Using studio Flash:turorial for lighting course.

One light + reflector

For the second lesson, for my lighting course students, lets still keep things very simple and only use one of the flash units again.

In this case pint a light with the head angled down at 45 degrees. Place the light to the right hand side of your picture and get a person to sit on a box or chair (a way of keeping them in roughly the same place) Use a medium sized to small soft box reflector so that you get a concentrated beam of light  making a circle on the floor.

The idea of this picture is to help you understand how important and powerful reflectors can be.You will need to have either a propose made reflector panel, or a large sheet of polystyrene, hardboard (Masonite in the US) or any stiff, flat, matte white surface. I went a little further and covered my polystyrene sheet with aluminium cooking foil. This was simply glued in place with PVA glue (white glue) Have the dull side of the aluminum facing outwards otherwise focused spots of light will be reflected.(You could also use a Lastolight on a stand. This does have the advantage of being able to fold up but costs more than the improvised solution.) Most professional studios have a piece of polystyrene sheet lying around to act as a temporary reflector. My home made reflector has a wooden base with casters to enable easy movement in the studio. The reverse side is painted black to absorb light when a flag (the opposite of a reflector) is needed.

All good lighting aims at establishing a purpose for the photograph. With this set up I tried to keep everything as simple as it could be to simulate the type of daylight you might get from a large window on an overcast day. The flash unit set was simply one light to the right hand side of the picture A medium sized soft box was used to softly diffuse the shadows over the models. On the left hand side was I placed the homemade reflector described above. The amount of contrast was adjusted by moving this reflector closer or further away from the models.
Look carefully at the adjacent picture and notice how the reflector has bounced light on to the newspaper, into the shadows on the left side of the model’s face so that they aren’t solid black, and even on to the studio wall behind him but still probably two meters away. It should not be obvious that that flash has been used!