Being a “natural light photographer” has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, the available light that one has to work with is very often inadequate for the job at hand. There is only so much that you can correct in software like Lightroom. If the light sucks, it just sucks!
While being aware of the quality of natural light available is always a good thing, understanding light and how to use artificial light to complement the existing light to create a great portrait, is a must when someone wants to be a well-rounded portrait photographer.
When I began my career as a professional photographer, electronic-flash was very crude. I had to carry around a power pack on my shoulder to power the flash. The pack had a 12-volt lead acid motorcycle battery on board. Must have weighed 5 lb easy. It wasn’t fun during a twelve-hour wedding. The pack had two power levels, half and full.
To arrive at the right exposure, you first needed to focus the lens to determine the distance to the subject. Then with that information, you mentally had to calculate the aperture setting. All while composing the image and trying to catch the right expression.
It’s no wonder I have no hair left. And, to top it off, we couldn’t check the back of the camera to confirm the exposure. That news would have to wait a few days until the film was developed.
Today’s world is much different. Digital cameras will give you instant confirmation that your exposure was on point or not. Electronic flash systems are 100% better than those available in the past. There is no reason for a photographer to be in a vulnerable position by relying solely on available light. Shooting outdoors, one moment it could be sunny only to change to overcast gray as a cloud parks itself in front of the sun.
A great lighting system is now available which has all the features I have been waiting for, that offers new on-camera flashes, battery-powered studio lights in various sizes, all with identical built-in wireless receivers so that they can all be combined if necessary.
And, the best part is that they are available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji and Olympus camera systems. For a fraction of the price of other units.
The manufacturer is GODOX. Their on-camera flash is the first one marketed that offers a robust lithium battery instead of having to use sets of 4 AA batteries continuously. The lithium battery will power 650 full power flashes. Most of the time, you are not using full power so you’ll get much more than 650 flashes per charge. The same wireless transmitter that can trigger this flash when used off-camera, will also trigger all their studio lights. Both their AD200 and AD600 studio heads are also powered by much larger lithium batteries, have LED modeling lights and full TTL and High-Speed Sync capabilities.
Come see me at The Camera Store anytime from Thursday to Saturday during business hours, and I’ll give you a demonstration featuring this new incredible lighting system.
Peter Gold is a master photographer who has been a professional for over 45 years. He is also the studio specialist of The Camera Store offering valuable information regarding lighting, meters, studio design and setup, backgrounds and more. If you want to learn more from the master, you can take his Light Shaping Basics Seminar coming up on Jan. 28th, 2018. Registration is only $99.95.