How to Blend Ambient and Artificial Lighting

Using natural or artificial light is not always a binary choice; often, you will want the two to complement each to produce a more balanced overall photo. If you would like to make your lighting skills more versatile, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you how to blend ambient light with flash for portraiture work. 

Coming to you from Westcott Lighting, this great video tutorial will show you how to blend ambient light and flash in a portrait. Learning to balance the two will make you a much more versatile creative, as it allows you to take instances of beautiful natural light and augment it to create a more compelling and/or balanced overall image. For example, if you wanted to take a dramatic sunset portrait, you would have to expose to keep from blowing out the sky, but in doing so, you would throw your subject deep into shadow. Adding a bit of flash to properly expose them allows you to create a balanced image that would not be possible otherwise. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

If you would like to really dive into lighting for portraits, be sure to check out our range of premium tutorials in the Fstoppers store.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Beautiful images, especially the outside shot was great, the inside had to hard light for my taste. The outdoor shows that you don't need a ton of expensive gear to create a beautiful image. A good model does help - she was stunningly beautiful, just like the surrounding forrest :)