Craving for more practice after the 7th Philippine Cosplay Convention, I soon signed up for 2 photoshoots for the following weekend. I later found out that this wasn't a good idea for sleep-deprived shooters, especially since the models greatly outnumbered the photographers.
- Since January, I've been obsessed with using external flash for subject isolation. My go-to technique was to drop the ambient light such that it was 1 - 3 stops darker than the subject lit by flash. However, this technique can be difficult to pull off when shooting outdoors.
This photo shoot made me realize that it's also possible to isolate the subject by doing the exact opposite (i.e. overexposing the background). Sometimes, it's better to forgo the use of flash.
Here, the model is standing in the shade while the background is lit by direct sunlight.
The image on the left was taken with flash. I tried my usual technique, but the background was simply too bright. I also had to set the aperture to f/8 due to limitations of my flash unit (high-speed sync is not usable in manual mode). The resulting image has stronger contrast, but the shadows are a bit harsh.
The image on the right was taken in aperture mode at f/2.8 without any flash. Since the model is standing in the shade, the background simply blows out while the ambient light provides softer and more even lighting for the subject.
- Incidentally, until the day I actually get to purchase a shoot-through umbrella for the light stand, I'll be using this tripod ball head (CDR King) instead of the umbrella holder (Phottix). For Rogue Flashbender combinations or bare flash alone, the ball head allows faster adjustments.