Striking photographs – the kind that stop you in your tracks – usually owe their impact to the use of lighting. It could be the mood conveyed by atmospheric sun flares or the way the subject’s eyes seem to sparkle from the studio flash; either way it’s your ability to notice and manipulate the light that is key.
Many professional portrait photographers work exclusively with available light. This can include both natural light and artificial light (that’s already in the location) or a combination of the two. When using available light, your challenge is to work with or modify the light that’s already in the scene in order to achieve your desired result.
Pack your speedlites and portable flash: this section is all about bringing artificial lighting on location to achieve results that wouldn’t be possible with available light alone. You’ll learn how to make daylight turn into night-time, freeze BMX-riders mid-air and light up snow and smoke for beautifully atmospheric portraits.
Who cares if it’s cold, raining or night-time? If you’ve got a studio, there’s no need to put down your camera. In fact, even if you don’t have access to a studio, learning studio lighting will improve your available light and location light portraits. Simply visualise where you would place the lights in a studio setting, then find ways to replicate that with whatever light you have available to you.