One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to “read” lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.
When we talk about on-location mixed lighting we usually mean shooting with light sources of different nature, such as natural ambient light and artificial, or shooting with lights of different color temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, flash, etc.).
There are dozens of cool effects that one can achieve when mixing ambient light with controlled lighting, but today I would like to talk about mixing lights in studio – impulse (i.e. strobe or flash) and continuous. I love this technique and hope my article inspires you to try it out too.
There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.
But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It’s usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It’s when I’m bored and want to “spice it up”, I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques. [more]