I am a computer geek and prefer using the computer for just about everything possible. In fact, I’m not sure what I would do without a computer!
However, I still know the value of good old pen and paper. Drawing diagrams can help in planning a photo shoot. Where is the main light? Should you add a fill light and where should it be placed? How about your subject–where is it in relation to everything else? What about the camera–should it be at a low angle?
Admittedly, this is quite difficult when photographing wildlife, but just about every photo subject can be better photographed with advanced planning. I certainly am no artist, but diagrams definitely help me in the planning stages of a shoot. These diagrams allow me to think ahead and do some planning before I even get to the location.
I find these diagrams very useful. Give it a try. Before you go to you next photo shoot take some time to draw up a diagram or two and see if they help.
Getting your flash off the camera makes a huge difference. It is even better to diffuse the light.
I use a Lastolite Soft Box and have enjoyed very nice results. Even with just one off-camera flash the difference is incredible. Learn how to set up the light to create a variety of looks with your subject. Experiment by taking some photos, move the off-camera flash, and take some more photos.
David Ziser communicates this very well in his new book, “Captured by the Light.” I just received my copy yesterday and after just reading the way to change the studio lighting is most excellent! I am sure I will enjoy this book and learn a lot in the process. Oh, and don’t worry if you are not a wedding photographer–this book will still apply to some of your photography nevertheless.
Portrait lighting is intimidating to some photographers but it doesn’t need to be this way. With just a few simple tips and suggestions you can use portrait lighting to make awesome photos. Give it a try!