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Easy Flash Photography: BEST Lighting Modifiers (Tutorial and Techniques)

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BEST Lighting Modifiers

As a photographer, lighting is a crucial aspect of capturing the perfect shot. Today, I want to share my thoughts on using a beauty dish and other lighting equipment to enhance my photos.

In the beginning, I started by using natural light and adding lights to it. This is the first step I take when I start a photoshoot. However, it's important to enhance the natural light in a way that doesn't overpower it. This is where a beauty dish comes in handy. I have gritted the beauty dish to control the light, preventing it from hitting the background, and also added a diffusion layer to help with specular highlights.

I decided to go for a dramatic look with this shoot, meaning I want to have a little fill light to prevent too much shadow on one side of the subject's face. To avoid "mom circles," I positioned the beauty dish so that the light wouldn't come from directly above the subject's head. I also used a very small reflector to fill in some of the shadows on the face.

Next, I added a profoto b10 and a large umbrella with a diffuser to fill in the shadows in the subject's face. I placed the light close to the subject and adjusted it until I was satisfied with the result. It was important to avoid any shadows on the wall behind the subject, so I had to be careful about the position of the light.

I started by using TTL (through-the-lens) metering to get the initial exposure but ended up switching to manual to have more control over the light intensity. I gradually lowered the light until it was just enough to fill in the shadows.

I am always on the lookout for new ways to enhance my craft and bring my vision to life. Recently, I decided to experiment with some new lighting modifiers and techniques. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated at first, as I had never used a snoot before. However, I was eager to try something new and expand my skill set.

I started off by using the snoot with my Canon EOS R camera and 20-72.0 lens. The snoot directed the light very intensely and I was able to create a golden haze, darkening out the entire scene except for my model's face. I was impressed by how versatile the snoot was and how it allowed me to control the light source. I know it will definitely be a valuable addition to my camera bag.

Next, I moved on to one of my all-time favorites - the OCF gels. I used them to give my model, Elena, a beautiful hair light. I shot with natural light and used the golden color of the gel to bring out the red in her hair. I positioned the light behind her and to the side where most of her hair was. I also dialed in the color temperature to make it even warmer, which helped to exaggerate the effect of the gel.

I then switched over to my 135mm lens to create a nice golden glow and haze across the whole scene. I also switched back to my 28-70 lens to show how the barn door shaped the light. The barn door allowed me to control the beam of light with more variety and fine-tune it to my desired effect. I demonstrated how to light a subject from top to bottom, keeping the barn doors open vertically to avoid lighting the wall and spilling light on the ground.

In conclusion, I had a blast experimenting with these new lighting modifiers and techniques. I can’t wait to put them into practice on my next shoot. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or just starting out, I highly recommend trying out these techniques for yourself. You never know, they might just become your new favorites!

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Photography education that gives your art an edge

Vanessa has been photographing weddings, events, portraits and lifestyle for over 20 years.

She's a Canon Explorer of Light, an honor given to only 5 photographers in the United States, and her work has been published by Yahoo! News, Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Rangefinder and more.

With her practical and open-book style of teaching, she shares everything she knows with hundreds of thousands of photographers as an educator and influential sparker.

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