May 07, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Dark & Dramatic

Want to learn how to edit this image from beginning to end? Click here.

The Perfect Balance

When shooting outside with strobes, it’s important to get a perfect mix of ambient and artificial light. We were shooting at about 1:30 PM, so the shadows cast on our model from the tree above her were extremely harsh. By positioning an octobox close to her we were able to fill in the shadows, making them less harsh while maintaining the appearance of natural light. We set our camera’s white balance to flash. This worked out great because the strobe we were using (a Paul C. Buff Einstein) is automatically calibrated to match daylight!

Shooting in Sunlight

Checking your images in direct sunlight can be tricky due to the glare it causes on your camera’s LCD. One good way to combat this is by viewing your images with a loupe. This allows you to view the images on the back of your camera as if you were indoors.

Another way to make sure you’re getting a decent exposure is by using a light meter. These work by reading the amount of light and telling you the correct camera settings and are a surefire way to make sure you aren’t over or underexposed.


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  • user image

    Oh wow Aaron,

    i love the editing so much (the colors are amazing!!!) … I`m really in love with this picture!!!

    A big thank you from Berlin (Germany)!!!

    P.S: And yes, i love exclamation marks as well …

  • user image
    Sam Andrastek

    You should do a Phlearn PRO on photography/lighting, it was interesting to watch you explain your initial setup before you did any editing in Photoshop.