Kim from a Drink and Click in February at the Scoot Inn. I’ve featured portraits of Kim a couple of times on this blog. This one was created differently than most of my others. I use either available light or a weak continuous light for most of my portraits. For this photo, I used an off camera strobe.
Strobe is just a fancy word for a flash. The off camera variety, especially with a big modifier that softens the light, has none of the negatives that you get from a small flash on the camera. Because of the brightness of the strobe, you get to use smaller apertures, with higher shutter speeds and lower ISOs. It’s the traditional way of creating high quality portraits.
But using strobes requires different skills. Skills that I typically don’t have or practice. You need to shape the light and need to test fire shots to see how they come out. Setting up continuous lights are a lot easier. In my case, I often like to play with the available light. Dim lighting has their own challenges. That’s why I often have to shoot with slow shutter speeds with higher ISOs. But, it’s a style that I like and I’ve grown in proficiency.
There is a difference to the look, too. I find that strobes are crisper and, for color, give more of a saturated pop. Available light can look dull, if not careful. The images tend to be softer. An expert with strobes can work their magic to closely mimic natural light. For me, I’m content with my contrasty, black and white, natural light portraits.
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