Natural Light Versus Flash Versus Strobe

Roberto Valenzuela is a Canon Explorer of Light and is constantly pushing himself and others to learn the possibilities of light. In a recent project, he set out to take images of a single model with three different types of light (natural, flash, and strobe), and I asked him to talk us through the results.

In this video, I got to talk with Roberto about a recent shoot he did where he set out to prove that natural light, flash, and strobe are all equal in how amazing they are and the quality they bring to the table. He wants to show photographers what is possible when you don't only know your tools, but when you can thrive with your tools. The way Roberto explains it is that most photographers know how to use flash in the sense that they know how to turn it on, adjust the power or zoom, and point it at a subject. But knowing these simple aspects of flash won't help you thrive with flash in every situation. They don't help you unlock the creative possibilities when it comes to making your own light.

In the video, Roberto talks a bit about how his brain can navigate a scene upon first entering a room. Within seconds, he can analyze the natural light available to him and navigate the possibilities of what it might look like to modify that light or to bring in his own light. In this shoot, he decided to photograph each of the possibilities he saw. So, with one model, he shot each outfit with three different lighting setups. And he explains that none of the lighting setups are better than the other. Each one just brings something different to the image. But the idea is that by knowing how to use and thrive with each lighting type, you can become a much better and more consistent photographer.

Roberto also tells us that this shoot was in preparation for an upcoming conference that will be all about lighting and teaching photographers just how to thrive with their light. The Photo Creators Conference will have four absolutely amazing teachers. Roberto himself will be teaching the art of flash photography, Joel Grimes will be teaching strobes, Jen Rozenbaum will be teaching constant light, and then to wrap up the amazing lineup is Pratik Naik, who will be teaching retouching. Not only will you be learning from some of the most amazing photographers and educators in the industry, but you will be doing so with a hands-on approach. Roberto explains that he wants everyone to get their hands under the hood and actually use the things they learn before they even leave the conference.     

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