Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to look at it more closely. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Jeep

The Jeep
The Jeep

Friday, September 11, 2015

V-Slats and Artificial Lighting

As I have stated numerous times photography is all about light. It doesn't matter the source of the light. It could be natural or artificial, how you employ the qualities of that light determines to a large degree the final value of the image. I recently started exploring in more detail the use of artificial lights both studio guns and smaller speedlights. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both can also provide a spectacular array of lighting potential. One technique I find intriguing is the use of what are known as V-Slats. They are most often employed in a studio environment and provide a wonderfully soft and compelling light.



First of all V-Slats are very simple to construct, there is nothing fancy about them. I used two sets of two 3x4 foam boards joined along one edge with tape to end up with two V-Slats. The idea is to bounce your light into the V of the folded slats facing away from your subject. The light is then bounced off a larger white wall a few feet behind them. The White wall in effect becomes your light source.

The light coming off the wall presents a huge flood of soft light that envelops your subject. Combine it with say 400 watts of constant lighting set behind and to one side, you end up with an interesting and dramatic soft light effect.


Playing with the exposure values also allows you to introduce motion into the equation without sacrificing the clarity and sharpness required for your subject.




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