When it comes to lighting, Mix it up! guestblog by Rick Sammon

At Photoshop world Orlando I met up with Rick and we immediately had a good connection.
When Rick visited me in the Netherlands to have some fun with Stephanie and visit Urk he interviewed me for his podcast, if you never heard it, check it out. I also wrote a guestblog for Rick which you can find here so when I asked Rick if he would be willing to write something for my blog he send me something within a few hours, that’s quick 😀

So here is Rick’s guestblog, I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Take it away Rick.


When it comes to lighting, Mix it up!
First, I want to thank Frank for inviting me to write a guest blog post. I guess it pays off having someone as a guest on my podcast. 🙂 Seriously, Frank was a great guest on the show. If you missed Frank chastise me for not using a light meter, click here: http://www.ricksammon.info/2011/06/art-wolfe-and-frank-doorhof-on-double.html


Okay, enough with the jokes. Onto the post.



Generally speaking, you want only your added lights to illuminate the subject. However, there are times when it’s a good idea to mix light sources, either using daylight or room lights. In this photograph, I mixed the light from a softbox (in which I placed my Canon 580EX II) with the room light. This technique can be tricky.

Final cropped image

Following is what I do in this kind of situation.
First, I set my camera to the Manual metering mode and set my exposure for the room light. Here, I wanted the room to be fairly dark. If I had wanted it brighter, I would either increase my aperture or reduced the shutter speed to let more light into the camera. Then I take a test flash shot. If the light from the flash is too bright, I reduce my flash exposure, and vice versa. Hey, I know!!! Frank would use a meter, but this technique works for me.


You can see that the original shot is a bit flat. My enhancements on the final image included enhancing the saturation, contrast and sharpness in Photoshop.

Mixed Light/Enhanced Photo

Original Photo

Please note that the diagram is not to scale and not 100 percent accurate.

Lighting Diagram

3 replies
  1. Clint
    Clint says:

    Great guest post Rick!nnI love your image and shows how a simple one light (plus ambient) can be so effective. I also use your exact same technique to balance my lights as i do not own a light meter at present.

Comments are closed.