Balancing Strobes with Direct Sun - Photography Tutorial
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Published on Oct 15, 2015
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Hi this is Jay P Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens I’m going to teach you how to shoot in full sun with strobes, using Dynalite’s new Baja B6. We’re out at the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Camarillo, California, and we’ve got the beautiful Erica Gore modeling for us.

There are lots of different ways you can shoot with strobes in the sun. I’m going to show you a couple of them here today. Posing your subject is the first and most critical decision you’re going to make. I usually like to put my talent in a backlight situation. Unfortunately today that’s not going to work because of the buildings in the background. I want to see that open blue sky. So we’ll be balancing the strobes with the sunlight to make that happen. You need a strobe that is powerful enough to overcome that full sun, and the Baja B6 is just that strobe. It’s 600 watt seconds, which gives us plenty of power.

So here’s the first image with no strobes. It’s very dark around her face. Now we put a Dynalite (http://www.dynalite.com) parabolic light modifier on the B6 and bring it around to the sun side of Erica. Her hat is low, so it’s going to allow us to light for a little lower angle. We can blend this so it feels like an open fill bouncing into her face. When I pull back to a full length shot, you see the sun area on her face and the shadow on the ground. The strobes open up her face and give us a really nice look.

For our next setup I’m going to move Erica so that the sun is almost side lighting her figure. First take a look at the image without the strobes. Then we add a light on the opposite side of the sun, camera right, in order to create a nice fill light on her face. The plane in the background is dark but not too dark. It’s a nice balance.

In the last setup for this series we’re not in direct backlight, we have kind of a sidelight. Again I’ve got a hat on her head so it shades her face. We’ve got a strong sidelight on her body. When we get a correct exposure on the dress her face is very very dark. So we’re going to add a light on her face to open up those shadows. It’s going to be on that camera right hand side. It’s not on the same side of the sun but bringing it in from the camera right hand side we can make it look like it’s a bounce- fill the side of her face and open up the shadows. It has a pretty look. And then we’re going to add a B4 on that airplane in the back, a direct flash that’ll open up the side of the airplane. We’ll have to retouch that out when we edit our final image.

So today we learned that with strobe you can make gorgeous light, combining strobe with direct sunlight, as long as you’ve got a strobe head that’s strong enough to compete with the sun. Which that B6 is. Sometimes you just have to work in direct light depending on the situation and what you’re photographing; it’s a good skill to have.

Thanks for watching and remember, keep those cameras rollin' and keep on clickin'.
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