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Friday Photoshare – Fear

Everything you’ve wanted is on the other side of fear.

Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of leaving the comfortable for the unknown, fear of criticism, fear of disappointment, fear of success. These are just a few of the multitude of fears that hold too many of us back.

The thing is, this fear is a cloth we cover and smother ourselves with. Our own hands hold it in place, press it against our faces. If we just open our arms, the cloth can fall away.

Shooting and editing this image was very quick and easy by comparison to many of my other photos! It’s one of the few times I’ve enjoyed using lighting. I think lighting effects can be really cool and I admire many photographers who use lighting well, but it’s usually just not my style. For this image, I knew I wanted deep shadows and bright highlights, so using artificial light worked out well.  Here’s a “diagram” of the two lights and modifiers we used. The text positions and angles represent where the items were set up and how they were oriented.

Although I did edit it a bit to really emphasize the shadows/highlights and add some distressing, here is the image straight out of the camera:

I almost always intentionally underexpose my shots in camera because I know shooting in RAW is incredibly powerful. I would rather pull details out of shadows than try to reclaim them from highlights, and I trust my camera when shooting RAW to still have an amazing amount of detail in the darks. If you’re not shooting RAW and want to learn a bit more, please check out Rose’s post Don’t be Afraid of Shooting RAW.

Alright, let’s move on to the lighting!

We have a Yongnuo speed light and I really can’t recommend them enough. Our other speedlight cost more and doesn’t work as well! The Yonguno model we have contains a built in transceiver, so you can achieve higher synch speeds without having to buy something like a PocketWizard. Translating that into normal English – the flash can speak more effectively to the camera, allowing you to place it wherever you’d like (instead of just sticking it on top of the camera) and use a fast shutter speed. (Okay, maybe that wasn’t totally plain English, but it’s better!) As everyone who’s ever used the built in flash on a camera knows, suddenly shining a bright light straight at your subject usually results in less than stellar photos. Moving the flash off the camera is a big step in the right direction! Then, depending on the effect you’re going for, you will probably also want a “modifier.” Modifiers affect the light in different ways, but many are designed to bounce or reflect light to make it look like you have a large source instead of one small bulb.

If you look at the photo, on the right you’ll notice the light is more smooth than on the left – you can see a pretty defined highlight along the left side of the subject. That’s because we used a larger modifier, the Wescott Apollo Orb, on the right (actually my left in real life, but photo right!). On the “left,” we used a smaller modifier, the Wescott Apollo Strip, that’s shaped like a rectangle. It doesn’t diffuse the light as much, so there’s a harsher highlight on that side. If you’re looking to get into lighting, a couple of speedlights and modifiers is more affordable than shelling out for a full-sized strobe right off the bat. You’ll be amazed by the amount of light you can get from a small light source with appropriate modifiers, then you can have fun and create wacky things like this:

It’s my husband’s first self portrait! It’s not really my style, but it’s pretty cool and he’s excited about it. He calls it his RoboCop/Miami Vice photo! (And for any photography people noticing the blown highlights, that was an intentional editing choice, just so ya know.)

Although both of these images were taken at night, when you have a flash that’s capable of “high speed synch,” you can use lights to create effects like this during the day! If you want to know more about lighting, I highly recommend checking out CreativeLive. They have a variety of classes on lighting, including on location lighting, studio lighting, and using speedlights. {Unlike the Amazon links, that one is not an affiliate link! I recommend CreativeLive purely because they’re a website I trust and use myself.}

I really hope you enjoyed this little look at a recent photo and brief discussion of speedlights! If anyone would like a basic primer on speedlights or a more in-depth explanation of what this “high speed synch” and “transceiver” business is, please leave a comment letting me know. =)

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Julie February 13, 2017, 21:18

    I used to shoot in RAW but then I got lazy about editing my pics bc of time. Sadly, I am only using my iPhone to take pics for my blog. A total travesty..! This is super informational, thank you!

    • Natashalh February 14, 2017, 07:26

      An Etsy teammate’s e-book is what finally convinced me to take the RAW plunge! She made it seem so simple and unintimidating! She’s updating her book very soon and I should be posting about it.

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