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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Using Lighting Gradients in Lightroom (1 of 1)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8


While in many situations you’ll have full studio lighting control over the lights that you are working with, sometimes things go wrong on sets. For example, a bulb could blow or a scrim may not come in on set to give you the look that you want. The photo above was shot with two lights but wasn’t anywhere as brightly lit.

We always try to get everything as close to “right” in the camera as we can, but in this case we just couldn’t. That’s when the phrase, “fix it in post” became ever more apparent.

Here’s how we created this image using very weak lights and Adobe Lightroom CC to fix the photo.

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Chris Gampat Raiyan Saed's portraits (7 of 11)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 3.2

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When shooting portrait subjects, there are typically three lights that you talk about: a main light, a fill and a hair light. But when shooting outdoors with lots of natural light, those rules to go out the window. Your main light often becomes the sun, whether diffused or not.

This tip is a bit more advanced and requires you to build on things cumulatively. First off, when shooting outdoors, we think that you should always try to shoot in the shade where you’ve got more control over the light. After you’ve got full control of the light, you can use a flash to add in a bit of fake sun.

Look at the edge of Raiyan’s face camera right, see the light? It was a flash in a beauty dish, but gives a natural look of sunlight.

So how do you do this? Let’s recap:

- Shoot outdoors

- Use the shadows and get total control over your lighting situation

- Place a flash either with the wide angle diffuser, in a beauty dish, or in a rectangular shaped softbox to add a bit of rim lighting

To make this even more emphasized with the look of sunlight, try adding a gradient–which builds even more on other tips that we’ve done. It’s all about adding the extra rim light that looks very natural but subdued.

Give it a shot. This is something you have to do more than us telling you about it.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Radio flash review (2 of 9)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

The world of radio hot shoe flashes has been marinating for a couple of years now. The original is Quantum, but then Canon did it and Yongnuo and Phottix soon followed through. It was only a matter of time until the retailers started to create their own versions with their own house brands. Adorama’s Flashpoint series have been known for years to be extremely stellar products; and their new Zoom Li-on flash is really no exception. It isn’t really a radio flash per se, but it’s designed to be. At a mere $99.99 for the fully manual version, you’ve got very little to complain about.

With a Guide Number of 112 and an innovative type of battery for a hot shoe flash, the company also claims a 1.5 second recycle time, stroboscopic mode, front/rear curtain sync, and a modelling light.

But what makes it even more special is the fact that you can control the power output via Flashpoint’s own radio transmitter.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Pentax K50 image samples (3 of 10)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 8.0

When you’re first getting into the world of off-camera flash (or flash lighting in general) it can be a very daunting task. Like cameras and lenses, there are so many different choices that you might not know what you should get. But with lighting, you’ve got a whole new list of needs and features that you can work with.

In truth, any light when used correctly will make your images pop and look much better. But the differences is with the features, pricing, power output and integration into your camera system.

Heard of Profoto? Yeah, they make great products. What about Yongnuo? Yup, good there, too. But these two companies are on two totally different side of the spectrum and you wouldn’t make a ridiculous comparison like a high end Profoto Monolight to a sub-$100 Yongnuo flash.

So here’s how to navigate this new world.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer NYCC New York Comic Con 2013 exports (26 of 84)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 5.0

Here, we generally talk about strobism and using a flash with radio transmitters. We prefer radio because of how reliable they are, but they’re not the only option. For years, many photographers have triggered flashes and strobes using infrared transmission.

What’s infrared? Basically, it’s another way of triggering flashes to go off and usually requires you to use another flash. There are also limitations but in most situations it’s pretty reliable and it gets the job done.

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Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Two big terms that strobist photographers and anyone looking to get into flash photography will hear are flash duration and high speed sync. In lay man’s terms, flash duration will stop fast moving motion and high speed sync will deal with ambient lighting–but it gets even more complicated than that.

Dan over at Adorama created a video to show how this works. He demonstrates high speed sync and shows how at f1.2, you can get a very shallow depth of field in mid-day lighting while killing the ambient lighting and mixing it with strobe output to look natural.

Then he goes into the studio and shows how flash duration stops fast moving motion and how you need to have almost no ambient lighting in the scene for the best effect.

The video is after the jump.

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