielf Posted 10 years ago. Edited by jwielf (member) 10 years ago
_Diffusing the Flash in Crosslighting with Sun. How best to do it?_

Over the last few weeks, I've been experimenting a lot with this technique.

I find that when I'm trying simply to match the flash with ambient, the bare speedlights work pretty well. But when underexposing ambient, I don't like the harsh shadows created by the undiffused flash (I also like the catchlights created by a bigger (bounced) light source). Since even at full power, the flashes are often too close to my subject, I've been experimenting with the most efficient way to bounce.

I post these three because they were all taken with two speedlights, at about 45 degrees to the left and right of the camera, all diffused at full power, but using different modifiers.

On the first one, the SB to the right was bounced off a 42" silver umbrella; the SB on the left, a 2'x4' card table. As you can see, the camera left flash, bounced off the card table, seems to be returning much more light than the bounced speedlight.

Crosslighting with Sun

On the second one, which I like a lot, the card table and umbrella have switched sides, with the umbrella now on camera left. In this one, I have severely underexposed the background to get the dark clouds, and you can see even more clearly that the card table is the more efficient surface.


In the last one, which I took last weekend at the Toronto Strobist meetup, I used one shoot-thru umbrella and one silver. Both were very close (in fact, i had to clone the edge of the umbrella from the upper right hand corner of the picture). Overall the face is lit pretty evenly, but the bounced (on camera right) seems to be returning a little bit more light than the shoot-thru. (The hot spots are from the sun).

Toronto Strobists Soar

I'm curious. Does anyone else try to diffuse for these midday shots? If so, what works best for you? How do you diffuse without putting your flashes right on top of your subject?

If not, how best to get good results with the bare flash. How do you avoid those hard shadows that always call attention to the flash?
Nicholaus Haskins 10 years ago
Personally, I never use diffused light for several reasons:

1. I like it hard....(the light wise guys)
2. Diffusing eats up your light
3. Hard light means less power during evening, which means faster recycle times and longer battery life.

Want to get rid of the shadows? Break the rules and dont keep your light at a 45 degree angle. Alternately, just make sure theres no background, and no arms in front of the face.

Really, if the light from your flash matches the ambient, there wont even be a shadow.
chrisSK21 10 years ago
Hey all. This happens to be one of my favorite techniques. It has so much potential, and the effects you can create are so dramatic. I also have to give props to Nicholaus for standing up for hard light. I use it quite often in my shoots and really enjoy the effect. Anyway, I just shot this one a couple of days ago, but since it used the technique we're focusing on, I thought it appropriate.

wedding shoot 1
mycamerahatesme 10 years ago
This is what drew me to strobist in the first place and I have been using it non stop. I wanted to show the companys logo and interaction with the people mingling about without making the people noticable because it is to be used in an upcoming advertisment, and I think it worked well!

Powermadd 9
PhotoInspirations Posted 10 years ago. Edited by PhotoInspirations (member) 10 years ago
Picachu out and about campus and me with my first real use of Gadget Infinity triggers.

Flash/Sun Crosslighting

I shot at ISO 80 (lowest my camera goes) at 1/200th (what I expect my next camera's max rated sync speed will be and also what seems safe with the Gadget Infinity triggers) with an aperture of f/11 (smallest I can go). There's a Vivitar 285HV at 1/2 power off to camera left around 45 degrees off axis and around 6 feet away from Picachu. It's on a light stand, slightly above his eye level and pointing down at him.
ambienteye 10 years ago
This ones from last week.
chrisgscott 10 years ago
Just FYI, but we discussed cross lighting in graphic detail recently in this thread.
xjussix 10 years ago
Just like squilky said:

"Plus, by using the sun as a hair/back light, that means only having to pack 1 flash unit :-)."

Spot on, I currently have only one SB600 so crosslighting is what I always try to do in harsh daylight nowadays. So much better results than with no flash / on-camera flash.
a°j° [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by a°j° (member) 10 years ago
wow, some nice work coming up in here (although they aren't all coming up on the search, so please check you tags)

here was just a quick mess about in the garden
Lighting 102: 3.2 - Balance | Flash/Sun Crosslighting

then, just yesterday, I was asked to take some shots of some kids.
here is a little test I did:
just waiting and posing
Joao Rechena 10 years ago
Right after reading the post on Strobist about Brent Williamson a while ago, I've decided to give it a try. These are some of the results. Note that I have a very old flash with no TTL or power control.

jwielf 10 years ago
@ Nicholaus and Chris. I didn't know I'd stumbled onto one of those chevy-vs-ford-nikon-vs-canon sort of debates with my soft light question. You guys obviously use the bare strobes very effectively, and I'm certainly not averse to doing it, especially when I'm worried about distance or need to save power.

Conceding that hard light is great and works well most of the time, my question, then, is "if diffusing outside on a sunny day, then how best to do it?" (ie. how do do it w/out frying your flash, having umbrellas turn to sails, etc.) Any special little tricks I'm missing?

(I know reflectors will obviously work well for controlling shadows, but the exposure of the reflected light is linked too closely to the exposure for the background to get that look of brightly lit subject against underexposed background. Is it not?)

@ A.J. I love the second one. You've balanced flash and ambient really well (and I noticed you're using an umbrella!)
strobist PRO 10 years ago
Who cares are cars? That Rafa guy is changing my NIKON into CANON in the Spanish translation diagram. Told me CANON was Spanish for NIKON.

Is that true, or am I being yanked?

GarethDix 10 years ago
lol you're being yanked nikon is the same in spain as it is in the rest of the world...

I love crosslighting produces some great results... but the only problem is the summer here has been a washout and we had a week of sun last week in the UK... so we're unlikely to see sunlight again until december... can we crosslight using another source instead?
squilky 10 years ago
Cham, I suppose if the sun isn't shining brightly, you could just place a 2nd strobe diagonal from the 1st strobe. So if you have a strobe to camera left lighting the front of the subject, you could just place a 2nd strobe behind and to the right of the subject to act as a cross light. That's a pretty common setup for outdoor portraits. The 2nd light behind the subject acts as a hair light and helps create a nice 3d effect.

But I think even if the sun isn't shining brightly, you can still effectively crosslight with 1 strobe. Even when the sun is behind clouds, it still produces a heck of a lot of light. I've seen some cool storm shots where people are able to meter off the storm gray/black sky and illuminate their subject with a single strobe angled in front of the person/object they are shooting.

I'm new to the whole Strobist thing as well, so don't take everything I say as gospel. I'm just paraphrasing a lot of what I've read. There are some folks that shoot every day and have a lot more real world experience. So I'm sure they can add their $.02.
GarethDix 10 years ago
lol my comment was slightly tongue in cheek... but it is possible to cross light with the sun behind clouds but it is a very diffused light so it's really difficult to tell where the light is actually coming from
Till_Santiago 10 years ago
I've been a little confused by comments to this picture - I've posted it in the thread that chrisgscott mentions above. Perhaps someone can clarify...?


Setup: SB-24 (1/8 power?) through umbrella from camera left (less than 1m away), sun quite low from the right side and behind the model.

Comment 1: ...it is not cross lighting. It is short lighting with fill.
Comment 2: The crop is just to tight to get the crosslit effect. There is no frame of reference.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate your comments. Just didn't quite get it. If I understood David correctly it is well possible to have cross lighting AND using the sun as hairlight / flash for fill? As long as flash and sun are more or less opposite there must be many angles from which you can take your cross-lit picture...?
PhotoAbuse 10 years ago
strobist ... I would have a talk with Rafa. That is just plain wrong! ;)
tuthdoc99 10 years ago
Here is a recent one of mine. As you can see, I don't quite have it. I think I am a little underexposed in general. Part of the issue would be that I don't have the flash quite far enough opposing the sun position.....this is because I had to hand hold it in my left hand......didn't have a good support for it (a broomstick jammed into the sand would have worked with a clamp or ball bungee). The other issue is that I really didn't understand the exposure issues when I did this.
_7061871 (by tuthdoc99)
Dave Schlier PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dave Schlier (member) 10 years ago
A senior portrait attempt Sean using two umbrella'ed flashes (at full and 1/4 power left and right), with sun up and behind left at about 2:30 PM.

An interrupted senior portrait attempt:Erica & Pumpkin
with sun to right and umbrellas left and back (1/2 and 1/4 power) at about 5ish PM. The shadows/shading is really cold/blueish
Mikko Reinikainen 10 years ago
Strobist, translators make slight modifications like that to make the text easier to understand. Oh, he also changed off-camera flash to "flash en la cámara" all the way... Hope you don't mind.
Apeshoot Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Apeshoot (member) 10 years ago
Ahh yes, my favorite scenario to play with as well. Do I feel a crosslighting discussion group coming on?


yields this...DSC_62580018

I like the too hot rim light. Just me maybe. Not for the technically perfect no "blown" highlights crowd.
jeffegg2 PRO 10 years ago
@Joao Rechena@http://photoassignment.net

If you have no power setting on your flash, you can always move it in and out to change the effect.
Nicholaus Haskins Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Nicholaus Haskins (member) 10 years ago

I suppose if you had to diffuse outside on a sunny day, lets figure out what NOT to use:

1. Umbrella - Most effective, really soft buttery light! Yummy! However, its also most likely to become airborne outside, then your out the umbrella, and your flash! I reckon you could get sandbags to fix this problem though.

2. "Plastic Cap Diffusers" - All shapes and sizes, not effective outside though.

3. Softbox attached to flash - Now were getting a little better, however your softbox will have to be big!! Those little dinky ones will diffuse the light, but not by much.

4. My 2nd favorite method....your flash probably has a built in flip down diffuser that spread the light at 14mm......personally, in my experience, this has worked the best.

5. 1st Favorite Method - I am experimenting with some new stuff tomorrow!! I made them, and I call them...."Space Bouncers!" It bounces and spreads the light at the same time!! This will rock your socks! Will post up tomorrow!

Dude, that thing is pretty cool, and looks like it does the trick, however I think your about a stop off on your exposure. Oh oh...and you could also use it for a sail!
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
Take a look at my first attempt any suggestion.. I am not very happy with the outcome.... i feel a little confused but then again not confused....
LOL>..PLease Help...


Dave Schlier PRO 10 years ago
@Nickolas Hauskins Photo - umbrellas outside are the reason I use semi-autonomous voice-activated light stabilization systems, type 1 and type 2 (wife and kids....). I used both with the two portraity things above.
Nicholaus Haskins 10 years ago
Believe me...I know what you mean!

One from earlier today...balancing...

heres another....2 flashes....cross lit....

Michelle 1
targophoto.com [deleted] 10 years ago
Here's a few of mine:

snorkie128 10 years ago
Here is my recent attempt. I confess that the flash was onboard, but it really is hard to deal with rugrats AND work the flash.

Jonah Uplook
Ducky ~Duckling Photography~ Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Ducky ~Duckling Photography~ (member) 10 years ago
2 of my crosslight shots from a session

Trash the Dress - Desi - Earth Angel

Crosslight and gel for 'environmental' adjustments
Trash the Dress - Desi
John Leonard 10 years ago
This is kind'a almost cross light. It was more like 100 degrees between the sun and flash. i really was just taking pictures as they happened. She turned (And is an absolute poser everytime she sees a camera) and I was holding the flash since my Stro-bitch got tired of holding it. I'm heading out tomorrow to the zoo with a group. Should have a good chance to do some stuff there.

Striking a Pose
Michael J Ross Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Michael J Ross (member) 10 years ago
One problem that I keep having with this technique is that my midground is lost in shadow. If I expose for the midground, the sky is blown, if I expose for the sky, the midground is in shadow. An example from today:

The band is in shadow. An easy fix in PS CS2, but I want to nail it in camera. Any suggestions?
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
wow you read my mind this is my same question... i am at a 250 max sync but the sky is still blown.....

Someone, anyone.... suggestions?
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
this is the blown out sky i am referring too...
PhotoInspirations 10 years ago
@QG: What's your aperture and ISO? There was no Exif data with your pic.
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
it was 250 f10 and 100 ISO
SpieleHolger 10 years ago
Using a ND filter could help.
John Leonard 10 years ago
@QguillorysPhotography- Bump your aperture up until correct exposure is reached. Then adjust your flash power/distance accordingly. You could use a ND or CPL to help if it is super bright.
Mark_J_Cornwell PRO 10 years ago
I have had some good stuff doing this and some not so good.

I have a question - am I trying something that this technique can not cope with?

Scenario: bright sunlight from camera right. subjects in dappled shade of tree to the left. Exposed for ambient and then tried to fill by using flash from camera left towards the subjects and dampen down the dappling on their faces. I either got a blitzed face or dappling on the face. I couldn't even it out to look nice (to my taste anyway).

If this technique can't cope with this, how would you have taken it?

Before anyone says "move subjects out of the shade" we were composing a group on a gate that was in the shade.
Daveblog Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Daveblog (member) 10 years ago
I took this one prior to the assignment, and was wondering if this is the idea or if this would be considered more of a sun-as-rimlight type. (and yeah, I know they have telephone wires through their heads and her shades caught the strobe. dang it. haha) edit: a gel wouldn't have hurt either I suppose)

Julie and Brent (and beer)
Paul Hodgson @ Box of Frogs Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Paul Hodgson @ Box of Frogs (member) 10 years ago
I continue to to thoroughly suck At crosslighting.

Took this shot today and the sun was high and to the right of my son so I had my other son hand hold my SB800 on 1/2 power directly opposite. Flash bang whollop and here's the picture...


Forgot to include the shooting info so here it is...

iso 2000 (stupid mistake on my behalf, hangs head in shame)

Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens
shutter = 2000 at f/16

Exposure taken using spot metering for the ground at his feet. I took others where the ambient was for the patches of clear blue sky and the results aren't any better/ worse.

I can't seem to be able to balance the against the main light, the sun, to achieve that almost 3d quality.

What am I doing wrong?
bill2750 10 years ago
Here is an early morning shot of my best friend who is always willing to pose for me. She is never critical or cranky and never, never tells me how SHE thinks things should be done - priceless!

jeffegg2 PRO 10 years ago
@QGuillorysPhotography : increase the power of your flash or move it closer to the subject. are you using a diffuser on your flash? If you cannot increase your flash output, use two. You want to "balance" subject with daylight. If you are at max sync speed, the only way to reduce background is increase iso, or up aperture number.

NikonD40 w Vivitar285hv on 1/2 cam left.
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
no diffuser... i will try to bump up ISO and work with it and try the rest...
Thanks for all the imput..i work it out.. and post results later.
tuthdoc99 Posted 10 years ago. Edited by tuthdoc99 (member) 10 years ago
OK....this is one of those places where I get confused. If OGuillerysPhotography is already at ISO 100, F10, 1/250....how is increasing the ISO going to help him not have blown sky? I must be missing something because it seems to me that this will only make it worse instead of better since he can't sync at faster shutter than he already is and he is stopped to f10. Seems to me that an ND filter is the only way to go at this point and increased ISO is the opposite.....what am I missing?
blindmike 10 years ago
Some older examples. I'm using bigger lights than hotshoe flashes but the concept is the same.

Kevin Eddy PRO 10 years ago
I love this technique!

Here's a shot from this weekend.

Alicia - Crosslight2
jeffegg2 PRO 10 years ago
My shots from today:



Quoc-Huy 10 years ago
With the local camera club we went for a walk today at the Surrey Docks in London. Here are some strobist shots:
A skater:

Machine against bright sky:
toxonophile Posted 10 years ago. Edited by toxonophile (member) 10 years ago


Cheers Tox!
blindmike 10 years ago
One more from this weekend.

NorthwestWolf 10 years ago
My first attempt at crosslighting, the background is much less than optimal.

timmui 10 years ago
I tried this, though I feel that I didn't quite execute it in the spirit of this topic:

JeanPi 10 years ago
Well, my first contribution to strobist (wonderful place), this did it in July right after reading the article dedicated to New Zealand shooter Brent Williamson, I suppose that he complies with requirements. Greetings from Peru.

Bien, mi primera contribucion esto lo hice en julio luego de leer el articulo dedicado a Brent Williamson, supongo que cumple con los requisitos. Saludos desde Peru.


¿How I do in order that the photo in this link be seen??? (sry for the bad english of the translators)
bodhi5 10 years ago
Ursina Caluori 10 years ago
@blindmike: your compositions are awesome, some of them should be printed in a magazine! :)

One of my first attempts:

The Jump
foxpony~CS Art photography Posted 10 years ago. Edited by foxpony~CS Art photography (member) 10 years ago
Here is one I did last week, sun and rain outside kept changing the ambient a bit, but it was better than the harsh light coming in from behind.

dcumminsusa PRO 10 years ago
I'm hoping to post a 'new' shot this week for this assignment, but here is one from the archives. I was actually facing the sun when this was shot.

Dodge This.
Jim Lafferty 10 years ago
This is something I shot last week, and it conveniently fits the agenda:


- jim
Flyfleeecker 10 years ago
Seems to be a common theme - shot this a few weeks ago, had to underexpose to get the clouds and sky to show up as a nice reflection in the window (and the help of a polarizer). I was shooting a single strobe through an umbrella to light her up. This is straight from the camera, no post.

unusual_attitude Posted 10 years ago. Edited by unusual_attitude (member) 10 years ago
@@truthdoc99: "OK....this is one of those places where I get confused. If OGuillerysPhotography is already at ISO 100, F10, 1/250....how is increasing the ISO going to help him not have blown sky? I must be missing something because it seems to me that this will only make it worse instead of better since he can't sync at faster shutter than he already is and he is stopped to f10. Seems to me that an ND filter is the only way to go at this point and increased ISO is the opposite.....what am I missing?"

You're not missing anything, he doesn't want to up the iso. ratio between flash and sky will be the same at any iso.
( @@jeffegg2 - I believe you're wrong: In general upping the ISO will enable you to get more 'bang' from your flash - if the flash is all you care about. But in this case, it will also increase your camera's sensitivity to the background, so gaining nothing. You may of course be smarter than me, in which case I'm happy to be corrected! )

My 2c: Forget the flash, the sky is pure ambient - it's simple exposure control; you just can't up the shutter because the flash won't sync.

So - Close down the appeture - f/16 for example. Everything will darken, so you need to pump more light on the flash part - more power if it's available, or bring the flash closer.

Getting tweaky, you could use a graduated ND to control the ratio between the sky and non-flashed background *then* fill the subject with flash, but that's a bit much for my tiny mind.

I think David's original post (paraphrased) said 'expose the ambient, letting the shadow's fall where they may, then bring in the flash to sort out the shadows'. First thing OGuillerysPhotography needs to do is sort the ambient.
SpieleHolger 10 years ago
Here is my result for this exercise:
Balance Flash/Sun Crosslighting

I had some problems with her fair hairs. Do you think it's ok? What could I have done against it? I did not want to make the background darker..
Mikko Reinikainen 10 years ago
SpieleHolger, you could set up a scrim betwen the model and the sun. For example a piece of thin cloth (gauze?), tulle netting or a plastic shower curtain.
Peter McDonagh 10 years ago
Strobist: That Rafa guy is changing my NIKON into CANON in the Spanish translation diagram. Told me CANON was Spanish for NIKON.

haha that is great! I think you know you're being yanked....as you say!
_frantographer 10 years ago
RE: rafa´s subjetive translation
after two days of efforts searchin in the most advanced tools for translating to english i can aproach the results of my hard search

nikon in spanish = nikon
canon in spanish = canon

i hope this is helpfull for english spoken strobist jejejjeeje

que jodio el rafa.
tcg3j 10 years ago

A quick one taken after shooting butterflies with available light (shhhhhh!).

The flash is bare and on a stand a little to her left and maybe 4 feet away.
Jurgen's Photography [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Jurgen's Photography (member) 10 years ago

I went to the beach yesterday, to work a bit more on this exercise. I learnt at least two lessons.
1) Sunshine around noon is very strong.
2) Dropping a strobe into saltwater results in total loss of the strobe. (Luckily it was insured).

ISO 100, Aperture f/5, shutter speed 1/1000, flash on manual full power

From the same session, a bit more dynamic, with the flashlight coming from the bottom right of the camera.

BENFRANK DESIGN 10 years ago
heres are a couple from a shoot saturday:

both backlit by sun, to the left. SB-800 on 1/4 power to camera right. triggered using nikon CLS.
Stephen Crowers Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Stephen Crowers (member) 10 years ago
Here's my attempt (iffy, though it is). [ pp: crop, resize, and sharpen - but not much else]

Kat (crosslighting exercise)

C&C would be appreciated, but here's my gripes with it:

1. The shadows on her face are *not* flattering - is this just because I needed to close the angle from the sun, 180 the whole setup and use the flash in her face, or is it because it's generally under-exposed and this is just what I should expect? (unfortunately, my A100 only syncs to 1/160th max).

2. In order to under-expose the sky to where I wanted it, the sun (key) isn't as bright on the model as I'd hoped. I don't have a clue how to compensate for this, since I intentionally underexposed the ambient to darken the sky. Is this just a consequence of trying to shoot this at noon?

3. I think the flash (rim light) was too hot to balance properly - probably should have backed it off a a bit.

4. Her glasses make this weird "V" on her face - but I'm not sure if I like it or not yet...

...as I said - tips, comments, criticisms, flames...all welcome.


[edit - PS, strobist info is available via click-thru]
squilky 10 years ago
I think the biggest issue with the cross lighting is that the lighting is not very even. I see a lot of examples posted where there is too much contrast between the shadows and highlights on the subject. The photos above posted by benfrank are beautifully composed, but the light falling across the brides face is not very smooth and even. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the softness of a large umbrella or a softbox.

Could reflectors be used to fill in some of the shadowy areas? Could a diffuser be used to soften the light a bit? Would moving the strobes further back from the subject help?
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
i think with the bride..that is casue my the sun coming throught the tree... which acts like a cookie. and give the look of being a lil patchy.

ZBut i think the point of this tutorioal is to leanr to balnace the sun and a flash to make that nice even smooth look.... as several have done father up...
squilky 10 years ago
Yeah I agree, there have been some really well done examples. I'm just wondering what the difference in the setup between those winning shots and the shots that look a little off balance (lightwise). I think you're right about the bride shot. The trees probably scattered the light in a funny manner.
thomasona.com 10 years ago
Two examples from recent months...

As you can see, I prefer the not-so-subtle approach to crosslighting.
Steve Collins Photography Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Steve Collins Photography (member) 10 years ago
Here's one of my efforts..

This actually started as an attempt at the CTO gel'd flash / tungsten WB thing, but no matter what I did, the bloke just looked ill! So I trashed that idea and just went for straight cross lighting. The flash was hand held by his daughter a few feet camera left.
QGuilloryPhotoArt 10 years ago
this is my update on this tech.
Problem: My problem was I was getting a blown out sky.
Solution: I forgot to point camera at sky and expose for it.(DUH!!!). I was exposing for the darker ground and then tried to adjust ..thus the blown out sky. After reading the new post on : www.meejahor.com/?p=573

It remembered me, so i rushed out with my favorite model(who is always on call and re-shot...
these are the result...




much happier with the result now../..
s w i t t e r s 10 years ago
I have a couple questions about cross-lighting in sun:

1) what did David mean when he said "shoot the quarter angles"? Doesn't cross-lighting mean placing one light source opposite (i.e. at a 90 degree angle) from the other?

2) how does one do cross-lighting when the sun is directly overhead? Would the strobe have to be on the ground pointing upwards?

rench 10 years ago
re: squilky
"Could reflectors be used to fill in some of the shadowy areas? Could a diffuser be used to soften the light a bit? Would moving the strobes further back from the subject help?"

Diffusers (softboxes, umbrellas) would soften the light, but at the cost of the strobe's power. might be possible to overcome the the background when it's a bit overcast or at twilight, but on a clear day, it won't be so easy. Moving the strobes back won't make the light any softer. It would actually make the light harder (apparent size). Of course the "beam" would be larger, so if your concern is that the falloff is not even, then move it back or zoom wider - but no, it won;t be softer.
jeffegg2 PRO 10 years ago

you don't want to shoot the cross lighting where the sun is opposite the flash on the 90 degrees, or you get what is called "skunk lighting" with a stripe down the middle. that is why 45degrees, preferably with the sun to the rear.

High noon? here in michigan the sun is still at a low angle at noon, do you live on the equator? then just wait a few hours.
kreego PRO 10 years ago
See spec notes for each photo. I didn't expect the transition area between the flash and sun coverage to be so hard to control. You really have to be careful in which direction the model looks, and how much ambient light you let in, without overexposing ambient. Tricky!!

Soccer Sideways Stare

Football My Game
s w i t t e r s 10 years ago
Okay, maybe I'm confused about what 1/4 angles is referring to. I guess it means 1/4 angles to the camera, not 1/4 angles between light sources, right? Because in this diagram, the camera is at a 45 degree angle to the subject and light source, but the light sources are 180 degrees apart. Right?

SlowmanLuis [deleted] 10 years ago
My attempts...


squilky 10 years ago
@ Switters. That's the way I understood it as well.
innerglow 10 years ago
Ok, so while not exactly crosslight, I grabed this self portrait heading home from work after being inspired by both the sunset and seeing some recent strobist shots...Shot at 160 ISO F11 1/125. You can see my 580EX to the right and I layed the 430EX on the ground in front of me and triggered with the ST E2.
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