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Natural Light with flash-what do I need?

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Susan Isbell Images says:

I mostly shoot natural light portraits. Often I use my flash mounted on camera to give some fill light. However, I want to try off camera flash with natural light. Is my best bet still the beginner set up discussed in LIghting 101 , I know that some photographers use a softbox to shoot outside to boost the lighting. Just wondering some opinions of where is the best place to start. I have a Canon 7D and a 430 speedlight.
6:45PM, 12 December 2012 PDT (permalink)

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Alfredk says:

Lighting 101 is very relevant !
66 months ago (permalink)

ImageWorks123 [deleted] says:

Softbox outdoors the way to go is strobes. Umbrellas can be used under some sort of shade and they have to be close to your subject. Otherwise, its bare flash pointing at your subject. I use two flashes mounted on a bracket and bouncing off a silver umbrella for max output. It works great tho I only use it as mention still.
66 months ago (permalink)

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AtlantaTerry says:

how about this ... get rid of your flash altogether for your fill light. Sometimes flash is not the answer.

Do a bit of research on "Subtractive Lighting" which was developed by the late Leon Kennamer. Or use reflectors instead as they will be the same white balance as your source.

Tip: the white balance of your flash will be difficult matching the white balance of the daylight which will cause you endless grief. And because clouds are usually moving, the white balance can be constantly changing. So even if you manageed to filter your flash to match the current daylight white balance, a minute later you might need other filters.
Originally posted 66 months ago. (permalink)
AtlantaTerry edited this topic 66 months ago.

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brownie114 says:

Terry, this being a group about flash photography, and the OP asking questions about such, maybe you should express your opinions elsewhere.

And yes, with a little skill and knowledge flash and natural lighting color can be matched.
66 months ago (permalink)

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Roger Blackwell says:

The daylight colour temperature varies from country to country and by time of day, how many clouds and lots of other factors. it is possible to match flash to it although a lot of the time it will mean using coloured gels on the flashguns.

Most of the time fill in flash is acceptable as daylight itself is bounced around and takes on different colours so a little bit of flash doesn't always look that unnatural.

Subtractive lighting is fine too but you can't always find the buildings or trees etc. to give you the shading that you want.
66 months ago (permalink)

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FateDenied says:

The lighting 101 setup is still an excellent way to move your flash off the camera - and that is still a first step in using off-camera fill with natural light as the key.

Worth noting that 'ebay triggers' are a lot better than they used to be when lighting 101 was written, and something like a pair of YN622Cs would give you the same off-camera capabilities, with the added bonus of ETTL when and if you felt it appropriate, for an amount of money you might consider small enough to adopt a suck it and see approach.

Incidentally, 7D and 430EXii will let you use off-camera flash with no extra equipment at all, via Canon's wireless system. I found that had a number of frustrating limitations, but 'free' is a very tempting price to pay for a taster.

You are likely to find that mixing a speedlight with strong natural light is pushing the limits of the power available to you in the speedlight, and the more light-hungry modifiers (like softboxes) may well be less use to you than snoots, grids and (as mentioned) gels.
66 months ago (permalink)

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Murray McMaster says:

+1 to strobist 101 & 102. Go thru all of it.
+1 to gels (it is good to know which ones balance different ambient light.)
+1 reflectors. 20 x 30 sheets of white foamcore painted flat black one one side are excellent for both additive and subtractive fill.
Using a softbox will not boost the lighting. It will soften it and reduce power. On many occasions it will be impossible to achieve a desired (softened light via modifier) look when all you have to play with is one small hotshoe flash. That is where all the other methods mentioned here come in handy.
One bare flash on a sunny day can look very good, covered in 101 under cross lighting.
66 months ago (permalink)

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Easy Mark says:



There are some good videos on youtube if you go there and search for outdoor portrait photography, too.

also, here is one member of this group who does some really nice shots with sunlight and a single bare flash. He tends to keep his equipment pretty simple.



Hope this helps.
Originally posted 66 months ago. (permalink)
Easy Mark edited this topic 66 months ago.

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