Light Made and Light Found

I’ve got a couple of big shoots coming up, and both will depend on my skills manipulating electronic flash. One will involve both still life and portrait shots, including the dreaded group portraits I’ve written about previously. Today I did a little basic set-up work to test some concepts. After failing at that, I made an image I liked.

Somewhere between a still-life and a portrait, I'm struggling to light the complexity of detail while finding a center of interest. The studio gives me plenty of control over the light, but images like this remind me of Ansel Adam's famous warning that there's nothing worse than a sharp picture of a fuzzy idea.

This is a sketch for an image I hope to make, but I have to find a time of day when the ambient light is more even and I can use a flash to emphasize the subject. We'll be up early tomorrow to track the light.

While meditating on the day's failures and rereading flash manuals, I saw my empty wine glass lit by various electronic devices on my desk. I'm thrilled by what is possible with electronic flash and the Nikon wireless Creative Lighting System, but available light still appeals to my deepest photographic instincts.

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Filed under Lighting, Motivation, Portraiture

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